James Elston

James Elston

Published July 11, 2024

Choosing the right solar panels for your house is vital if you want to enjoy renewable energy at an affordable price.

Our in-depth guide will help you choose the best solar panels for your home. We’ll take you through the different types, which properties they’re suited to, and how to assess your home’s energy needs.

Understanding Solar Panels: Different Types

There are many types of solar panels on the market that differ in characteristics and are suitable for different purposes. We’ll take a look at the three main types: monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin-film solar panels.

Monocrystalline solar panels: 

  • Best for: Smaller properties (1-2 bedrooms)

Monocrystalline solar panels are made from a single silicon crystal, giving them a dark, uniform colour. These panels are space-efficient as they offer the highest solar panel efficiency rating out of all other types, usually between 15% and 24%.

Because of this, they are often preferred for smaller rooftop spaces or where there is less exposure to sunlight. These solar panels can be expensive, but they perform better compared to other types.

Polycrystalline solar panels: 

  • Best for: Medium to large properties (3+ bedrooms)

These solar panels are made up of many silicon crystals, which gives them their blue colour. Polycrystalline panels are relatively cheap to make, and their cost-effectiveness makes them favourable to many homeowners.

These panels have a lower efficiency rating (15% to 17%) than monocrystalline panels, but provide sufficient power for most residential homes.

Thin-film solar panels

  • Best for: Properties where roof stability and shaping are complex

Thin-film solar panels are made by applying thin films of photovoltaic material onto glass, metal, or plastic. This construction method produces light and flexible panels that are suitable for applications where conventional solar panels are not (e.g. on curved roofs).

Thin-film solar panels have an efficiency rating of 7-18%, which is not ideal, but they can be cheaper than crystalline silicon solar cells.

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Assessing Your Home’s Energy Needs

Knowing your home’s energy requirements is an important part of choosing how many solar panels you need and what type of solar system you require. An accurate assessment of your energy usage will ensure that you achieve optimal performance from your solar energy system at an affordable cost.

Energy usage

Collect information about your home’s energy consumption over a month or year. Examine past energy bills to establish your average kilowatt per hour (kWh) usage for a month. These numbers will give you an estimate of the energy you will require.

Remember to factor in aspects like heating and cooling, lighting, appliances, and electronics.

Future energy needs

As you assess the energy needs of your home, consider the changes that may arise in the coming years that could affect your energy consumption.

If you size your solar array right the first time, you can enjoy your renewable solar energy system for many years without worrying about replacing it.

Energy efficiency improvements

Before choosing and installing solar panels, it’s a good idea to make your home more energy-efficient. Sealing air leaks, adding insulation, upgrading to Energy Star appliances, and installing timed central heating systems are all easy projects that will reduce your overall energy consumption and decrease your dependence on the grid.

Making your home energy efficient will allow you to use a smaller solar panel system and maximise its energy production.

Get A Solar Panel Installation Quote Today

Ready to install solar panels on your home and reap the benefits of renewable energy? Or are you still weighing up which solar panel system will meet your needs? Eco Happy is here to help – your trusted solar panel installer in the UK.

At Eco Happy, we pride ourselves on being professional and reliable. We’ll be by your side every step of the way – from choosing the right solar panels for your needs to installation and beyond. Request a free quote from us today, or contact us for more information.

FAQs

Which solar panel is the most environmentally friendly?

Polycrystalline solar panels are more environmentally friendly than monocrystalline and thin-film solar panels. This is due to the fact that the manufacturing process is less intensive than that of monocrystalline panels and produces less waste.

What are solar PV panels?

“PV” stands for photovoltaic, which is just the scientific term for a solar panel system. The photovoltaic cells in solar panels are responsible for transforming sunlight into electricity.

How can you tell if a solar panel is of good quality?

To tell if a solar panel is of good quality, look at the unit’s power production and efficiency. The quantity of electricity a solar panel produces (under typical test settings) is called its power output. Efficiency quantifies how well solar energy is converted into electrical power. For both these metrics, the higher the number, the better quality the panel is.

Final Thoughts

Whether you have a small property suited for monocrystalline solar panels or a curved roof ideal for thin-film panels, you now have a better idea of how to choose the right solar panels for your home.

Before you decide, remember to assess your present and future energy use and look for areas for potential energy efficiency upgrades to maximise the output from your investment.

And if you need help making your decision, Eco Happy is just a phone call away.

James Elston

James Elston

Boiler Expert


James Elston is the top boiler replacement and heating expert at Eco Happy. He has over 20 years of experience in the industry, focusing on Gas Safe boiler installations and offering home-heating and energy-saving solutions to homeowners across the UK. From sourcing the most energy-efficient combi boiler to providing specialist heating advice, James ensures that Eco Happy maintains the highest standards and best customer service.

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