The Main Types of Solar Panels for Houses

Have you ever thought about installing solar panels for your home? Many homeowners have made the switch to solar panels so they can save on their energy bills.

Solar power was originally developed for use in scientific applications, like the International Space Station.

Although it used to be too expensive for use in homes and businesses, over time the price has fallen.

Over 2 million homes now use solar electricity in the U.S., and this trend will increase.

Here’s a quick summary of the types of solar panels available for home installation.

Solar Shingles

Solar shingles are one of the most innovative solar panel options currently available. They blend in with the roof and have a low profile while generating electricity.

Solar shingles come in various styles, including flat slabs and curved tiles. This ensures that homeowners can find solar shingles that fit in with their already installed roofing materials.


Polycrystalline solar panels are one of the oldest solar panel types available. Solar companies have found that polycrystalline panels are a popular choice for homeowners.

They are also one of the least expensive and have a blue silicon hue created from silicon fragments. Their energy output is low, which is a tradeoff for affordability.


Monocrystalline solar panels are the most expensive because they use whole silicon crystals. Manufacturing them is expensive, so some of this cost is eventually passed to the consumer. They convert about 20% of the energy they absorb into electricity.


These kinds of solar panels are also on the less-expensive side, and about 350 times thinner than regular solar panels.

They are often made with other types of materials besides silicon, like cadmium or copper. Thin-film solar panels contain sandwiched conductive materials and light-absorbing films under a sheet of glass.

Special Considerations

When you choose your solar panels, you may want to consider factors like fire and hail resistance, maintenance needs, and your roof’s condition. In some cases, homeowners must replace their roofs before installing solar systems.

Regardless of how much time and energy you have to use in the beginning, installing a solar system will ultimately pay off. Most people can take advantage of tax refunds, which will offset much of the installation cost – and you can expect to save $20,000 over a 20-year period, which is significant.

If you’re going solar because you want to be off-grid, remember that you’ll also need to install a battery storage system. This will help ensure that you have uninterrupted power, even with cloudy skies.

How to Determine The Best Types of Solar Panels for You

When you’re ready to consider which types of solar panels to use on your home, start by talking with your local solar installer. In most cases, they will send a technician to inspect your roof and the location of your house.

Based on these findings, they will recommend the best solar panels for you. They’ll also consider factors like your budget and whether or not you’ll be connecting to the local power grid.

If you’ve enjoyed this article about the various types of solar panels and how to use them, check out our other blog articles.


Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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