In the world market of solar panels there are different types of photovoltaic solar panels.

A solar panel or another? You may have noticed that there are bright blue solar panels, completely black solar panels and solar panels that are paper thin.



What are the types of photovoltaic solar panels?

Monocrystalline solar panels, polycrystalline solar panels and amorphous solar panels are available. A solar cell consists largely of silicon.

 The manufacturing method determines what type of solar cell is created after the production process. See the price of the solar panel.



During the processing of silicon, a large rod is manufactured whose structure consists of a large crystal. The pure semiconductor material is thus used in the production of a single crystalline solar cell. 

Then bars are extracted from this silicon melt, which always consists of a single crystal. Hence the term unique crystal. 

Then, these bars are cut into thin sheets suitable for solar panels. Very thin slices are cut from this bar, which will eventually form solar cells.


The structure of silicon in these solar cells, therefore, also consists of a large crystal. This also explains the name of the unique glass solar panel. 

The monocrystalline material was originally used in the production of electronic chips. Because monocrystalline solar panels are produced in this way, they also have the highest efficiency of the three types of solar panels.




To produce polycrystalline silicon solar panels, silicon is used in liquid form, which I poured into large blocks. After the healing of these blocks, crystals are formed that will take different forms. 

The difference with polycrystalline solar panels can amount to several percentages. But … as a result, they are also generally much more expensive, since the technology involved in the production process is much more complicated.


This type is the cheapest on the market, but it also has the lowest performance. With an amorphous solar panel, a photovoltaic layer is used that is placed on a glass or other material. The production costs are very low, which means that these solar panels will be, without exception, the cheapest. However, the performance is not comparable with that of a crystalline solar panel.


Therefore, a monocrystalline solar panel is more expensive than a polycrystalline solar panel, but because the efficiency is higher, it needs fewer monocrystalline solar panels to achieve the same efficiency as polycrystalline solar panels. In this video you can hear more about this:

Little space

So, if you have little space to use or want to use solar panels, then it is much better with a monocrystalline solar panel.

Types of monocrystalline, polycrystalline and amorphous solar panels


The monocrystalline solar panels have a uniform (black) surface that is appreciated by many owners of solar panels, since these solar panels are much better combined with the roof and, therefore, stand out less than other solar panels.

Polycrystalline solar panel

With polycrystalline solar panels, slices of silicon are also cut during the production process. 

But due to a different processing process, the structure of a solar cell with this type of solar panels consists of several crystals of different sizes. And that is why they are called polycrystalline very appropriate.

Types of solar panels 

Type of solar panels:NormalIn the roofTile model

Price indication of 10 m2.€ 4,000€ 5,500€ 7,500
Pay time6 years8 years11 years
Leakage riskAlmost no riskLittle riskHigher risk
For what adequate ceiling?Each roofEach roofOnly with special pans.



The production of a polycrystalline solar cell (and therefore also of a panel) is much less complex. A solar cell consists of several slices of silicon that become a whole. At the points where one slab fuses with the other, a loss of efficiency occurs. 

Polycrystalline solar panels have a surface that appears to consist of bright broken fragments in multiple shades of blue.


Personally, I find it wonderful to see this, but solar panels attract much more attention than single-pane solar panels. Therefore, a polycrystalline solar panel is more economical than a monocrystalline solar panel, just as  plastic frames are  cheaper than wooden frames, but it produces less return than a single glass solar panel.

 However, the efficiency of a polycrystalline per se is still quite high. That is why these solar panels are the most popular in practice. If you have enough square meters at your disposal to install solar panels, polycrystalline solar panels offer the most interesting price-return ratio.

Other materials

Due to technical innovations, other materials can also be used for the production of solar panels, such as CENIG (pallium selenide, indium and copper) and cadmium telluride. 

These materials are (even) considerably more expensive, but more economical and respectful with the environment than silicon. CIGS and cadmium telluride are also much better at converting sunlight into electricity. CIGS is used for space travel, for example. It is still too expensive for the consumer market. 

Cadmium telluride is very effective, but also very toxic. Of course, science does not stop and we are working on solar cells that can achieve the efficiency of a cadmium telluride solar cell without cadmium.

Amorphous against others

Amorphous solar panels (or thin film) made of silicon are cheaper than monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels because less material is simply required for the production of solar cells.

The price difference can reach up to thirty percent. But, of course, this type of solar panel also has a disadvantage: the capacity per square meter is many times less than with monocrystalline and polycrystalline. The return is much later, almost half of the other two counterparts.


Number of panels required

In practice, this means that it needs almost double the surface area of ​​the amorphous solar panels to achieve the same power as with a polycrystalline solar panel installation. 

A considerable disadvantage. This makes this type of solar panel not a popular choice. An amorphous solar cell is usually used in applications where little energy is required, such as a clock or a calculator.

Then, why choose amorphous?

But we also do not have to completely discard amorphous solar panels. In fact, these solar cells are much better at taking advantage of diffuse light (unlike direct sunlight). Shingles that incorporate solar cells also use amorphous solar cells due to the undulation of the surface of the tile.

 In addition, amorphous solar panels can be interesting for people who want to install an installation in the east and west … maybe even in the north. Or facilities that do not receive direct sunlight for much of the day. Or in countries where the climate is really bad most of the year. A monocrystalline or polycrystalline installation would not be paid alone under these circumstances.


For both monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels, the factory guarantees a lifetime or efficiency guarantee of between twenty and thirty years. In practice, solar panels often last longer, but efficiency will continue to decline after the warranty period. Amorphous solar panels or thin film solar panels are still being calculated with a lifespan of between fifteen and twenty-five years.

4) Glass-glass solar panels

Glass and glass solar panels  are new and have a longer lifespan than all other types of panels. In addition, this species degrades less rapidly and, therefore, can enjoy greater performance during the life phase of the panels.


It is generally known that solar panels degrade during the life cycle. 

Manufacturers can guarantee 90% capacity after 10 years and 80% after 20 years (normal solar panels).

However, with solar glass and glass panels, the decrease in generating capacity is not so great and you have been able to generate more kWh after 25 years. 

But for these panels, you have to spend more money, partly because this technology is still relatively new (relatively little supply). Therefore, the higher purchase price can be compensated with more income and, in the long term, you can also make a profit. Let the installers tell you more about this 












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