Home Technology “Which Type of Solar Panel Do I Need?” Your Guide to Pick the Perfect Panel

“Which Type of Solar Panel Do I Need?” Your Guide to Pick the Perfect Panel

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Switching to solar is a no-brainer. You can save money, reduce your carbon footprint, and gain a new level of self-sufficiency. But with more varieties on the market daily, choosing the right panel type can take time and effort. Here’s an overview of 3 common varieties to get you started.


Monocrystalline panels are considered the gold standard of solar technology. These panels are made from solar “cells” comprised of a single silicon crystal. While typically more expensive than its counterparts, this type of panel boasts higher efficient ratings and sleeker aesthetics. 

Investing in monocrystalline panels is a good choice if you’re installing your solar system with limited space. This is because you get more bang for your buck. Additionally, these panels have a darker, more minimalist appearance than others, making them easy to integrate into the design of your home or business without drawing excessive attention. These panels also hold up well in warm climates without decreasing efficiency. 

Best for:

  • Smaller spaces
  • Warmer climates
  • A minimalist aesthetic 
  • Anyone willing to pay a higher upfront cost for higher efficiency


Polycrystalline panels are also made from silicon but constructed from many crystal fragments instead of a large, singular crystal, says ArchitecturalDigest. This means construction is typically less labor and resource intensive, making them less expensive than monocrystalline panels. However, they are also slightly less efficient.

Investing in and installing more polycrystalline panels may make sense if you have a lot of space to work with. Since this type of panel is cheaper than monocrystalline, you can easily afford more and generate more electricity with more panels, even if they aren’t as efficient. 

Another thing to consider is the climate of where you live. Polycrystalline panels have a higher temperature coefficient than other types, meaning they are less productive at higher temperatures. However, if you live in a cooler climate, it’s unlikely that temperature will impact the efficiency of your panels. 

Best for:

  • Cooler climates
  • Larger installation spaces 
  • Solar on a budget


Thin-film solar panels are constructed from various materials with different pros and cons. For example, amorphous panels use less material in construction but offer lower efficiency, while CIGS have efficiency ratings on par with traditional panels but come at a higher cost. But with all their differences, thin film panels are united around one commonality: they are flexible solar panels

Flexible panels are constructed with many thin electricity-producing layers of silicon cells. This design allows them to bend and adapt to the user’s needs in a way that traditional rigid panels can’t. They can be installed more easily on uneven surfaces, including airplanes and hiker backpacks. They also work remarkably well under high heat, making them an excellent choice for hot climates. 

Best for:

  • Versatility 
  • Portable installation 
  • High heat areas


As time passes, more solar panel options hit the market at competitive prices so that you can find your perfect panel. No matter which type of panel fits your needs, you can rest easy knowing that your investment in renewable energy (see here) positively impacts the planet. 

Last Updated: August 1, 2023

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