Are you interested in saving money every month on your energy bills? Looking to find ways to make your home and lifestyle more eco-friendly, helping to preserve the environment?
If so, adding solar panels to your home is one of the best ways to do this. As you begin researching solar panel companies in your area and what types of solar panels work best, you may come across thin film solar panels.
What are thin film solar panels, and how are they different from other types of panels you can install at your home? That’s what we cover below, so keep reading.
Different Types of Solar Panels
There are 3 main types of solar panels that you can get; monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film.
Monocrystalline panels are the most efficient at generating energy. They are the best-looking panels, so you won’t be ashamed to install them in a visible area. They are also the most expensive.
Polycrystalline are more affordable, a bit less efficient, and not quite as good looking. Thin-film panels are the least efficient solar panel. However, their other benefits may outweigh any inefficiencies.
Need help deciding which panel is best for you? You can reach out to Blue Raven Solar for recommendations for your home and area.
What Are Thin Film Solar Panels?
What sets residential thin film solar panels apart from the other 2 types is the materials used to create the panel. Monocrystalline and polycrystalline are made of silicone assembled in grids.
Thin-film panels are made of other materials. One of the most popular material choices is cadmium telluride (CdTe). Panels are assembled out of thin-film layers that help capture sunlight.
This layer of film is much thinner than the sun-capturing grids of the other panel types. While these layers are flexible as opposed to rigid, they are usually still placed inside a frame to protect it. The total thickness may be similar to other panel types.
You can get adhesive thin-film panels that are essentially flat, stick-on panels that hardly protrude from the roof. These are less durable, however.
Pros and Cons of Thin Film Solar Panels
Because thin-film solar panels are much lighter than other solar panels, they are generally less labor-intensive to install, which makes them a more affordable option. Less weight and lower costs also make them a great option for portable panels, such as on RVs, camper vans, and boats.
Since these panels are much lighter than traditional panels, they are often used in large commercial installations. Flat, commercial roofs usually can’t handle the weight of traditional panels, so these are the only option.
The only downside to thin-film panels is that they are less efficient. The efficiency rating for thin-film panels is about 11%, while the efficiency of monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels can range from 15% to more than 20%.
Are Thin Film Solar Panels Right for You?
Due to the lower-efficiency ratings, you’ll need more panels to generate enough power to totally replace your need for local electricity. If you have a small home and limited panel space, seeking a more efficient panel may be the best option.
On the other hand, if you simply want to lower your electricity bill and don’t need to fully replace it, thin film solar panels may be the perfect fit.
And if your looking for more advice on making your house a home, be sure to visit the rest of our blog today.