What Are the Different Types of Solar Panels?

June 7, 2024
5 min read
A business man and a general contractor looking over plans with solar panels in the background

The choice to switch your home or business to solar energy is already a difficult one to make. Now add in all the different types of solar panels available, and that choice becomes quickly more complex. At TENCO SOLAR, our team has been at the forefront of solar energy for more than 20 years, so we have a unique understanding of all the different types of solar panels and the advantages and disadvantages they each present. Read on to find out more about the different types of solar technologies so you can make the most informed decision for your home!

The 3 Types Of Solar Panels


One of the oldest methods of achieving solar energy, monocrystalline solar panels still offer one of the most efficient solutions. Created by slicing ingots of pure monocrystalline silicone, each piece results in a completely uniform crystal structure. Not only does this ensure that the cells can catch as much of the sun’s rays as possible, but the crystalline structure also enhances the panels’ durability compared to other types of solar energy options.

Incredibly durable and efficient, it’s no wonder monocrystalline solar panels, such as those made by LG, are still widely preferred by homeowners. In fact, LG claims that their monocrystalline solar panels can cell efficiencies close to 22%. Not only that, but LG also boasts a 25-year warranty on their solar panels. While their upfront investment is higher than other panel types, the ongoing savings you reap from this solar technology is well worth the spend.


While slightly more niche of a residential solar panel offering, thin-film solar panels are still well worth the investment. Thin-film solar panels are often less expensive than their monocrystalline counterparts. They offer much more flexibility — in more ways than one: Because they are produced by applying thin layers of silicone and another semiconductor onto plastic, metal, or glass surfaces, they come in many different types of modules, making them more portable and adjustable, increasing the realm of possibilities for their possible use.

Panasonic’s solar panels offer a unique take on thin-film technology. These solar cells are hybrids between monocrystalline silicone surrounded by ultra-thin amorphous silicone layers. One drawback to the increased flexibility and affordability Panasonic solar panels provide is their low efficiency compared to the monocrystalline panels from LG. Compared to the 20% or higher efficiency ratings for monocrystalline panels, thin-film solar panels typically see between 7% and 13% efficiency. However, since they are significantly less expensive to install, there’s a possibility to add more in an effort to compensate for these efficiency losses.


Typically seen in industrial solar power harnessing applications, concentrator photovoltaic panels have seen increased residential use cases in recent years. Companies like Solaria and Silfab are leading the charge on photovoltaic solar panel technologies, complete with innovative solar tracking arrays. These panels work to capture as much sunlight as possible, relying on solar trackers, mirrors, and lenses. At the same time, internal cooling systems help promote the conversion of sunlight into usable energy. Each layer is created from two or more layers of semiconductor materials, allowing them to capture light from a different part of the spectrum.

Photovoltaic cells are applied to monocrystalline bases, making the installation costs for these systems are pretty high compared to monocrystalline and thin-film options. However, with efficiency ratings over 45%, it’s easy to justify the upfront investment — especially if you have exceptionally high energy demands, such as in a commercial solar setting.

Which Solar Panels Should I Choose To Install?

Now that you understand the different types of solar panels available, you’re probably wondering which ones are best suited to your needs. Not to worry — TENCO SOLAR is here to help match you to your ideal solar solution. Boasting more than 20 years of expertise in the solar power industry, we understand how to connect customers to the precise solar panels they need based on their circumstances. Allow us to help you make the switch to solar power by contacting our solar energy experts at (888) 507-6937 today!

Have a Solar project in mind?

With over two decades of expertise in designing and installing solar systems for residential and commercial properties across California, TENCO SOLAR is the perfect partner for your upcoming solar project.