As the world progresses, the importance of Green Energy is becoming apparent to everyone. One of the best green energy sources for a house or remote power systems for cabins is a Solar Power System. One of, if not the most component of a solar power system is a Solar module.
What is a Solar Module
Definition of Solar Module is:
“A Solar Module is a single photovoltaic panel that is made by the assemblage of connected solar cells. The solar cells in a Solar Module absorb sunlight as a source of energy to generate electricity”
It is also more commonly referred to as a Solar Panel. Many of these solar modules are used simultaneously to provide electrical power for buildings.
Due to the large recognition of the financial benefits and eco-friendliness of Solar Power Systems, many are moving over to the better option. But with a variety of options in the market, a layman might not know which one he should buy. Here at GoForSolar we’ll resolve such confusions by giving you a brief intro about each one, and which one should be bought according to your budget and needs.
Types of Solar Modules
There are three main types of solar modules in the market available for you. All three of them are different in prices and their efficiency.
Here are the three main types of Solar Modules:
Monocrystalline Solar Module
Monocrystalline Solar Panels are the most common solar panels utilized in rooftop solar panel installations nowadays.
Despite being the oldest type of solar panel, they are the most developed and efficient type of solar module. The modules are made up of 40 monocrystalline solar cells. The Czochralski process, in which a seed crystal of silicon is dropped into a molten vat of pure silicon at a high temperature, is used to make monocrystalline silicon solar cells. Each of these is constructed entirely of silicon because sunlight interacts with pure silicon, and monocrystalline cells appear black.
Properties of Monocrystalline Solar Modules:
- The life span of Monocrystalline Solar Modules is about 25-30 years.
- The module cells utilize a pyramid pattern that offers a larger surface area in order to collect more energy from sunlight.
- Their cells reduce reflection, hence increasing absorption; the cells of this type of solar module are coated with silicon nitride.
This means Monocrystalline modules are an excellent choice if you are looking for something long-term and are willing to invest a considerable amount of money into green energy for your house.
Polycrystalline Solar Module
Polycrystalline Modules, also known as Multicrystalline panels are a good choice among homeowners on a budget who want to install Solar Modules. Polycrystalline panels are constructed of silicon solar cells, mostly like Monocrystalline modules. The only difference being the cooling method utilized, which in this case results in the formation of more than one crystal.
Polycrystalline Modules have many advantages just like monocrystalline modules.
- These are slightly less expensive than monocrystalline modules due to their easier method of production.
- Their energy conversion efficiency during dim-light conditions such as cloudy weather, winter, etc is better than Monocrystalline modules.
- However, their overall conversion efficiency and heat resistance is less than Monocrystalline modules, meaning they’ll comparatively extract less electricity from sunlight.
- The life span of Polycrystalline Solar Modules is about 25 years.
Keeping all of the above-mentioned traits in mind, Polycrystalline modules make for a great choice if you’re looking for something long-lasting while also being affordable.
Thin Film Solar Module
Thin Film Solar Modules are the third type of Solar Module. They get their name from their method of manufacture; Layers of semiconductor materials (silicon, cadmium telluride, and copper indium gallium selenide) are rolled out in a film on a flat surface. After that, a thin coating of photovoltaic material is deposited onto a solid surface, such as glass, to create Thin Film Solar modules.
Properties of Thin Film Solar Modules:
- Thin Film Solar Modules are less costly than monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar modules.
- Due to their production technique, these modules are more flexible and sturdy.
- They are less efficient than all the types of Solar Modules mentioned above.
- Their life span is about 10 to 20 years.
Even after considering their shorter life span, these panels offer the shortest payback time. This means, due to their low cost, they will repay you the money you spent on them.
This type of solar module also makes up for a great choice for those who aren’t looking forward to spending a hefty amount of money on solar modules.
But if you’re looking for something to power your home, this type of solar module isn’t your answer. This is because they would require a lot more area than the other types to provide you with the same quantity of energy.
In short, Monocrystalline Modules are the best when it comes to energy output and lifespan, making them a great choice to power your house as you’ll have limited space to take benefit from on your rooftop.
On the midway, you have Polycrystalline Modules which are a bit cheaper and have bit less energy conversion efficiency. But these two things offset themselves in such a way that it isn’t a loss. Their production is way more eco-friendly than their mono-variant, making this an ideal type of Solar Module.
If you have a lot of area that can be used up by solar modules, then Thin Film modules will be your ideal choice due to their low costs and still considerably decent energy per unit area ratio.