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Solar Panels Pros And Cons

Gallium Arsenide Flexible Solar Cells

Solar panels represent today the technology that can generate free, clean and renewable energy, which will reduce your energy bills and the carbon footprint of our home.

Every solar panel consists of one or more solar cells, and the total output of the solar panel will represent the total power of the solar cells contained.

The solar panels available today on the market can have smaller or higher efficiency depending on the technology used to produce the solar cells. Let’s see what are solar panels pros and cons.

Types of Solar Panels Available Today on the Market

Solar technology is evolving pretty fast today because in order to make solar power a major source of energy on the planet we need to increase the generation capacity and also the efficiency of the solar cells.

Let’s see what are the most efficient solar panels (using the best solar cells) on the market today.

1. Thin Film Flexible Solar Panels

These solar panels rely on solar cells made of Cadmium Telluride (CdTe), which means that the panels are very flexible, lightweight and also environmentally safe.

Being so flexible, the thin film solar panels can be used in a wide variety of applications.

The panels are cheaper than the poly or mono solar modules, but their efficiency is only around 16%.

This flexible and foldable solar charger is a great tool for outside activities because it can charge your cellphone or iPad in a pretty short time.

If you want a charger for your RV boat cabin, you can use a more powerful thin film solar charger that will work fine to produce clean power for your cabin and also to charge the phones, laptops and many other devices on the boat.

2. Polycrystalline Solar Panels

These solar modules are using polycrystalline solar cells that are cheaper than the monocrystalline solar cells, due to the fact that they are manufactured using melted silicon that is poured and cut into wafers.

The polycrystalline solar panel provides a better efficiency (around 17%) compared to the thin film flexible solar panels, but being a fixed solar module, it can’t be moved so easily like a flexible module of thin film solar panel.

This Polycrystalline Solar Starter Kit with Wanderer charge controller is the perfect tool if you want to charge your batteries for free with clean power.

3. Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Monocrystalline solar cells are made from a single high purity silicon ingot that is cut into thin wafers that will be used to create a solar module with high efficiency.

Panasonic Solar Panels use today the HIT technology (high efficiency and improved conversion) that provide a 19.7% efficiency of the panel and a 21.7% efficiency of the solar cells.

The X-Series Monocrystalline Solar Panels produced by Sunpower rely on the flexible Maxeon solar cells that are providing an efficiency of 21.7% for the panels and about 25% efficiency for the solar cells.

4. Advanced Very Efficient Solar Modules

Solar technology has evolved in the meantime and now we have solar panels with improved efficiency, such the ones produced by Alta Devices (25% efficiency) and Spectrolab (31% efficiency), but these advanced solar modules are mostly used in commercial and military applications, and also by space missions (spacecrafts and satellites).

Pros of Solar Panels

Being a technology that produces clean electricity using only the sunlight, which is a continuous, clean and free source of power, solar panels have more advantages than disadvantages.

1. A Solar Panel System Can Reduce Your Electricity Bill

A solar PV (photovoltaic) system will generate clean and free electricity during the day that can be used to cover the energy demand inside the house or at least a part of it.

By having this additional source of electricity at your disposal, you can use the energy directly during the day for domestic consumption or you can store it for night usage or for rainy days when your solar PV system will generate only a diminished volume of power.

If you have a solar PV system that generates more energy than your consumption you will have zero energy bills, and in some U.S. states you will also earn some money back from the utility company because you are sending the excess power produced back to the grid, and will be used by the utility company to power your neighbors with electricity produced by your panels.

2. Solar Modules Are Used Today To Generate Clean and Renewable Energy

Solar panels are using the sunlight to generate clean electricity, which means that they are producing free and renewable energy.

The Sun is also the source of the winds on planet Earth, which means that wind power is another form of free and renewable energy produced by our star.

However, solar power is a silent form of clean energy (does not produce noise) it only produces shadow over the land covered by solar modules (it isn’t a fixed shadow because the shape and the position of the shadow on the ground is changed during the day after the position of the Sun on the sky).

3. Installing a Solar PV System at Home Will Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Using a solar PV system to generate clean electricity at home will automatically reduce the carbon footprint of your house because you will use less energy from the grid and more clean energy produced by your panels.

The energy provided by the grid is usually produced from fossil fuels, which releases greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

Using less energy from the grid will reduce the demand for energy produced from fossil fuels, which will diminish the level of air pollution generated by power stations burning fossil fuels.

By increasing the generation capacity for solar power, less energy from fossil fuels will be produced, and the environment will become a cleaner place for all of us.

4. Installing a Solar PV System at Home Will Increase the Value of Your House on the Local Real Estate Market

Installing a solar PV system on your rooftop or in the yard always increases the value of your house on the real estate market.

Many buyers are searching today for homes with smaller energy bills (to save money), so they prefer a house that already has a solar PV system installed on the rooftop or in the yard even if they have to pay more to buy that house.

5. A Solar PV System Is a Long-Term Quality Investment

Installing a solar power system at home represents today a very good investment for the future because the system comes with a long warranty (at least 20 years for the panels, 10 years for the inverter and 7 years for the batteries).

Your solar modules will generate clean electricity for at least 20 years (some of them even a longer period of time), which means that you can save thousands of dollars in energy bills (maybe even more because the price of energy increases over time).

Cons of Solar Panels

Solar panels have also a few disadvantages mostly produced by their high price and the fact that they need to face South to generate the maximum amount of clean power.

1. Installing A Solar PV System Requires High Upfront Costs

If you want to reduce your energy bills and your carbon footprint you need to generate your own clean electricity, and you can do this by installing a solar power system.

The first problem that appears when going solar is the high upfront costs of the system.

Even a small solar panel system (4 KW) will cost the owner thousands of dollars, something like buying a good car (not a new one of course).

The 4 KW solar PV system will generate only about 20 kWh per day, and about 600 kWh per month, which means that it will cover about half of the energy consumption of the house.

Let’s say that we pay only 13 cents/kWh at the utility company, which means that we can save monthly about $78.

If we pay 16 cents/kWh at the utility company, we can save monthly about $96.

2. Solar Works Only During the Day

Solar panels require the presence of the sunlight in order to generate electricity (clean power) and in the cloudy or rainy days the amount of energy generated by the panels will be much lower.

This is the reason why the peak output of a solar PV system can be reached during the summer months when we have a large number of sunny and hot days.

The solar PV system will generate much less energy during the winter, which means that we will pay more on energy bills.

3. Solar Panels Work Best Only on Certain Rooftops

If you live in the northern hemisphere you need to install your solar panels on a rooftop facing south, and if your rooftop faces other directions you will have to install the solar modules in the yard and in a place where is no shadow.

If you live in the southern hemisphere you need to install the panels on a rooftop facing north, and if you don’t have such a rooftop, you have to install the modules in the yard and in a place without shadow.

If you insist to install a solar PV system on a rooftop that faces other directions, the amount of energy produced by the panels will be reduced because they will receive less sunlight due to the bad position in relation to the Sun.


Solar panels are considered today cutting-edge technology that can help us reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, which is very important because all the major issues with the climate and with the global warming are caused by the massive use of fossil fuels for energy generation.

Article written by:

I write about the renewable energy sector, electric cars and climate change issues. I love nature and good food, so I travel all over the world to see new places and meet new people. Magda Savin

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