Solar PV panels, solar thermal panels and thin solar panels
As the solar PV technology continue to advance and as the cost of solar panels continue to decrease, several PV technologies are being introduced in the market. As a result, many solar considerers are faced with many options making the decision to go solar more complex when trying to decide what solar PV technology is good for them. The PV technology to adopt is site specific or depends with the end-user preference, space availability, intended use of the solar electricity and geographical location where the technology is being installed.
Site-specific considerations including structural or the design of the property and availability of space and how solar energy the end-user want to generate can influence the solar mounting solutions or the PV technology to install. PV technologies are usually of three types:
- Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels
- Solar thermal panels
- Thin solar panels
Solar photovoltaic (PV) solar panels are made up of crystalline silicon solar cells and are the most common panels that you would see in people’s rooftops. These are generally mounted on the roof and usually have a high efficiency of about 20% and hence preferred over other types of panels such as solar thermal or thin solar.
Thin solar panels are usually more flexible, light and very thin and have become very popular in the recent past. However, thin solar have lower efficiency and hence require more space for installation for solar energy generation. Thin solar would be ideal for ground mounting because of their large space requirements.
Comparing regular solar panels and thin solar in terms of cost implications, thin solar will require a bigger budget because you will need a lot of them to produce an equivalent amount of solar power that you can produce with few solar photovoltaic solar panels.
Solar thermal panels transfer the Sun’s heat instead of generating electricity to heat water and can either be passive or active. Active systems employ pumps and other controls to regulate the heated water while passive systems do not. Solar thermal systems are good systems for meeting your heating requirements using solar energy. To use solar energy for all of your needs i.e. electrical or heating needs, use of solar thermal and solar PV panels can help to off-set your energy costs with solar energy.
Solar Panel Reviews and Online Solar Tools
Since you are now more aware about the PV technology I and how online tools can help you evaluate costs cost, specifications and other factors; going through solar panel reviews can help you decide which solar panels would be suitable for your budget. There are various solar panel brands and models out there, including but not limited to Canadian Solar Panels, GigaWatt Inc, Hanwha QCells, LG Solar Panels, SolarWorld Solar Panels, Suniva Solar Panels and Trina Solar Panels.
With a little help from online solar tools like solar energy calculators and online solar marketplaces—these tools can help you with your solar panel reviews to help you decide on what brand or model of solar panels to go for because you can find out your solar panel cost, cost reduction, solar incentives, voltage or current requirements as well as your solar potential.
Thanks to online solar tools like solar energy calculators and online solar marketplaces that can help online users to make a quick analysis based on the information presented to them. All is needed from the online users is to type in their physical address and their average monthly energy bill from their utility to be get instant information that will guide them when conducting their initial research to check whether solar is right for them. With these online tools, an end-user can get instant information to determine:
- How much solar energy they can generate especially from their rooftop.
- How much they can save with solar energy
- Solar panel cost and system size
- Estimated annual energy savings
- How much carbon you can offset with solar.
- How much of your utility bill you can off-set with solar energy.