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If you’re considering installing solar photovoltaics (PV) one of the factors affecting the final price and performance of the system is which type of solar panels to choose.
There are several different types of panel available, but it is worth describing some key factors first.
The term ‘efficiency’ is a much misunderstood term, but it relates to how much power the panel produces for a given area of panel. Note that a 250W high efficiency panel will produce the same amount of power as a 250W lower efficiency panel, but the high efficiency panel will be smaller.
Hence efficiency only really becomes important for small roofs, where high efficiency panels are used to maximise the amount of power that can be produced from the roof area. For large roofs there is no real benefit in using high efficiency panels if you can install the size of system you want with standard panels.
Most panels are either polycrystalline or monocrystalline, which refers to the way they are manufactured. They have broadly similar characteristics and efficiencies, with monocrystalline panels often being available in slightly higher power classes.
We can advise you on the most suitable panel for your particular application. Because we are completely independent, we are not tied to providing one make of panel – we will propose a panel that we believe best fits your requirements and can source any make from anywhere in the world if required.
Monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels are normally supplied with a silver anodised frame. Some are available with a black frame and backing sheet which can make them more attractive and blend in better with the architecture of the building. Black panels are normally slightly more expensive.
Thin film panels are nearly always black in appearance and have black frames.
Hybrid panels are normally supplied with black frames and have an option to have a black backing sheet as well.
Please note these documents are made available for general information only. The copyright belongs to the respective brands/manufacturers. Solar installation plans should be based on professional advice. No guarantee is made about the accuracy or updatedness or completeness of the information in these documents.