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Solar panel Types.

Choosing the right panel can depend on a few different things, quite often its price first. But quickly after that comes, how long do you want them to last, how much space have you got and what environment will it be in.

Monocrystalline Polycrystalline Amorphous
Life Span 20 Years 20 Years 5 Years
Cost Most Expensive Bit cheaper than Mono Pretty Cheap
Lasts 20-ish years Polycrystalline Amorphous
Efficiency 15-18% 12-14% 5-8%
Made From Large carefully grown crystals Multiple small crystals No Crystalline Structure.
Advantages Best efficiency Good efficiency with a cheaper cost. Cheapest
Can be made into flexible shapes
High temperatures do not effect them
Handle Partial Shading better
Disadvantages Expensive Multiple small crystals Low efficiency.


What can you expect to pay?
There are basically two price ranges for panels under 40 watts and over 40 watts. For under 40 watts you can expect to pay $15AUD a Watt for one or two panels, $10AUD a Watt for 10 to 50 panels and above 50 panels, probably around the $7AUD a Watt.
Over 40 Watts gets a bit cheaper, around $8-10AUD per Watt getting cheaper in bulk down to about $6AUD per Watt

Most solar panels last a long time, so don't be afraid to buy a second hand one. Try ebay or other online auctions, boat yards, caravan sales or your local second hand newspaper.

 

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