3 Main types of solar panels

types of solar panels

The three most common types of solar panels on the market are monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin-film solar panels

Most of the solar panels on the market for residential solar energy systems today can be divided into three categories: monocrystalline solar panels, polycrystalline solar panels and thin-film solar panels.

The solar cells that make up the panel determine the type. Each type of solar cell has different characteristics, making a particular panel more suitable for different situations.


Monocrystalline solar panels are the maximum famous sun panels utilized in rooftop sun panel installations today.

Monocrystalline silicon solar cells are produced using the so-called Czochralski method, in which “seed” silicon crystals are placed in a vat of hot, pure molten silicon. This process forms a single crystal of silicon called an ingot and cuts it into thin silicon wafers for use in solar modules.


Polycrystalline panels also called “polycrystalline panels”, are popular with homeowners looking to install solar panels on a budget. Like monocrystalline panels, polycrystalline panels are made up of silicon solar cells. However, due to the different cooling processes, several crystals are formed instead of one. Polycrystalline panels used in residential buildings typically contain 60 solar cells.

Thin film

Because of their low efficiency, thin-film solar cells are mainly used in large-scale urban and industrial solar installations. Thin-film solar panels are made by applying a thin layer of photovoltaic material to a hard surface such as glass. Some of these photovoltaic materials include amorphous silicon (aSi), copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), and cadmium telluride (CdTe). Each of these materials creates a different “type” of solar cells, but they all fall under the category of thin-film solar cells. During manufacturing, photovoltaic materials form thin, lightweight sheets that can in some cases be flexible.

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