Over the last two decades solar panel technology has evolved to maximize energy generation and storage. At Christian Solar we consult with each client to determine the best solar panel types for their property and energy generation needs. When planning a solar installation project for your commercial or residential building it’s helpful to understand the various solar panel types you can choose from.
Solar Panel Types
There are several different solar panel types available on today’s market. The majority of photovoltaic solar panels that are available for commercial or residential installations include monocrystalline or polycrystalline technology, both which are made of silicon. Monocrystalline solar panels are manufactured from silicon that is cut from a single (or “mono”) crystal. This solar panel type is generally considered to be more efficient than the alternative, polycrystalline technology. Polycrystalline solar panels are manufactured by melting together multiple pieces of silicon to form the photovoltaic cells. In general, polycrystalline solar panel types are more affordable but sometimes can be less energy efficient. Both types of solar panels can installed in a variety of ways, including:
- Installed on large commercial surfaces like warehouse roofs
- Mounted on the ground on a hill or high-exposure area
- Attached to residential roofing or structures
- Added to parking lots or other public areas to generate local energy
Solar Panel Energy Efficiency
When calculating the efficiency of different solar panel types it is important to consider the total square footage versus the amount of energy generated. Higher efficiency solar panels have a greater ability to transform sunlight into energy using a smaller surface area. Today’s solar panels offer efficiency ratings of 15-20%, with some brands even offering higher numbers. At Christian Solar we can recommend the best solar panel types to maximize your budget and space. You can also utilize the nationally-recognized EnergySage classification to understand the efficiency of different panel types. This system reviews different solar panel types by their performance, warranty, efficiency, and durability. Learn more about our solar solutions by booking a complimentary consultation today.
Solar Power Materials & System Components
Almost all solar panel systems consist of the same basic components: photovoltaic panels, conductors, inverters, and batteries. Each item is described below:
- Photovoltaic panels are the main tool to capture the sunlight that is turned into energy. Photovoltaic semiconductor cells are made from silicon, cadmium, telluride, boron and other advanced materials. The panels include several layers of crystals, conductors, and anti-reflective materials to ensure efficiency.
- Conductors are made of electrical wire that transmits energy from the solar panels into the power system.
- Batteries contain large plates that support several cycles between discharge and full capacity. Batteries are used to store energy while you are generating it.
- Power conditioning equipment refers to the components that transform photovoltaic energy into a usable form. This may include an inverter, converter, battery, charge regulator and a blocking diode.
- The charge controller is used to control the flow of electricity to and from the battery. It protects the strength of the battery over time.
- The combined collector allows you to convert heat, in addition to light, into energy.
- The ampere meter is an instrument used to measure amperes (energy current) over time.
At Christian Solar we believe that every household and business should have access to reliable solar energy. Most clients find that state or federal tax credits help offset the initial costs of solar panels, while ongoing reductions to your energy bill allow for a quick return on investment. Our in-house team of coordinators and project managers can provide information about local tax credits, rebate programs, and financing options in your area. Depending upon the size and solar panel types you choose, a full solar energy system may be more cost effective than you think. The costs of your solar panel system will be determined by several factors, including:
- The total size of the system required to meet your energy needs
- State and local tax credits available
- Your current and future cost per kilowatt of energy
- Financing options that can reduce installation costs
Solar Panel Battery Types
In addition to choosing the best solar panel type for your installation our team will help you select the right battery to ensure that your system functions at full efficiency. We utilize the latest
generation of deep cycle batteries to ensure that your system can effectively store energy that is generated over the day for use at night. This process is especially important for any clients using solar energy to power air conditioning or large appliances that run all night. Solar power batteries are rated by their capacity, or the maximum total electric charge they can hold. Each battery has an “activated battery shelf life” which defines how long it can store energy before falling to an insufficient level. The overall battery life cycle number rates how many times a battery can be discharged before falling under its normal capacity.
Choosing the Best Solar Panel Types for Your Property
When planning your solar energy installation we will factor in your property size, energy generation needs, aesthetic requirements, and budget. Recent updates to solar technology mean that there are more choices than ever to suit your needs. During your free estimate our team will note your current annual property energy bill, as well as your annual kilowatt-hours. We will then factor in the rising costs of energy utility bills over the years. To determine the solar panel types for your needs we will review several factors, including:
- System size in kilowatts
- Electricity demand in kilowatt-hours per year
- Current electricity rates per kilowatt-hour
- Electricity rate inflation: >5%/year
- Percentage of your energy usage that will be met by solar panels Upfront cost of solar panel installation with reductions for tax credits or rebates
About Christian Solar
Christian Solar is a locally-owned solar energy company with more than two decades of experience in the industry. As a licensed solar installer, we work with both residential and commercial clients throughout Southern California. Our mission is to help you save money and help save the planet. Our reputation is built on quality, customer service, and superior craftsmanship. Read more about our services or contact our team to learn more about our advanced solar energy solutions.