Differences Between The Solar Panels Brands

Within the solar industry there are many different technologies. The main contenders on the field are monocrystalline and polycrystalline; however there are other technologies available to the end user. Thin-film photovoltaic cell (TFPV) is an exciting technology that is receiving a lot of attention in the press at the moment. It can cover large areas and has a flexible application. However it is less efficient (6%-8%) than other technologies and the large area needed to make it a viable option means it is not currently a realistic option for domestic purposes in the UK.

Polycrystalline was the original crystalline technology and it is more efficient than thin film. However, because it has a lower efficiency (12%) this technology is currently being superseded by monocrystalline which is currently the dominant technology in the UK domestic market. Sharp are the largest manufacturer within this technology and they have over 45 years’ experience in the solar industry. In fact a quarter of panels currently being installed worldwide are Sharp.

Sharp are a UK based company and their panels are manufactured in Wrexham, therefore helping reduce your carbon footprint further! All Sharp solar panels contain three bypass diodes per panel, a five year product warranty and a 25 year (80%) power output guarantee. One of the most popular monocrytalline panels on the market is the Sharp NU 185. Its popularity is based on the fact that it is one of the most cost effective and reliable panels on the market and has an efficiency rating of 14.1%. The Sharp NU 235 is another great option that has an efficiency rating of 14.3%. If you are looking for a panel that is suitable for slate roofs then the Solar Century 185 with its black uniform look is ideal. It has a higher efficiency than the Sharp panels (14.7%), a 5 year warranty and an output guarantee of 25 years (80%). If you’re interested in a higher wattage panel then the SunGrid 260 is ideal. It has an efficiency of 14.5%, a 10 year warranty, a 25 year (80% power) output guarantee and a positive tolerance of + 5%.

Hybrid is the emerging cutting edge technology within the industry and is made by placing a layer of thin film PV on top of a monocrystalline panel. This means it is more efficient as it combines the properties of both technologies to convert more of the light energy into usable electricity. Sanyo are the market leaders in this technology and the Sanyo 235 solar panel has the highest efficiency in the UK currently, at 18.6%.