Several types of solar photovoltaic cells and panels are available on the market. Understanding the technology of each and its suitably for various applications ensures both peak performance from the system and the most cost-effective solution for the customer. K2 Solar's roots in semiconductor and solar technology enable us to understand and recommend various solutions to customers.
Crystalline Silicon Solar Panels (with mono & poly-crystalline cells):
Crystalline silicon solar modules are the most commonly used for solar PV systems and have an average conversion efficiency of 17-19%. They comprise approximately 90% of the market today and are suitable for both residential and small to medium commercial applications. The panels with mono-crystalline cells are slightly more expensive, but they provide slightly higher output and perform better in higher temperatures.
Thin Films Solar Panels (CIGS, CIS, CdTe):
Thin Film solar modules are less expensive to manufacture than crystalline modules, however, their current conversion efficiencies are also less, typically in the 6-8% range. The thin film modules better maintain their performance in higher temperatures and are more robust, but they require much more space to produce an equivalent amount of power. They are typically used in mid to large scale commercial applications.
BIPV- Building Integrated Photovoltaics: BIPV material has the advantage of being extremely rugged and lightweight relative to traditional solar modules. The BIPV material can be laminated directly to the roofing single-ply membrane to significantly reduce the installation time and cost. The BIPV system tend to work well in low light applications, however, their range in efficiency is only 6-8%.