Solar energy panel technology has reached a new height in the last couple of years, and with new technology, comes new ingenuity. There isn’t necessarily a “one-size-fits-all” type of solar panel, but there are many types that are utilized in various ways.
The most commonly used/created solar panels in Kenya will always be residential solar panels, but there are variants of that as well. Accordingly, there are commercial-grade solar panels that are used to power buildings, cities, and are used in solar farms.
The major types of solar panels in Kenya are monocrystalline solar panels and polycrystalline solar panels
In this article, we will go into detail about the various types of solar panels and the abilities of each one.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
Monocrystalline solar panels have cells that are made of silicon wafers. These wafers are assembled into rows and form a rectangle, which is then covered with a glass sheet. Generally, solar panels that are lined with black cells are monocrystalline solar panels. Since it’s a singular cell sheet, the cells appear black because of how light interacts with the pure silicon crystal.
Monocrystalline solar panels generate a considerable amount of energy while having the highest efficiencies and power capacity out of all three types of solar panels. Monocrystalline solar panels usually have efficiencies of 20% or higher. Monocrystalline solar panels are generally larger in size as well, with many monocrystalline solar panels within the 300 watts to now exceeding 400-watt panels
Monocrystalline solar panels are the most powerful and will give you the most energy and return on investment. They are strong, efficient, and easy on the eyes. However, they are the most expensive and heavy. If you can afford them, they will be a great addition to your home and your energy-saving needs.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Polycrystalline solar panels are also made from silicon. However, instead of using a single crystal of silicon, manufacturers melt many fragments of silicon together to form the wafers for the panel. Polycrystalline solar cells are also referred to as “multi-crystalline,” or many-crystal silicon.
Polycrystalline solar panels generally have lower efficiencies than monocrystalline cell options because there are many more crystals in each cell meaning less freedom for the electrons to move. Due to the easier manufacturer process, these panels have a lower price point on average. In addition, polycrystalline solar panels tend to have a blue hue instead of the black hue of monocrystalline solar panels.
Because they are less efficient than other types of panels, you will need more to provide electricity for your home but their individual cost is lower.
What is the most effective type of solar panel?
Due to higher solar panel efficiency ratings and overall ability to produce more solar power per square foot, monocrystalline solar panels are generally seen as the most effective and efficient type of solar panel. However, polycrystalline solar panels in Kenya are a great option if you need to save a bit of money on upfront costs, or if you prefer panels that have a blue-ish tint. At the end of the day, both types will help you save on your electricity bill.