Articles tagged "panel technology"

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Example of polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panels.
Which type of solar panel is best: monocrystalline or polycrystalline?
When it comes to buying solar panels for your home, there isn’t a lot that obviously differentiates one solar panel from other. If you buy a car, there’s dozens, if not hundreds of different features, styles, and add-on options that you can take into account. But with a solar panel, there’s really only a handful of characteristics that make one product different from another. One of these is the type of material the individual solar cells are made of.
Example of an AC module (Courtesy Panasonic)
What is an AC solar panel?
Solar panels are magical things that turn sunlight into electricity. The electrons that flow out of a solar panel move in a steady stream, known as direct current (DC). But because Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse triumphed over Thomas Edison in what is now called The War of the Currents (they even made a movie out of it!) we use alternating current (AC) in our homes instead of DC. This means that the DC electricity generated by solar panels needs to be converted into AC before your home can make use of it.
What is a PERC solar cell?
If you’re a homeowner who is comparing solar panels, there are really only a few features that obviously differentiate one panel from another, and efficiency tends to be one that manufacturers place front and center. Solar panel efficiency refers to how much light a solar panel converts into electricity. The higher the efficiency, the more electricity you’ll get from the panel for the same amount of light. For a rooftop deployment with limited space, this can be a very important feature.
What are bifacial solar panels?
When you’re trying to choose the right solar panel for your project, solar panel efficiency stands out as one of the key features. You might be familiar with polycrystalline and monocrystalline silicon, and know that mono solar cells have higher efficiency, generating more electricity from the same amount of sunlight compared to poly cells. But you generally pay more money for that higher performance. In the quest for ever-higher efficiency, manufacturers have developed bifacial solar cells.
Photo of six different examples of solar shingles.
8 alternatives to the Tesla Solar Roof (updated Oct 2019)
Solar shingles or solar tiles are a class of photovoltaics that are broadly known as building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV). They are photovoltaic modules that are made to mimic the look of normal roofing products, like asphalt shingles or slate tiles. They are a small niche of the overall home solar market, but got a prominent boost when Tesla introduced their Solar Roof. While Tesla was not the first manufacturer to enter the market, they were innovators by creating a glass-faced solar tile that looks like a conventional roofing product and comes in a wider range of styles than other solar shingles available on the market.