Looking to purchase a solar panel? Wondering what kind of energy it produces? Wanting to know more about how eco-friendly they are? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Here’s a quick overview of solar panel energy production:
Types Of Energy
Solar panels are generally categorized into two groups:
- Cellular (non-siliconic) panels, which generate electricity using solar cells made of non-crystalline silicon wafers; and
- Siliconic (siliconic) panels, which use crystalline silicon wafers to generate electricity.
Each kind of solar panel has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s examine each type in detail.
Non-Siliconic (Cellular) Solar Panels
Non-siliconic solar panels rely on less-sustainable materials to manufacture their products, and they don’t last as long as their siliconic counterparts. However, they generate more electricity, which is beneficial when you consider that you’ll need a larger solar array to power your home the same way.
Non-siliconic solar panels use solar cells, which are manufactured using environmentally-unfriendly materials like lead and Cd. These materials are harmful to humans and the environment. But don’t fret, there are safer and more eco-friendly materials out there that can be used to replace them. Companies like SunPower, Panasonic, and LG Chem have all developed and manufactured cells using these materials.
The good news is that these companies have made a conscious effort to reduce their power consumption and have implemented new energy-saving technologies. This provides consumers with more reliable and sustainable energy, which is always a good thing.
Siliconic (Siliconic) Solar Panels
On the opposite end of the spectrum sits the siliconic solar panels. Just like their non-siliconic brethren, these panels also use solar cells; however, they are made of silicon wafers. So in terms of raw materials usage, they are far more eco-friendly than their non-siliconic counterparts.
What’s more is that siliconic solar panels have a considerably longer lifespan than non-siliconic panels. This is because the materials used to manufacture them are less harmful to humans and the environment. Furthermore, these panels require less maintenance, which reduces the overall cost of operating them.
The drawbacks, as you’d expect, are that they are more expensive to buy than non-siliconic solar panels, and they are considerably more complex. This makes them harder to install and service. Still, if you’re looking for a long-term energy solution and you have the budget for it, the benefits of a siliconic solar panel outweigh the drawbacks.
The Pros And Cons Of Each Type Of Solar Panel
So, what are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of solar panel? Let’s review.
Non-siliconic (Cellular) solar panels:
- Pros: Reliable energy supply (at least as long as the sun shines)
- Cons: Lower output compared to siliconic panels (which means you’ll need a larger solar array to make the same amount of electricity)
- Pros: Longer lifespan compared to non-siliconic panels (at least 10 years)
- Cons: More expensive to buy
Siliconic (Siliconic) solar panels:
- Pros: More eco-friendly and sustainable compared to non-siliconic panels (lead and Cd are less harmful to the environment)
- Cons: More expensive to buy
- Pros: Shorter lifespan compared to siliconic panels (3 to 5 years)
- Cons: More complex to install and maintain
So, what’s the bottom line? It really depends on your situation. If you’re on a tight budget or you just want an additional supply of electricity, go for the non-siliconic panel. If you’re looking for a long-term environmental solution, the siliconic panel is what you need. Of course, this also depends on whether you need a lot of power (in which case you should go for the non-siliconic panel) or simply want to reduce your energy consumption (in which case you should go for the siliconic panel).
In any case, buying a solar panel does not mean you’ll be powering your home with green energy anytime soon. There is still a lot of work to do to fully eliminate our need for fossil fuels. So, until then, let’s enjoy the power of the sun.