Which Type of Solar Panel is Best?

Thin film, mono, and poly are some of the different kinds of solar panels available for home installation. Which type of solar panel is best?

You’re interested in solar panels but you’re not sure which type you should get.

Most of the solar panels on the market are divided into three categories. Each of these categories has a different solar panel cost and characteristics.

This article will review these three main kinds to help you determine which type of solar panel is best for your home. Read on!

What Are the Types of Solar Panels?

There are tons of different types of solar panels. However, there are three main kinds that are the most widespread.

They are called monocrystallinepolycrystalline, and thin-film solar panels. Each type has its own features that make them better suited for different projects.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Monocrystalline panels are the most common type for residential installations. There are a few reasons why these panels are so popular.


Seeing that a solar panel installation goes on the rooftop, aesthetics is a concern for many people.

One of the reasons monocrystalline solar panels enjoy a lot of success is their single, flat, black color. Their silicon wafers have the shape of squares with the corners cut off.


Monocrystalline panels are the best performers out of all the types of solar panels. Their efficiency ranges from 17% to 22%. This means that they need less space to reach a given power capacity.

This option is great if you have limited roof space.


Unfortunately, monocrystalline panels are fairly costly compared to other types of solar panels.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Less popular than their monocrystalline counterparts, polycrystalline solar panels are still a great option, especially if you are on a budget.


Unlike monocrystalline panels, polycrystalline solar panels don’t have the corners of their solar cells cut off.

Additionally, due to the way they are manufactured, these panels have a blue color.


Polycrystalline solar panels perform to a lesser degree than monocrystalline ones but are still fairly efficient.

Their efficiency ratings usually range between 15% and 17%.


Polycrystalline panels are cheaper than monocrystalline solar panels, though not necessarily by very much.

Thin Film Solar Panels

Flexible and light-weight, thin-film solar panels are an innovative technology. However, they aren’t the best option to put in your home. They are mostly used in large scale operations such as industrial installations.


Thin-film solar panels have a solid black look, without the silicon cell outlines that you see on the other types of solar panels.


Thin-film panels have a reputation for having the lowest efficiency when it comes to solar panels.

The panels commercially available usually have an efficiency that ranges from 10% to 13%. This means that you need more solar panels to achieve similar results to other types of panels.

They also have a shorter lifespan than the other types.


Due to their low performance, these panels are the cheapest of the three main types of panels.

Which Type of Solar Panel Is the Best?

If you’ve been wondering: “Can I switch to solar panels?”, you’ve also been wondering which type of solar panel would be the best for your home.

There are three main types, namely monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film, with different costs and levels of efficiency.

Monocrystalline is the most expensive, but also the most efficient type, making it the most popular among buyers. Polycrystalline are cheaper, but they are less efficient.

Thin-film panels are the cheapest. However, they have very low efficiency, which makes them more suited for spacious locations, such as industrial installations.

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