solar panels

Solar Cells 101: Plan to install solar panel system but don’t know the types of solar cells?

Plan to install a solar panel system?

Unsure of which is the suitable for solar panel for you?

In general, there are three types of solar panels available on the market today: monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin film. In the later part of the article, we will further expound on each three.

As for solar energy, currently there are two kinds, one is solar thermal and the other solar photovoltaic. Solar thermal harnesses electricity through receiving heat for the sun, which as the latter directly converts the sunlight from the sun into electricity. Solar PV (photovoltaic) is currently experiencing an exponential growth and is becoming the fasting growing energy source in the world since 2016.

For the purpose of this article, Solar PV should take the center stage in order to shed some light to readers as what are basics to solar photovoltaic system as it is gaining popularity in the renewable energy world. (Hopefully, at the end of your read, we will be able to convince you why Solar PV is the best solution for your electricity concerns.)

The Three Types of Solar Cells

In a nutshell, multiple solar cells combined together to form solar panels. In another words, solar panels combined the cells and direct all of that to energy output, which as solar cells contain all the parts necessary to convert sunlight to electricity.

Just remember, when one mentioned polycrystalline solar panel, it would mean the panel is made out of many polycrystalline solar panels arranged together.

There are definitely more than the mentioned three types solar cells in the world today, but we will explore on the most common three as it is still the most popular three in the fast-growing world today, it is still relevant and it is the most common types available in Asia especially in Malaysia.


Mono Crystalline Solar Cell (Mono-SI)

Consisting of silicon crystal within the cell, high purity of silicon, and known for its uniform dark look with rounded edges, making it the most sensitive cell. With high efficiency rate that can reach up to 20% (for the newest ones), Monocrystalline solar cells can work under even dim light.

Mono crystalline solar panels do not take up a lot of space due to its high efficiency and it is known to have the longest lifespan, however, it is also the most expensive among all types of solar cells.

Polycrystalline Solar Cell (Poly-SI)

Made by melting raw silicon, poured into squared mold, Polycrystalline does not required the Czochralski process that monocrystalline solar cell goes through. Polycrystalline cells have the speckled blue look, some referred it as “sporty look”, this solar cell is capable of converting up to 15% of the incident light into electricity and offers a moderate sensitivity rate.

When compared to the monocrystalline solar cell, the polycrystalline solar power system is slightly less efficient. Also, polycrystalline cells have lower heat tolerance than mono cells. Under high temperature, polycrystalline solar panels may perform lower due to the heavy heat.

Polycrystalline cells have a shorter lifespan than monocrystalline cells.

Why then some still preferred Polycrystalline solar cells for their solar systems? Because they are so much more affordable and there are lesser silicon waste in Polycrystalline solar panels.

Thin Film (Amorphous) Solar Cell (TFSC)

The thin film solar cells are at times referred to as a solar film. They are manufactured using amorphous silicon, rather than silicone crystals. They feature a black color and are capable of converting 10% of incident light to electricity.

Even though they convert the least amount of incident light into electricity and they take up a lot of space compared to other solar cells, thin film solar cells are the most affordable ones available on the market and can take on a great amount of heat.

Malaysia Solar Trends

What we know for sure is that electricity cost is constantly on the rise and solar energy in Malaysia is also on the rise, making it timely to invest in solar system. Picking the right kind of solar system for your business or organization may not be easy, as it requires a great deal of assessment. From our experience, many clients in Malaysia tend to choose Monocrystalline cells or Polycrystalline solar cells for their solar systems after weight all the advantages and disadvantages.

Yes, we do provide consultation and we do provide Solar PV solutions to commercial and industrial properties. Feel free to contact us, Solarvest for more questions, advice and recommendation. Let us help you save your electricity cost and become a clean energy company or organization.

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