Types Of Solar Panels

Solar panels can be made or bought commercially. This post is meant to help you differentiate between all the types for you to make an informed choice. If you have anything to add to this, please comment or drop me an email at miniphysics@hotmail.com.

Homemade using:
Polycrystalline Cells
Mono-crystalline Cells

Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Mono-crystalline Solar Panels
Thin Film Solar Panels

Comparison between homemade solar panels and commercial solar panels:

  • Homemade solar panels are generally cheaper than commercial solar panels. (Can be cheaper by 50%!)
  • Building a homemade solar panels from scratch gives a good sense of accomplishment as compared to buying the solar panels off the shelf.


  • Homemade solar panels cannot be used to generate electricity to feed into the grid. In some states/countries, it is illegal to use homemade solar panels to feed electricity back into the grid.
  • Commercial Solar Panels comes with a LONG (10 years – 25 years) warranty period. Anything wrong with the solar panels and you can just call up the solar panel manufacturer to solve the problem for you. BUT, you must be sure that the company will still be around 10 or 25 years later. No company = no warranty coverage.

Comparision between polycrystalline and mono-crystalline

  • Mono-crystalline is more efficient than polycrystalline. (Produces more watt per unit area)
  • Mono-crystalline is also more expensive than polycrystalline.
  • They are both fragile.

Thin Film Solar Cells

  • Flexible
  • Sturdy
  • But, lower efficiency than the rest.

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