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Types of Solar Panels

solar panel

Types of Solar Panels

There are three main types of photovoltaic solar panel available commercially in the UK: polycrystalline solar panels, monocrystalline solar panels and thin-film solar cells. Theses types vary in cost, efficiency and durability, and so for advice on which type of solar panel will be best for your property, get in touch with Real Power today.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

£225 – £250


30-40 years

Blue, speckly

Sensitive to high temperatures

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

£250 – £375


30-50 years

Dark black/blue, uniform


Thin-Film Solar Cells

£200 – £250


10-20 years

Uniform, variety of colours

Shorter warranties

solar panel

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Polycrystalline solar panels are made by melting raw silicon and pour into a square mould, and have a blue, speckly appearance. Their method of manufacture makes them cheaper to buy than monocrystalline solar panels, but they are generally less efficient. This is because the free electrons within them cannot move as feely, because there is more than one crystal in each cell.

solar panel

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Monocrystalline solar panels are made from monocrystalline silicon. Each cell has just one crystal, which means that the free electrons can move more easily and the flow of electricity is greater as a result. They are uniform, black or dark blue, and typically have octagonal-shaped cells.

solar panel

Thin-Film Solar Cells

Thin-film solar panels are flexible sheets of several layers of photovoltaic material, which can be silicon, cadmium telluride, copper indium gallium selenide or concentrated PV cells.

Their main advantage is that they are cheaper, flatter and more aesthetically pleasing than other, bulkier solar panels. This also means that they are ideal for homes with awkward roof shapes, as they can be wrapped around objects. However, they are much less efficient and have a much shorter lifespan.

Which Types of Solar Panel Should I Buy?

Whether you opt to install polycrystalline, monocrystalline or thin-film solar panels will depend on your budget, desired efficiency, desired aesthetics and quantity of roof space available.
If you want a highly efficient renewable energy system, have ample roof space and are happy to invest then monocrystalline solar panels are a great option.
If you want to save on the initial investment, have a tricky roof space and are happy to compromise on efficiency then thin-film solar cells are ideally suited to your situation.

How Much Does Solar Panel Installation Cost?

Give us a call and speak to a member of the Real Power team for a personalised solar panel installation quote today. Our experienced team will be happy to assist you.

solar panel
solar panels

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