By Wavetra Staff – Andrew Okpeli
This article will help you have a better understanding solaer panels and also solar in the Nigerian and of course West African market which includes Ghana, Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast, Niger, Mali, etc.
Solar panels are also referred to as photovoltaic panels. They are referred to as photovoltaic because of their abilities to trap sunlight and convert it to electrical energy. They are classified into three major types, namely:
- Monocrystalline solar panels,
- Polycrystalline solar panels, and
- Thin film (amorphous) solar panels.
Monocrystalline solar panels
Monocrystalline panels are the most efficient and most expensive option of all types of solar panels. This is largely due to the process of manufacturing-because the solar cells are made from a single silicon crystal, manufacturers have to absorb the cost of creating these crystals.
Polycrystalline solar panels
Typically, polycrystalline solar panels are cheaper than monocrystalline solar panels. This is because, instead of a single, pure silicon crystal, the cells are produced from silicon fragments. This enables a much simpler process of cell manufacturing, thus costing less to manufacturers and ultimately end users.
Thin-film solar panels
The cost of thin-film solar panels will depend largely on the type of thin-film panel; Cadmium telluride (CdTe) is generally the cheapest type of solar panel to produce, while Copper Indium Gallium selenide (CIGS) solar panels are much more expensive to produce than CdTe or amorphous silicon.
Regardless of the cost of the panel itself, due to additional labor requirements, the overall cost of installing a thin-film solar panel can be lower than installing a monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panel system.
Thin-film solar panel installations are less labor-intensive because they are lighter and more maneuverable, making it easier for installers to carry and secure panels onto the rooftops. This means lower labor costs, which can contribute to a less expensive solar installation as a whole.
Type of panel best for your installation
As you’re choosing the type of solar panel you’d like for your system, much of your decision will come down to the specifics of your property and situation. Monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film panels each have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the solution you should move forward with depends on your property and your goals for the solar project.
Property owners with a lot of space for solar panels can save money upfront by installing lower efficiency, lower-cost polycrystalline panels. If you have limited space available and are looking to maximize your electric bill savings, you can do so by installing high-efficiency, monocrystalline solar panels.
As far as thin-film panels go, it’s most common to choose this type of solar panel if you’re installing on a large, commercial roof that cannot handle the additional weight of traditional solar equipment. These types of roofs can also afford the lower efficiencies of thin-film panels because they have more area to place them on.
To know the best type of solar panel for your installations, attend Wavetra Energy Academy, the best Solar Energy Academy in Nigeria for a thorough knowledge on the different types of solar panels in Nigeria.