Common Types of Residential Solar Panels

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Did you know that by going solar, you’ll be offsetting measurable amounts of carbon for every kilowatt hour of power produced? Installing solar panels is a great choice to not only reduce your environmental footprint, but also to receive tax benefits, and increase your property value. To help you select the best solar panels for your home, it’s important to understand the different types of panels available. There are three types of solar panel cells commonly used for residential solar panel installations in Arizona. They have different performance factors and aesthetics.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Monocrystalline solar panels are the most popular type of solar panels installed. They are carved out of pure silicon ingots into silicon wafers. Because the cell is a single crystal, electrons have more space to move around for increased electricity flow for these black colored cells.


  • These octagonal shaped cells have efficiency ratings ranging from 17% to 22% and are ideal for homeowners with limited roof space.
  • Generally, the longest lasting of all the common types of solar panels.
  • Perform better in lower levels of sunlight like cloudy days.


  • Most expensive solar cells on the market.
  • Performance levels may decrease slightly when temperatures are rising.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Polycrystalline solar panel cells are manufactured by melting and pouring silicone into a mold. Rectangular in shape, these solar panels will have multiple silicon crystals instead of only one.


  • Lowest price point costing less per kilowatt hour.
  • More economical if you have a lot of rooftop space.


  • Efficiency rating between 13% to 17% due to less silicon purity.
  • Speckled blue hue not as aesthetically friendly.

Thin Film Solar Panels

Thin film solar panels are made with solar cells that have light absorbing layers, on average, 350 times smaller than other traditional panels. Thin film panels are lower profile and less visible making them a popular choice for some homeowners.


  • These panels are lighter and more durable.
  • Thin film panels can be purchased in brown, black, or gray
  • Highest carbon offset due to lower emissions during the manufacturing process.
  • Best panel type for metal roofing.


  • Efficiency ratings from 10% to 18%.
  • Require a large amount of roof space for installation.
  • Lower potential lifespan and higher degradation.

Now is a great time to consider adding a solar power system to your home with a range of solar panel options available. Call your solar panel installation experts at Cool Blew Solar today at 623-234-2836 for a free quote.