Monocrystalline silicon solar panels: These are the most efficient type of solar panels, with a conversion efficiency of 15-22%. They are made from a single crystal of silicon and have a uniform dark colour.
Polycrystalline silicon solar panels: These are also made from silicon, but from multiple crystals. They are slightly less efficient than monocrystalline panels, with a conversion efficiency of 13-16%. They have a bluish color and a speckled appearance.
Thin-film solar panels: These are made from a variety of materials, including amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride, and copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS). They are less efficient than silicon panels, with a conversion efficiency of 7-13%. They are also lighter and more flexible, and can be used in a wider range of applications.
Bifacial solar panels: These are a type of solar panel that can absorb light from both sides, increasing their efficiency. They are available in monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film varieties, with efficiency ratings similar to their single-sided counterparts.
It’s worth noting that efficiency ratings can vary depending on factors such as the quality of the materials used, the manufacturing process, and the location and orientation of the panels. Additionally, while higher efficiency is generally desirable, it’s not always the most important factor in choosing a solar panel. Other factors such as cost, durability, and suitability for a particular application should also be considered.