A Complete Overview of the Different Types of Solar Panels

November 24, 2023

The individual solar cell is a good solution for anyone who wants an independent electrical energy source. Most solar cells are devices with an area of a few square centimeters. Glass or transparent plastic covers them to protect them from the adverse effects of the environment. Modern solar panel design looks stylish and original since specialists with an innovative vision of their industry work to qualitatively design solar panels.

What Exactly Is Meant by the Term “Solar Panel”?

A solar panel is a device that converts sunlight into energy. With it, you can generate, store, and use electricity. A well-thought-out solar panel pattern allows you maximum savings and benefits from use. Today on the market, you can find many new solar panel designs. Don’t let this scare you; a competent supplier of this equipment will help you choose the best option. And you can order solar panels that best suit your needs.

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Source: www.solarsquare.in

If we talk about a typical solar cell, which is 10 by 10 centimeters, there will be a generation of electrical energy of 2 watts. Thus, the overall design usually consists of several parts combined sequentially. This method makes it possible to generate a larger amount of electrical energy. The technical specifications and solar panel design contribute to reliable operation and an attractive appearance of the system.

Most solar or photovoltaic modules consist of 36 interconnected cells. An aluminum frame supports, connects, and enables them to work together. Each panel has sockets of typical sizes on the back. If we talk about a complete photovoltaic system, then it can consist of many panels, a power system, an external circuit, and batteries. There are 2 large groups of such batteries – those that work autonomously and from the network. In each case, specialists use innovative solutions and technologies for the design of the solar panel. That makes it possible to ensure that both the technical characteristics and the design of a solar panel are in harmony.

  1. The autonomous system contains a solar panel and battery storage. They are connected either to the program or to the load circuit. The PV panel parameters determine the parameters of each battery, which stores DC electrical energy with a static load. The purpose of DC/DC converters is to provide the required voltage level for DC systems. Off-grid systems are a great option when you need to provide power to a remote installation where connection to a central power station is expensive. This solution minimizes the risk of extra costs. There can be a lot of options for using such systems – from lighthouses to houses in the mountains.  Modern design solar panels make it possible to harmoniously integrate such a system into the overall concept and exterior of the house. A professional designer of solar panels ensures that this device is not just a practical gadget but looks good and does not stand out from the style of a house or other building.
  2. Solar panel cells connected to the power grid combine solar panels and utility companies of electrical networks. There are one-way and two-way methods. In the first case, we are talking about using systems by utilities to strengthen the power grid during the peak load during the daytime. As for bidirectional systems, the purpose of their application is to provide enterprises or individuals with electrical energy. At the same time, any excess solar cells energy without any difficulty returns – that is, to the public power grid. It is also worth touching on the issue of the simplest and most popular types of mounts for solar panels. Recall the solar panels’ layout design. In most cases, it is common to use an inclined support frame or stand for this. A fixed mount is another name for this mechanism. But there are also more complex formats for expanding panels.  For example, they can contain a motor and a tracking system to reorient the panels constantly. Such a system more accurately tracks the daily and seasonal movements of the Sun, making the whole structure work much more efficiently. But it is quite obvious that this system is expensive due to the complexity of its mechanism. Therefore, only in some cases does it make sense to install it. But at the same time, its performance will make you satisfied.

The Four Primary Types of Solar Panels

There are 4 main types of solar panels. Let’s consider them in more detail.

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Source:  codibly.com

Monocrystalline panels

For producing such panels, it’s necessary to use a single crystal of pure silicon pre-cut into several plates. These plates have a recognizable appearance and dark color. Pure silicon is an excellent material for solar panels because, thanks to it, they get optimal parameters.

These panels are the most economical and durable among all the others. But there is one relative downside of such devices: their price. The fact is that the production of each single-crystal cell requires a lot of silicon. That is what leads to the fact that the cost of such panels is very high. But the functional properties and solar array design, in this case, are at their best, which justifies the price.

Polycrystalline Panels

Even the name of these devices suggests that they consist of several crystals. As in the previous case, solar panel designs’ production includes silicon, and its fragments are melted and then poured into a special square mold. This way, polycrystalline cells become more accessible since there is practically no waste in such production. In addition, the elements of the panels acquire a characteristic square shape. Designing solar panels, in this case, is also quite good.

In addition to the advantages, such panels also have some disadvantages. They become less efficient when viewed in terms of energy conversion. That is natural since the purity of silicon has a lower index than single-crystal type panels. Also, these panels have less heat resistance. In simpler terms, they are less effective in an environment characterized by high temperatures.


The passive radiator and rear cell panels (or PERC for short) improve the traditional single crystal type panels. This technology is relatively new, and it lies in the fact that solar power designs have a special passing layer on the back surface, increasing their efficiency.

When it comes to the mechanism of functioning of such panels, their ability to beat off light becomes the key to increasing the amount of absorbed sunlight. The natural property of electrons to recombine leads to deceleration of the electron flow in the system. Thus, the solar cell designs can beat off light waves of greater length. At the same time, the passing ball prevents overheating of the back sheet, due to which the panel becomes more durable.

Summarising the advantages of this type of solar energy design, they have a high performance within a small area.

Thin-film Panels

Each panel doesn’t require relining, so the structure has a lower weight. Another plus is the ease of installation. Unlike typical silicone panels with standard sizes, these panels can be any size to fit the user’s needs. But there is also a disadvantage — if we compare these panels with those made of silicone, then they have one problem — less efficiency.

Several Variations on Thin-film Solar Panels

Thin-film solar panel designs can be of different types. The CdTe format, for example, is the cheapest to produce and is based on amorphous silicon. GIGS designs of solar panels are more expensive but are in demand because of their association with high quality.

Regardless of how much the panel costs, installing a thin-film model can be cheaper than installing a single-crystal or multi-crystal type panel. The fact is that in the two cases mentioned, the installation process itself is time-consuming due to the characteristics of such panels. And thin-film CdTe and GIGS panels, due to their lightweight and greater maneuverability, do not require too much effort during installation.

Efficiency-based Types of Solar Panels

When it comes to the types of panels according to the criterion of efficiency, then they can be as follows:

  • Polycrystalline batteries. Efficiency up to 18%.
  • Monocrystalline options. Efficiency up to 19%.
  • Polycrystalline PERC batteries. Efficiency up to 19.5%.
  • Monocrystalline PERC batteries. Efficiency up to 20.5%.

Types of Solar Panels by Power Capacity

The cost of the solar panel design directly relates to its power. The efficiency of the entire system will increase with each module’s increased unit power. The size of the solar module is also influenced by the type of solar cells used.

Solar panels typically have a 320-watt output. In general, this number can change. For instance, batteries with a capacity between 290 and 360 W are the most popular.

Price-wise Classification of Solar Panel Types

As mentioned above, some of the most expensive are single-crystal individual solar cells and similar options for enterprises. It’s equally important to consider the price of the solar energy design itself and the final cost, including installation. For example, installing thin-film panels may be more cost-effective than installing other options. Although, the price of such panels is only sometimes loyal. Therefore, it is important to take into account what the total cost will be.

Summary: Comparison of Different Types of Solar Panels

So, the conclusions regarding the choice of panels will be as follows:

  • To purchase a traditional version of solar panels with high efficiency, you should pay attention to monocrystalline types.
  • If you need modern and advanced solutions in the form of the design of solar panels, it would be appropriate to choose PERC.
  • If the emphasis is on a better price, then polycrystalline options are something from which you can choose a good option.
  • And if you need solar panels of the new sample that weigh little and are easy to install, then thin-film ones will do.

The Question Is, Which Kind Of Solar Panels Should You Use

The type of battery you choose should match your needs. In addition, while selecting the design of the solar panels, it’s important to consider the style of the object in which the panels will be installed. Solar cell power is one of the key aspects that determines the technical parameters of the device. However, solar array design is also very important since it depends on whether this element, installed on a building, looks harmonious and combines with other details of a building or object.

Jed Hilton
Jed Hilton

Jed Hilton, our Founder and CEO, has over a decade of experience in the solar industry. His innovative leadership and expertise in solar technologies guide our company's vision and strategy.

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