Solar PV Panels

Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic cells (also called PV cells) that absorb the sun’s energy and convert it into direct current (DC) electricity.

There are many brands and styles of solar panels, but here are three main types available: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and amorphous thin-film. Monocrystalline are now the predominant type available and Solar Voltaics offer the most advanced versions of these including the latest Topco N-type, glass-glass and Bifacial panels, all with excellent warranties, improved reliability and performance.


Monocrystalline solar panels are made from cells using a single silicon crystal and do not have the multiple grain effect which you can sometimes see in polycrystalline cells. The cells are black and most panels now also come in a black frame to improve visual appearance. For residential use these panels are also available in ‘all black’ where both cells, frame and backing are black, giving a very smart contemporary look.

Polycrystalline solar Panels


Polycrystalline solar panels are made up from cells which are formed from multiple silicon crystals and normally have a deep blue appearance. This technology is gradually being phased out as more efficient monocrystalline cells are being produced.

Which Panels Should I Choose?

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 430W 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.

Power Class

When the cells that make up a solar panel are manufactured, they are tested for power output and sorted into 3 or 4 groups, so that the highest power cells are all used in one class of panel and the next group all used in another, and so on. This means that each make and type of panel is often available in different ‘power classes’ – typically say 420W, 425W or 430W. The panels from the different power classes will all be the same size and look identical, but will be sold according to their power class.


The yield of a solar panel relates to how much energy it will produce under typical weather and light conditions throughout the year. It is a very important factor and can significantly affect the overall output of your solar PV system. Panels from different manufacturers with the same power rating of say 430W can have different yields because they behave differently under lower light levels. The power rating of a panel is measured under standard test conditions of 1000W of solar irradiation at 25C, which is equivalent to a very bright sunny day. We rarely have these conditions for very long in the UK, so it is important to select panels that have a good output under lower light levels too. Solar Voltaics use proprietary solar software to analyse the panel power output data under differing light levels to ensure that panels giving the highest yield are specified for our customers. This combination of high yield, quality and competitive pricing is one of our key aims.


Solar Voltaics works with a range of solar panel manufacturers that are listed as Tier 1 by Bloomberg New Energy. Bloomberg assess a manufacturer’s financial stability and credibility in the market to provide a list of suppliers that are considered ‘bankable’ by financial lenders and have the standing to honour their warranties. We use the same list to ensure that the panels we supply to our customers are of the best quality and are from reliable suppliers.

Our Testimonials

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    • Fantastic job by the Solar Voltaics team. Very polite, professional and tidy. Would certainly recommend. Currently enjoying free energy on the evening of the installation.

    • Solar Voltaics have been superb from start to finish. So good to deal with a human company, no phone queues, quick and thorough survey, very clear explanations of the planned installation. The installers were all great, very tidy and quick. The price has been very competitive and the system is up and running well. Couldn’t recommend them more highly.

    • Fantastic from initial phone call, through to installation, commission, MCS & G99. Very helpful to the non-experts like me and always open to give advice and guidance.

      Competitive price by a very trusted business and it has been a pleasure to use Solar Voltaics!

    • Really good service and support.

    • Solar Voltaics recently installed Solar on my property very professionally from start to finish would recommend.


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