Manufacturers are designing different kinds of solar panels that suit the specific needs of every consumer. The options available are polycrystalline, monocrystalline, hybrid, and black-framed. When you go to the market sales people will try to convince you that the ones they deal are the best PV panels in town.
Actually, all the kinds of panels differ. So it is wise to know about each one and the overall power it generates, which can possibly make a vast difference.
For example, 3KW system produces same amount of electric power in all three kinds of solar panels. Manufacturers mention ‘panel efficiency’, but it affect the roof space necessity for a specific powered system, and have a slight reference on annual electric generation.
Difference between panels in brief
Crystalline modules perform similarly as well as occupy the same roof space. Therefore, ignore sales talk and select a reliable manufacturer like solar San Diego CA. They are experienced and provide long term warranty.
Hybrid panels are a little improved than crystalline modules with regards to efficiency. It means that they produce more power from small area. However, hybrid panels are too expensive. It is a good option, if your roof space is limited.
Black framed panels with black backings look good than aluminum framed ones. In addition, they blend well with dark or slate colored plain tile roofs. However, do not look so good on modern or red roofs.
Details of different kinds of panels
Pure crystalline silicon bars are used to design the solar cells. All the cells are aligned in a single direction. This allows them to work efficiently, when sun shines on them at correct angle. When the sun shines directly on the uniform black color, they absorb more energy, thus providing best performance.
The solar cells are octagonal in shape. Therefore, you can see unused space in corners, when plenty of cells are used, especially in industrial scale installations. The cost of designing pure silicon slices or wafers is slightly more than polycrystalline cells.
Polycrystalline or multi-crystalline panels
These panels are made from silicon off-cuts, which are molded in the shape of blocks and create cell from multiple bits of pure crystals. These are not considered efficient, because the single crystals are not aligned perfectly together. So, there are energy losses at joints in between. This misalignment can be helpful, because cells get light from all angles and even in low light conditions work better.
Polycrystalline panels are cut in rectangular blocks, so there is little wastage of space. Little diamonds cannot be seen, which are typical in hybrid and mono panels. You can see random crystal arrangement and panels look little bluer, when light gets reflected. Cost is somewhat similar to monocrystalline panels, but it is personal preference.
A thin amorphous solar film layer is applied behind monocrystalline cells. In low light conditions, they give more energy. In addition, they are best for very small roofs allowing more extraction of energy. Avoid selecting hybrid panels, if you have large roof space because of its huge cost.
Black backed panels get more hot hindering solar cells efficiency, thus it will generate less current. You will pay more for black framed panels and get less energy. If your purpose is more about appearance, then it is worth installing this kind.