Back to Blog

What Are the Different Types of Solar Panels?


The choice to switch your home or business to solar energy is already a difficult one to make. Now add in all the different types of solar panels available, and that choice becomes quickly more complex. At Tenco Solar, our team has been at the forefront of solar energy for more than 20 years, so we have a unique understanding of all the different types of solar panels and the advantages and disadvantages they each present. Read on to find out more about the different types of solar technologies so you can make the most informed decision for your home!

The 3 Types of Solar Panels

1. Monocrystalline Solar Panels

One of the oldest methods of achieving solar energy, monocrystalline solar panels still offer one of the most efficient solutions. Created by slicing ingots of pure monocrystalline silicone, each piece results in a completely uniform crystal structure. Not only does this ensure that the cells can catch as much of the sun’s rays as possible, but the crystalline structure also enhances the panels’ durability compared to other types of solar energy options.

Incredibly durable and efficient, it’s no wonder monocrystalline solar panels, such as those made by LG, are still widely preferred by homeowners. In fact, LG claims that their monocrystalline solar panels can cell efficiencies close to 22%. Not only that, but LG also boasts a 25-year warranty on their solar panels. While their upfront investment is higher than other panel types, the ongoing savings you reap from this solar technology is well worth the spend.

2. Thin Film Solar Panels

While slightly more niche of a residential solar panel offering, thin-film solar panels are still well worth the investment. Thin-film solar panels are often less expensive than their monocrystalline counterparts. They offer much more flexibility — in more ways than one: Because they are produced by applying thin layers of silicone and another semiconductor onto plastic, metal, or glass surfaces, they come in many different types of modules, making them more portable and adjustable, increasing the realm of possibilities for their possible use.

Panasonic’s solar panels offer a unique take on thin-film technology. These solar cells are hybrids between monocrystalline silicone surrounded by ultra-thin amorphous silicone layers. One drawback to the increased flexibility and affordability Panasonic solar panels provide is their low efficiency compared to the monocrystalline panels from LG. Compared to the 20% or higher efficiency ratings for monocrystalline panels, thin-film solar panels typically see between 7% and 13% efficiency. However, since they are significantly less expensive to install, there’s a possibility to add more in an effort to compensate for these efficiency losses.

3. Concentrator Photovoltaic Panels

Typically seen in industrial solar power harnessing applications, concentrator photovoltaic panels have seen increased residential use cases in recent years. Companies like Solaria and Silfab are leading the charge on photovoltaic solar panel technologies, complete with innovative solar tracking arrays. These panels work to capture as much sunlight as possible, relying on solar trackers, mirrors, and lenses. At the same time, internal cooling systems help promote the conversion of sunlight into usable energy. Each layer is created from two or more layers of semiconductor materials, allowing them to capture light from a different part of the spectrum.

Photovoltaic cells are applied to monocrystalline bases, making the installation costs for these systems are pretty high compared to monocrystalline and thin-film options. However, with efficiency ratings over 45%, it’s easy to justify the upfront investment — especially if you have exceptionally high energy demands, such as in a commercial solar setting.

Which Solar Panels Should I Choose to Install?

Now that you understand the different types of solar panels available, you’re probably wondering which ones are best suited to your needs. Not to worry — Tenco Solar is here to help match you to your ideal solar solution. Boasting more than 20 years of expertise in the solar power industry, we understand how to connect customers to the precise solar panels they need based on their circumstances. Allow us to help you make the switch to solar power by contacting our solar energy experts at 888-507-6937 today!

No Hassle Warranty On All Installations

Tenco Solar stands behind our commitment to high-quality craftsmanship, ensuring every solar panel installation job we perform lasts the long term with a 25 year warranty on electric (PV) and 12 year on pool.

Why Choose Us

There’s No Better Team For Your Solar Needs! We Service All Systems.
We Keep it Simple & Make it Easy

We make it simple to understand the value of solar energy and the environmental and financial benefit it provides to our customers and communities.

20+ Years In Business

For more than 20 years, our team has offered superior solar energy services throughout the Southern California region. Over 14,000,000 watts installed.

Master Technicians

Our team is continuously trained in the latest industry tools and technologies, delivering truly masterful solar energy solutions to each of our valued customers.

100% Solar Experts

Solar energy is all we do, and we do it the best. Our solar energy experts have the skills and experience necessary to provide you with exceptional solar services every time.

Satisfaction Guaranteed

We don’t consider our job complete unless our customers are 100% satisfied, which is why we offer a satisfaction guarantee on every job we perform and the best warranty in the business.

Quality Craftsmanship

Tenco Solar stands behind our commitment to high-quality craftsmanship, ensuring every solar panel installation job we perform lasts the long term.

our process

We Make Switching To Solar Simple
Consultation

Begin your switch to solar energy by starting with a Tenco Solar consultation. Our team will schedule a pre-site inspection to understand your needs and identify solutions helping you save on your energy expenses while reducing your carbon footprint. We make the process simple by completing permitting on your behalf.

Installation

Working around your schedule, our team will make a solar panel installation appointment that’s convenient for you. We will professionally install all the necessary equipment for setting your home or commercial business up with solar energy access in one day.

Activation

Our team will guide you through the new features and functions of your solar energy equipment in addition to setting you up through Net Energy Metering allowing you to sell your excess energy produced to the grid. We will provide you any service or maintenance solutions you need to enjoy solar connectivity for years to come.

our process

We Make Switching To Solar Simple
Consultation

Begin your switch to solar energy by starting with a Tenco Solar consultation. Our team will schedule a pre-site inspection to understand your needs and identify solutions helping you save on your energy expenses while reducing your carbon footprint. We make the process simple by completing permitting on your behalf.

Installation

Working around your schedule, our team will make a solar panel installation appointment that’s convenient for you. We will professionally install all the necessary equipment for setting your home or commercial business up with solar energy access in one day.

Activation

Our team will guide you through the new features and functions of your solar energy equipment in addition to setting you up through Net Energy Metering allowing you to sell your excess energy produced to the grid. We will provide you any service or maintenance solutions you need to enjoy solar connectivity for years to come.