Types of Solar Energy Panels

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In today’s world whenever one takes the name of “solar energy” the only image that is conjured is that of big and ugly solar panels mounted on roof tops and in back yards. Even though these solar energy panels take up space, they help in significantly reducing the amount of electricity which is drawn from fossil fuels, and provide us with clean, renewable energy which is harnessed from the sun.

Types of Solar Energy Panels

The following are some of the installation options available today.


When it comes to solar panels, the granddaddy of them all, are rooftop installations which are perfect for residential homes and for commercial application as well. The best part about having solar panels installed on the roof is that they take up no extra space of a property.


For houses that don’t have enough space on their roofs, ground mounted solar panels are the way to go. The ground mounted solar panels are attached to specially designed racks, which are then secured to the ground.


Utility scale solar panels are available in various sizes, and are designed keeping the maximum output in mind. They are mostly used for producing electricity which is used to power multiple buildings at a time.

Canopy Installations

The canopy installation epitomizes the phrase “double duty.” The installations are similar to ground-mounted ones, but the panels are lifted higher up, allowing them to serve as both power generators and shade providers.


These are perfect for areas which get less sunlight or for those who simply want the highest level of efficiency. The innovative tracker design maximizes the panels’ exposure by actually tilting as the sun moves across the sky.

Mono-Crystalline Silicon (Mono-Silicon or Single Silicon)

These are considered as one of the most effective and efficient types of solar panels. In other words, when sunlight hits these puppies, more of it turns into electricity than the other types. As a result of their high silicon content, they’re also more expensive, so be ready to part with a considerable amount of moolah if you’re looking to buy them.

Polycrystalline Silicon (Multi-crystalline, Multi-Silicon, Ribbon)

“Poly” panels have lower silicon levels than “mono” panels. In general, that makes them less expensive to produce, but they’re also slightly less efficient too. The good news is that their overall construction design can often make up for the efficiency loss. You can tell poly-silicon panels by their groovy mélange of silicon woven through thin rectangular conduit wires.

BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaics)

BIPV’s can look like real roofing tiles (solar shingles anyone). That’s nice, but the good looks will cost you a lot more. Secondly, they’re way less efficient than conventional PV, so if you do not live on the sunny side of the planet, don’t bother with the BIPV solar panels.

Solar Hot Water (Thermal) Panels

And last but certainly not the least, this one has nothing to do with electricity, instead it can be utilized for paying the gas company to heat your hot water tank, solar thermal panels produce hot water for your home and/or your pool. Some systems can even provide heat and air conditioning too.

Ending Note

It is no secret that the two major selling points of switching to a solar powered lifestyle are first of all, saving money and reducing your carbon footprint. Using the following tips will enable you to save some pennies while you do your part for the environment. For more solar technology news you can always log on to Technogigs.

Source by Moe Tarhini