You’ve probably read in your geography text books that the Earth will run out of its natural energy sources in a few decades. Now, I don’t know how authentic that is – I’m not a geography expert, but there is no denying we live in a world with an energy-crisis. Some developing and under-developed countries still don’t have a 24/7 supply of electricity, while others don’t have electricity at all. But worry not! The energy crisis is the reason why manufacturers saw the need to build alternative electricity sources – solar panels.
I’m sure everyone is well aware of what solar panels are since they have become increasingly common throughout the world. In the simplest words possible: they trap sunlight, store it and use it to generate electrical energy. Sure, the cost of installing them is a little heavy on the budget but it’s definitely cheaper in the long run. Another catch to having solar panels installed in your home or office is that you need an ample amount of sunlight for the panels to work efficiently. So if you’re living in an area where sunlight is scarce, let’s say for example Greenland, solar panels might not do it for you.
Thinking of getting these sunshine-friendly photovoltaic panels for your residence or workplace? Here are some tips for a smarter purchase.
Choosing your type: Mono-Crystalline vs. Poly-Crystalline
The most popular material used in solar panels globally is silicon. In fact 95% of the solar panels in the U.S have silicon-based solar panels. But these silicon panels have further variations that need to be looked at.
The mono-crystalline silicon solar panel consists of cylindrically shaped silicon pieces. The pieces are joined together to give the characteristic uniform look of these solar panels. Mono-crystalline silicon panels are energy efficient and have the best performance than any other variety. They have a long life and are able to store sunlight for a longer time so that the panels can work even in the dark for a few days. They are compact and require less space too. However, a few drawbacks to this type of solar panel are that it’s pretty expensive and the installation can cost a fortune. These solar panels don’t work that well in the winters and any occlusion like dirt or snow can seriously affect their efficiency.
The poly-crystalline silicon solar panel, on the other hand, can perform better in cold temperatures and the installation process isn’t as costly as the mono-crystalline type. It is, however, a lot less efficient and takes up a large surface area. Furthermore, if you’re planning to have them installed for you home, you should know they don’t have the best design unlike the mono-crystalline solar panel.
Other varieties of silicon that are much less common and are not silicon-based include Thin Film Solar Cells, Cadmium Telluride based cells, Copper Indium Gallium Selenide based cells and the String Ribbon Solar panels etc.
BEST SOLAR PANELS IN THE U.S.
Sometimes choosing the best solar panel solely based on its type can be a challenge and might not even help you make the best buy. To help you further, here is a list of some of the best solar panels in the market that you should consider installing.
One of the best in the market, Kyocera is polycrystalline type of panel. It has a trendy design unlike most polycrystalline products, and has many features that make it stand at the top of its game. They generate a total power of 315 watts and the energy efficiency of the Kyocera panels is pretty decent compared to most solar panels. It is also weather-resistant and can withstand extreme temperatures ranging from one extreme to the other. These panels are also pretty durable and can withstand 115 pounds worth of snow, making it ideal for colder environments. The Kyocera solar panels also have a warranty of up to 10 years and excellent customer services.
Grape Solar 390W
The Grape Solar 390W is a mono-crystalline type of solar panel with energy efficiency just a little less than the Kyocera panels. As the name indicates, the Grape Solar Cell generates 390 Watts of power and has a warranty, like the Kyocera model, of up to 10 years. Although the panels are mono-crystalline in type, they can endure extreme ranges of temperatures as well. These panels are easily maintained and you can clean the dust and grind with water.
The Suntech solar panels are super easy to maintain and cleaning them is no task at all. They are a mono-crystalline type and generate about 250 watts of power. Like its competitors, it can withstand harsh weathers and temperatures. The warranty is long (10 to 25 years) however consumers have reported issues with the customer care services. The Suntech solar panels have a decent energy efficiency percentage (around 15%) and are pretty durable too!
Probably the best thing about the Samsung solar panel is that it is extremely durable and can withstand heavy amounts of snow. They are also quite resistant and are able to endure high velocity winds as well. The Samsung LPC250SM is a mono-crystalline silicon based solar panel with a good energy efficiency percentage. The panels can each generate 250 watt of power. The warranty is for about 5 years but can extend up to 25 years depending upon the power output, and the customer service is great as expected of Samsung.
Lumos LSX 250-60M
Like the Samsung solar panels, Lumos also offers a highly resistant and sturdy model that can withstand winds at high velocities and heavy amounts of snow. The panels are a mono-crystalline type with an efficiency percentage a little less than the other panels discussed above, but still pretty reasonable. The Lumos solar panel comes in a fashionable, aesthetic design with an all-glass structure. The solar panel works in extreme ranges of temperatures, from very hot to very cold. The total power it produces is about 250 Watts and is a great purchase if you’re looking to reduce your electricity bills.