Fenice Energy

The Two Main Types of Solar Panels: An Overview

Discover the two major types of solar panels – solar photovoltaic and solar thermal – and learn how they work to harness the sun’s energy for electricity and heating.

what are the two types of solar panels

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The sun can power the world for a year in just a minute. It gives us more energy in a day than we use in 27 years. Such is the power of solar energy. When we use the right solar panels and consider our surroundings, it’s a top choice for energy. The solar industry has found great ways to capture the sun’s energy and turn it into power. There are two main kinds of solar panels – solar photovoltaic panels and solar thermal panels. Let’s dive into what these are and how they catch the sun’s power.

Key Takeaways

  • Solar energy is an abundant and efficient energy source that can meet the world’s energy needs many times over.
  • The two main types of solar panels are photovoltaic and thermal panels, each with their own unique characteristics and applications.
  • Photovoltaic panels, such as monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film, convert sunlight directly into electricity.
  • Thermal panels, on the other hand, harness the sun’s heat to generate steam or hot water for various applications.
  • The choice of solar panel type depends on factors like budget, available space, energy needs, and environmental conditions.

Understanding Solar Panels

Solar panels are gaining popularity as an eco-friendly energy option. They work by changing sunlight into electricity. This makes them a key player in green, clean power production.

What is a Solar Panel?

A solar panel turns sunlight into power. It features solar cells made of silicon, boron, and phosphorus. These materials trigger a photovoltaic effect when sunlight hits them.

The Photovoltaic Effect

When sunlight hits the solar cells, they release electrons. This electron movement creates electricity. Hence, solar panels are often called photovoltaic panels or PV panels.

Components of a Solar Panel

Every solar panel has many cells working together. These can be 60, 72, or 90 per panel. The units work in series and come in a sturdy frame to protect them.

Looking at both solar photovoltaic panels and solar thermal panels is wise. This knowledge can help you pick the best solar panels for your place. With Fenice Energy’s expertise, choosing the right what are the two types of solar panels for your Indian home or business becomes easier.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Monocrystalline solar panels come from one silicon crystal. It’s cut into wafers. They look dark black because they use pure silicon. Pure silicon makes them space-saving and long-lasting. Yet, their production wastes a lot of silicon. This makes them more expensive than other solar panels.

Manufacturing Process

These panels start with a single silicon crystal. It’s cut into thin wafers. This process is intricate and costly. But it means the panels are more efficient.

Efficiency and Power Output

Monocrystalline panels are the most efficient. They have an efficiency rating over 20%. They can make up to 300w of power. Pure silicon helps convert sunlight into energy better. This power is great for solar shingles and building solar parts.

Aesthetic Appearance

These panels have a sleek black look. This look appeals to many. It goes well with different roofs and designs. They are common for homes and businesses.

Fenice Energy provides full clean energy solutions. This includes solar, backups, and EV charging. They have over 20 years of experience. They help people and companies choose the best solar panels for them.

what are the two types of solar panels

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Polycrystalline solar panels are common in homes and businesses in India. They are different from monocrystalline panels. Polycrystalline ones are made by melting raw silicon and then casting it. This method is quicker and less costly, which benefits the buyer.

Manufacturing Process

Making polycrystalline solar panels starts with melting raw silicon. This liquid silicon is then poured into a square shape to cool down. During the cooling process, it structures into many crystals. These crystals give the panels a unique blue, speckled look. While this design is not as efficient as monocrystalline panels, its lower cost appeals to many in India.

Efficiency and Cost

Polycrystalline panels work at about 15% efficiency, which is a bit less than monocrystalline panels. Yet, they are cheaper to produce. This affordability attracts buyers. These panels can usually generate 240-300 watts, fitting well in homes across India.

polycrystalline solar cells

Fenice Energy is a reliable provider of clean energy solutions. They have over 20 years of experience. Their offerings include solar, backup energy solutions, and EV charging services. They aim to assist both residential and business clients in choosing the best solar panels for their specific requirements.

Thin-Film Solar Panels

Thin-film solar panels are known for being thin and flexible. Manufacturers place films of materials like silicon, cadmium, or copper on a surface. This makes them available in various sizes to fit specific needs.

Materials Used

There are three main types of thin-film solar panels: cadmium telluride (CdTe), amorphous silicon (a-Si), and copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS). Each material has its own benefits. This makes them useful for different situations.

Flexibility and Portability

Thin-film solar panels stand out because they’re flexible and easy to move. They can be used in many ways, like on buildings or in portable devices. This is unlike traditional silicon panels, which are not flexible.

Applications and Limitations

These panels work best where there’s plenty of space, such as in solar power plants or on buildings. They’re not as efficient as some other solar panels, but they’re more affordable. Yet, they might need more area to produce the same power as other types.

thin-film solar panels


The main types of solar panels are solar photovoltaic panels and solar thermal panels. Photovoltaic panels convert sunlight into electricity thanks to the photovoltaic effect. They include monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film panels.

Monocrystalline panels are the most efficient but also cost more. In India, they are about INR 50,000 each. Polycrystalline and thin-film options, which cost between INR 30,000 and INR 40,000, are more budget-friendly but slightly less efficient.

The right solar panel choice depends on your budget, space, and energy needs. It also considers the local weather conditions. Choosing the right solar panel type is crucial.

Fenice Energy in India has over 20 years of experience. They provide clean energy solutions, including solar, backup systems, and EV charging. Their expertise helps homeowners and businesses select the best solar panel solution.

If you want to power your home, office, or electric vehicle, Fenice Energy’s team is here to help. They will assist in choosing the most suitable solar panel technology. Plus, they will support you in getting the most out of solar energy in India.


What are the two main types of solar panels?

Solar panels have two main types. These are solar photovoltaic panels and solar thermal panels.

How do solar photovoltaic panels work?

Solar photovoltaic panels turn sunlight into electricity. They use the photovoltaic effect. When sunlight hits the panel, it creates electricity by moving electrons.

What are the different types of solar photovoltaic panels?

There are three types of solar photovoltaic panels. They are monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. Each type has its own benefits. Monocrystalline is efficient yet expensive. Polycrystalline and thin-film are more affordable but less efficient.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of monocrystalline solar panels?

Monocrystalline solar panels come from a single pure silicon crystal. They use space well and last a long time. Their 20% efficiency and up to 300w power capacity make them very efficient. Yet, they are costly to make. The process wastes silicon, making them more expensive.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of polycrystalline solar panels?

Polycrystalline solar panels are cheaper to make than monocrystalline panels. But they are not as efficient (around 15%) and don’t last as long. They are recognizable by their square shape and blue, speckled design. They can produce between 240-300w of power.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of thin-film solar panels?

Thin-film solar panels are thin and flexible. They are the least efficient, but also the cheapest to produce. This makes them practical for many needs. They come in various sizes and are great for applications where space is not a problem.

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