Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Thinking About Solar?

Thinking about utilizing solar energy as a way of greening your life and  lightening your environmental footprint? When choosing panels for your solar  power system, there are a number of factors worth considering.

Cost

The cost of a solar panel is determined in part by the size (in Watts), the  physical size, the brand, the durability / longevity (or warranty period) and  any certifications the solar panel might have. Choosing a solar panel on price  alone is not wise, as it may not fit the area you wish to install it, may not  have the necessary certifications to qualify for government rebates, or may not  have the warranty required for economic payback of the power produced.

Durability / Longevity / Warranty

The durability or longevity of a solar panel is important for a number of  reasons. Firstly, if the solar panel only has a 10 year warranty and it is used  in a grid connect system you would expect the solar panel to produce enough  power to pay for itself within 10 years.

Also, if the panel is to be used in a critical system you shouldn’t risk  installing solar panels that aren’t as robust as the others. Reputable solar  panels will have warranty a period of 25 years.

Solar Panel Size and Wattage

The size of the solar panel in Watts will directly affect the price, as solar  panels are usually priced (and compared) in dollars per Watt.

Watts are related to the output of each panel; meaning a 100 Watt panel under  ideal conditions will generate 100 Watts of electricity each hour and a 200 Watt  panel will generate 200 Watts each hour. Therefore expect to pay double price  for the 200 Watt panel, compared to the 100 Watt panel.

The output of a panel also affects the physical size of the panel, meaning  the 200Watt panel will be larger in size to the 100 Watt panel.

The type of solar cells used in its production also determines the size of  the solar panel. They key issue to consider is that your system overall has  enough Watts to power your appliances, and that the solar panels will physically  fit in the area you wish to install them.

Solar Panel Efficiency

There’s much debate about efficiency in solar panels, i.e. how effective the  panel is in converting sunlight to electricity; but the key point to remember is  that a 100 watt solar panel will produce 100 watts; regardless of its efficiency  ratings.

Solar Cell Type

There are 3 main types of solar cells.

  • Mono-crystalline silicon: The most efficient and produces the smallest solar cells, and therefore the  smallest panels.
  • Poly-crystalline (or multi-crystalline) silicon: Produces the next most efficient type of cells, but equivalent wattage panels  are larger than their monocrystalline counterparts
  • Amorphous (or thin-film) silicon: Uses the least amount of silicon and also produces the least efficient solar  cells. This means thin film system take up more area than the other two, but it  has the advantage of offering flexible panels that can be used on curved or  irregular surfaces not suited to solid panels.

Solar Panel Suitability

Mono-crystalline and multi-crystalline work very well in bright cool  conditions, whereas amorphous (thin-film) silicon will be more efficient at  higher temperatures.

We generally recommend monocrystalline or multi-crystalline for large  unshaded roofs, and amorphous panels for roofs with partial shading.

Regardless of the technology currently in use, a solar panel in full shade  will only generate a small fraction of its rated capacity; so the “shade  tolerant” features you may see advertised can be somewhat misleading.

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1Solar Kit$8,425.00
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