A Journal of our Travels

Solar Panels

Solar panels are a packaged, connected assembly of photovoltaic cells.


  • They are typically used in high reliability applications.
  • They too experience a significant reduction in output at elevated temperatures (>50deg C), although the effect is not as large as for polycrystalline panels.
  • Monocrystalline solar panels are one the most efficient commercially viable photovoltaic solar collectors.
  • Expensive to make.
  • More power per square foot.
  • Extremely fragile.
  • Identifieable by its signature light or dark blue colour, but not uniformly so: some patches are lighter than others, and the corners of cells are usually missing as a result of the production process and the ph.ysical nature of monocrystalline silicon
  • Efficiency up to 20%.

Polycrystalline (Multi Crystalline)

  • Panels made from polycrystalline cells are the most common and cheapest.
  • Output is significantly reduced in high temperatures.
  • 12% to 12.5% efficiency.

Thin Film Amorphous

  • Their output does not decrease in elevated temperatures.
  • Their conversion efficiency of sunlight to electricity is about half that of polycrystalline or monocrystalline panels, so you will need a much larger surface area for the same power out.
  • Can be rolled up

Shade Tolerence

  • Amorphous are shade tolerant.
  • Mono or Poly with bypass diodes handle partial shade better.

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