How Do You Choose The Best Solar Panels?
Solar panels provide renewable energy for your home, which helps the environment and reduces your electricity bill. But not all panels are alike. The material a panel is made of, what solar inverter it uses, and how it mounts to your roof determines what environments it works best in. Before you buy solar panels for your home, research the different factors and decide which option is right for you.
Picking a Panel Material
Choose monocrystalline solar panels for efficiency. Monocrystalline solar panels are the best at converting light to energy because of their high silicon purity. That being said, monocrystalline solar panels are often the most expensive—this option is best if you want the highest productivity and price tag.
- Monocrystalline solar panels cost between $300-700 USD per panel.
- Monocrystalline solar panels also produce the most waste when they're manufactured. If you're buying solar panels to go green, another material may suit your needs better.
- All solar panels are made of silicon. The higher the silicon purity, the better your panel will work, which is why monocrystalline panels are ideal.
Go with polycrystalline solar panels for an environmentally-friendly option.
Polycrystalline solar panels utilize all of the silicon material they're manufactured with, making them the "greenest" panel option. Polycrystalline solar panels are also cheaper than monocrystalline panels, though they are not quite as efficient.
- Polycrystalline solar panels usually cost between $200-500 USD per panel.
- Polycrystalline solar panels do not do as well in warm temperatures. Hot climates with temperatures regularly above around 80 °F (27 °C) are not suitable for polycrystalline panels.
Buy thin-film solar panels for the most budget-friendly option.
Thin-film panels are cost-efficient to make and are usually the cheapest option. They also, however, degrade faster than other panels. Choose thin-film if you need a simple solar panel that may need more repairs over the years
- Polycrystalline solar panels usually cost between $175-300 USD per panel.
- Thin-film panels usually need the most space and are less practical for smaller homes. They may need up to twice as much room as a mono- or polycrystalline solar panel with the same energy output.