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The Types of Solar Panels for Houses: A Simple Guide



The Types of Solar Panels for Houses: A Simple Guide

Did you know that the first solar panel invention was announced on April 25, 1954, in New Jersey? If you are thinking of buying solar panels for your house, then you might be feeling overwhelmed with all the solar panel options. We have put together this guide to share the different types of solar panels to help educate you further on your choices.

Read on to learn more.

Solar Roof Shingles

These are one of the newer solar panel options that are becoming more popular because they mimic asphalt shingles, but they are actually panels operating a solar energy system. The great thing is that solar shingles are just as durable as regular shingles and they also protect your home and roof, able to withstand pretty much any type of weather element.

Depending on the solar shingles you choose, some will produce between 13 and up to 67 watts of solar energy. It is easy to integrate solar shingles and they usually come with an app connectivity along with software that makes it easy for homeowners to track their productivity and efficiency. 

The main drawback of solar shingles is that in many places there is a waitlist to get your hands on them. Another drawback is that they are more expensive than any other types of solar panels. The average cost to install a solar shingle roof system is about $6/W where a traditional system is around $2.65/W.

Keep in mind that this cost is a drastic change from back in 1977 where it cost $77 per watt for the most simple solar cell.


These solar panel cells are made of pure silicon, which makes them a bit more efficient. The cylindrical shape also helps each solar cell achieve better efficiency. Silicon ingots are carved into wafers with round, smooth cell edges.

The way they are formed and shaped allows them to produce more electricity, allowing you to need fewer of them. Because they are more effective, they also cost more compared to polycrystalline solar panels. They are around $0.50 more per wattage.

Monocrystalline panels tend to come with longer warranties because they usually last longer.


Polycrystalline panels are a combination of silicon crystals instead of just one type of silicon like its counterpart polycrystalline panels. The fragments of silicone are all melted down and then poured into a mold. Because the process is not very wasteful, these panels are more affordable than other solar options.

One of the cons of this option is that they are less efficient because they can’t generate as much electricity from the sun. They also can’t operate as well in high-temperature environments. This option is not best in warm weather because of this, so if you live in an area with heat year round, you might want to stay away from this option.

The reason these are so popular is because of their pricing. They typically cost around $1/W to install.

Thin Film Solar Cells

This panel option is even newer than the solar shingle option, and as of the writing of this post, they are not used very often in homes yet. The way they are made is by rolling out layers of silicon, copper indium gallium selenide, and cadmium telluride (semiconductor materials) as a film on a surface.

One of the cons is that thin film solar panels require a lot of roof space. They are also less efficient than crystalline solar panels and they degrade faster than other options, so they tend to come with a shorter warranty than other panels.

A major pro is that these panels are more customizable and there is the option to manufacture them into solar shingles.

Bifacial Panels

Bifacial panels have the ability to produce power when either of its sides receives sunlight because the back of the cells are also exposed. This increases their efficiency as long as they are installed with the right amount of tilt and against reflective surfaces.

The performance of bifacial panels depends on the surroundings. For example, how many trees are in your yard, amount of space to tilt the panels, etc. In the future, these panels are expected to become one of the top dominant technologies because they are capable of receiving sunlight from both the front and back, increasing how much power they produce.

Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) Panels

These are not commonly used in homes, but they can be, they are mainly used for commercial buildings. CPV panels can capture plenty of sunlight because they are equipped with mirrors, lenses, and solar trackers. They also have cooling systems that help the sunlight that is captured be converted as efficiently as possible.

Thanks to the added equipment, these panels are more difficult and more expensive to maintain than other panels. For this reason, when they are made, manufacturers use photovoltaic cells that are the most efficient. This extra efficiency helps justify any added maintenance costs.

In aeronautics, CPV panels have been in high demand because of their extremely high efficiency rate of around 46%.

Double Glass Panels

These panels are defined by the way the cells are housed instead of by the type of photovoltaic cells they use. Normally, cells are connected into modules on a polymer sheet and then encased with a metal frame. Double glass panels don’t use a polymer back-sheet and sometimes don’t use the metal frame either.

The glass is heat treated to lower the reactivity and the degradation rates. This process makes the panels more reliable when it comes to output and it’s extremely durable. Double glass panels are normally frameless, so this lowers the cost of production.

The frameless build also means that the panels don’t have to be grounded, but installers have to be more careful during the installation process to keep them from breaking. Once they are in place and installed, they are as sturdy as panels that are framed, but they are easier to clean and less susceptible to corrosion.

Which Solar Panel Is Best?

This all depends on personal preference and power needs, but a few facts to keep in mind can make it easier for you to determine which panel is best for you. If you’re looking at crystalline solar panels, they have the highest efficiency of all panels. Polycrystalline panels are around 15% efficient, and they are the more budget friendly option. 

Monocrystalline panels are around 15%-20% efficient. Thin film solar panels are the most resilient and best for unique roof styles because they are the most customizable of all options.

If you have limited space to install your panels and you want to maximize your electricity bill savings, then a high efficiency monocrystalline solar panel system might be the best option. For those with plenty of space for their install, they can save money upfront by installing lower efficiency, and budget friendly polycrystalline panels.

A roof with an odd or unique shape that can’t handle the weight of traditional solar equipment will do best with thin-film panels. Once you decide which is the best option for your household power needs, then you can look at financing your system with SmartStart to help make it more affordable.

What Are Solar Cells Made Of?

The chemical element most solar cells are made out of is silicon. Silicon has semiconducting properties and in most types of solar cells the silicon is found in a crystal form. Small amounts of impurities are added to the silicon crystals because 100% pure silicon doesn’t transfer electric current.

The impurities added are typically boron and phosphorus. Silicon that has phosphorus added is called N-type (for negative) because it has a surplus of electrons. When boron is added to the silicon, this is called the P-type (for positive) because it lacks in electrons.

Solar cells also have an anti-reflective coating because silicon’s natural luster causes sunlight to reflect off of it and this defeats the purpose of trying to create electrical power. All the silicon crystals are grouped inside an electric field, and then a glass is used to cover and protect all the components from mother nature.

What Is Efficiency?

How well solar panels absorb sunlight and convert it to electrical energy is what we call the efficiency of the panel. Light has the ability to travel in different wavelengths, but not everything is absorbed by the solar panels. The typical band gap energy is measured in electron volts (eV) which is absorbed and then transformed into electricity by the solar panel.

Internal resistance of a material is another problem when it comes to energy efficiency because this resistance results in energy loss.

Some panels are covered with a metal grid because this allows the electrons to move easier in the electric field. Moving around allows the electrons to complete the circuit and create the electrical power your home needs.

Choosing a Solar Inverter

The solar inverter that you opt for will make a difference in how efficient your entire system is. Solar inverters are a critical component because they are how the DC electricity gathered by the panels is converted into AC electricity, which is what we use in our homes.

The three basics kinds of inverters include string, microinverters, and power optimizers. The most common are string inverters, and they are the most budget friendly of the three common options. These are best for well-lit roofs that have a flat pane and little shade throughout the day.

Microinverters are more expensive but have a higher energy-efficiency rating. These panels operate autonomously or independently.

Power optimizers are more moderately priced and they perform well even if the home is partially shaded. These inverters condition power for more efficiency.


Not only do you have to decide which solar panels are best along with which inverter, you also have to choose the best mounting for your panels. The most common mounting options include track and fixed.

The most popular option is the fixed mount because it works well even with pitched roofs. Fixed mounts are also less expensive but they can make the panels less efficient.

Track mounts are more efficient because they can be placed to absorb most of the sun-rays throughout the day. These mounts also work well with flat roofs and in flat spaces. Unfortunately, this is the more expensive option if you are on a tighter budget.

For homes that want to install their panels in an alternate location like their backyard, track mounts are the perfect option.

Quick Guide on How They Work

First, the energy from the rays of the sun are absorbed by the solar panels. The solar panels convert that sunlight into DC electricity before it is used to power a home. Then, the solar inverter converts that DC electricity into AC electricity like we mentioned earlier.

The AC electricity has the capability of traveling long distances and unlike DC electricity it can flow in multiple directions. The inverters are sometimes installed behind each panel or some people prefer to install one large inverter where all the electricity is collected and converted into usable electricity and then distributed throughout the home.

Feeling Like a Pro About the Types of Solar Panels

Now that you are familiar with the different types of solar panels, you can make an informed decision of which home solar panels you prefer. Now you too can take advantage of the most abundant energy resource that is found on earth. An incredible amount of 173,000 terawatts of solar energy strikes the Earth non-stop.

Did our guide help you out? Please continue browsing the rest of this section for our other guides and tips.


Earnviews: How Startups Can Utilize Instagram to Amplify Growth?



Earnviews: How Startups Can Utilize Instagram to Amplify Growth?

Instagram has evolved into a powerful marketing tool to promote any startup. You must plan the content to increase the company’s fame and name on Instagram. Start to know more about the user’s interests and try to create informative content for your business. It will help to grab the audience’s attention. In addition, surf the internet to gain more ideas to know buy instagram video views to escalate the reach among the Instagram audience. You can also post many videos frequently to develop the business on Instagram.

Now, read this article to learn the tactics and tricks to amplify your business growth. Let’s begin!

Post-Good Content

Create and post good informative content to make the users understand the brand’s value. It will help you to increase the fame of the company on Instagram. See the competitors and create your content. Don’t copy the exact content, think well and discuss with the team members. Create good content and upload it on Instagram to grab the audience’s attention.

Many marketers choose to upload an attractive image of the product. So, follow the same idea to get more followers and grow your company. Try to keep the users engaged by posting promotions frequently.

Partner With Influencers

Many people on Instagram like to get updates from their favorite celebrities. Choosing these prominent account holders as your partner can help you to grow your business soon. As a startup owner, try to reach out to a skilled influencer to promote the brand on a medium like Instagram. If you do, it will increase the revenue of the business.

Influencer marketing is a great strategy to create more awareness for your brand. You can discuss with influencers and create excellent content and promote the brand. This idea will work well and support a lot to get success in the business.

Leverage Hashtags

Hashtags are one of the essential steps to enhance the post’s discoverability. Instagram will allow its users to add about 30 hashtags to their posts. Including about 5-6 hashtags to enhance your reach will be better. You can try to use Earnviews to elevate your presence on this Instagram. Use relevant hashtags for all the posts to make the users gain more engagement.

Upload Stories

Instagram Stories are an effective way to increase engagement and sales simultaneously. It will be displayed at the top of the Instagram app. After 24 hours, it will automatically disappear, so you have to upload the Stories daily. Stories incorporate tools like filters and stickers. Stickers will surely help to reach the target audience quickly.

Select and use polls, quizzes, music stickers, and so on to make the users view the Stories. It will mainly attract many users and purchase the products if you do so. Schedule the videos and images and post at least one Story to keep the audience engaged.

Use Reels

Reels are short videos, and many users regularly post videos to make themselves famous on this Instagram medium. So, you can follow the same idea to expand your brand’s exposure. Many top brands utilize the Instagram Reels feature to enhance their reach among Instagram users. So, post Reels with creative content to catch the user’s eyeballs. If you do, it will help to quickly develop the business on Instagram.   

Go Live

Hosting a live on Instagram can pave the way to connect with followers. Startup companies mainly focus on gaining more exposure to sell their brands. So, use this as a strategy to build a strong community on Instagram medium. Share news and details of the features of the product on live. It will make the users visit and see more details on your profile.

Answer the queries to clear their doubts and make the users feel more worry-free about buying the products. For instance, introduce the new product through a live session. It will be more effective in reaching the target users. Remember that you must previously announce the time and date to the users. If you do, you will get more followers on your live to grow your brand.

Run Ads

Instagram allows all business accounts to run ads on this platform. Create a stunning post and run ads to create awareness for your brand. Startups should always prefer such a marketing strategy to amplify their business on Instagram. There are different ad formats, and the business person can choose the best way.

Selecting native ads can surely help to grow your startup on Instagram. However, you must post more interesting ads to grab the audience’s attention. This is the only effective way to reach the potential user quickly. Running ads can gain more exposure and helps to reach many audiences. Plan and implement all your campaigns to succeed in a minimum amount of time.

Track the Results

Tracking the results can make you know your post’s performance. Use the insights and know your post’s number of users and engagement. Additionally, try to utilize Earnviews to enrich the brand’s exposure among Instagram users. Startups can use this specific idea to make their brand get familiar. Finally, remember to track the results regularly after posting the images and videos on Instagram. If you do, it will upgrade the business growth.

Last Glance

Instagram is one of many social media platforms to share multiple photos. Marketers also use it to sell their products. So, startups can undoubtedly trust the medium to promote their brands. Start to post more good content after knowing the competitor’s strategies. Work with influencers to make your brand more famous. Use hashtags to increase visibility and sales simultaneously. Upload Stories and Reels at least once to keep the users know details. It will also help to keep the users engaged with the content and pave the way to build a strong community. Next, run ads on Instagram to create awareness for the brand. It will even help to grow your followers in a short time. Finally, track the results to know the performance and improve the content. If you follow all these strategies, it will amplify your business growth.

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