Which Solar Panel Is Better? An Overview

Which solar panel is better? In the world of solar energy, understanding the differences between solar panel models and manufacturers is key to making an informed purchase. While there's inherent superiority in certain panel technologies, individual features like cost, efficiency, and warranty may lead you to choose another type. Overall, monocrystalline panels are often considered the best option due to their higher efficiency and longevity.

Table of Contents


Welcome to the world of solar energy, where the possibilities are vast, ranging from mini grid, standalone systems, and beyond. If you're pondering how you can play your part in this transition from the comfort of your home, fret not. We've got you covered, exploring how distributed energy systems benefit not just the planet, but everyone. From highlighting the top brands to delving into the various types of PV panels, consider this your comprehensive guide to stepping into the solar revolution.

Our Pick ⭐ Renogy 2PCS Solar Panels (100 Watt 12 Volt)

Our Pick ⭐ Renogy 2PCS Solar Panels (100 Watt 12 Volt)

Renogy 2PCS Solar Panels (100 Watt 12 Volt)

Why Is It Our Pick? 🤔

Renogy offers a reliable solution with their 100W 12V Monocrystalline solar panel.
Delivering stable output, these panels are compact, lightweight, and designed for off-grid applications.
Equipped with high-quality PERC cells, they boast an excellent cell efficiency of 22%.
Renogy utilizes advanced solar cell technology, including 9 Bus-bars and a Half-cell structure, maximizing space usage and minimizing current and resistance loss.
Built to withstand all weather conditions, these panels come with IP65 protection and a corrosion-resistant frame.
With easy installation and proven durability backed by a 10-Year Workmanship Warranty, Renogy ensures a superior solar power solution.

1. Why Is Solar Energy Becoming More Popular?

Solar panels are experiencing a surge in popularity due to several compelling reasons.

Firstly, they offer significant environmental benefits by harnessing sunlight, a clean and renewable energy source, to produce electricity without generating any air or water pollution. This aligns with the global movement towards sustainability and combating climate change.

Renewables LCOE

Since 2010, renewable energy costs have dropped consistently, while nuclear costs have risen and coal costs have plateaued.

Source: ourworldindata.org

Additionally, advancements in technology have made solar energy more accessible and affordable to a wider market since around 2008. The continuous growth in research and investment in solar technology has led to more efficient and cost-effective solar panels, further driving their popularity.

Moreover, solar energy is inexhaustible and can be harnessed virtually anywhere, making it a versatile and sustainable energy solution for the future.

As society increasingly prioritizes clean energy production and environmental stewardship, the adoption of solar panels continues to rise steadily.

2. Current State Of The Solar Market

According to the IEA, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic nonetheless created a climate of uncertainty around generation costs.

The costs associated with generating electricity from new utility-scale onshore wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) plants are projected to decrease by the year 2024. However, these cost reductions are not anticipated to be significant enough to drop below the levels observed before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in most markets outside of China. Several factors contribute to this situation, including the persistently high prices of commodities and freight, as well as heightened financing costs.

Despite the challenges, solar PV and onshore wind remain the cheapest option for new electricity generation in most countries, with power contracts indicating wholesale electricity prices two to three times above 2020 averages in several regions, which enhances the economic attractiveness of these renewable energy sources.

Although the costs of solar PV and onshore wind may exceed pre-Covid-19 levels, continued innovation is anticipated to drive further cost reductions, improving competitiveness even in comparison to existing fossil fuel-fired plants.

3. Solar Power Warranty and Manufacturer Reputation

When choosing solar panels, the manufacturer's reputation is crucial for ensuring the reliability of the warranty. Here are key points to consider:

  • Track Record: A well-established manufacturer with a strong track record is more likely to honor warranty claims and provide support.
  • Financial Stability: Ensure the company is financially stable to be confident they will be around for the duration of the warranty period.
  • Customer Reviews: Look for positive feedback and reviews from other customers to gauge the manufacturer's reliability and service quality.
  • Warranty Terms: Check the specific terms of the product and performance warranties, which typically range from 10 to 25 years.

Tier-1 Manufacturers

Opt for panels from reputable tier-1 manufacturers like Longi, Jinko, and JA Solar.

Solar Panel Manufacturers

Jinko, JA, and LONGi Solar are some of the best solar panel manufacturers out there.

Brand Comparisons

Brand Comparisons

Brand Overview Key Models Features Pros and Cons
Jinko Solar Market leader with extensive global reach. Jinko Cheetah, Jinko Swan Efficiency, technology (PERC, bifacial), and warranty. High efficiency vs. price point.
JA Solar Known for innovative technology and reliability. JAM60S20, JAM72S20 Efficiency, power output, and cost-effectiveness. Durability vs. availability in certain markets.
LONGi Solar Leader in monocrystalline technology. Hi-MO 4, Hi-MO 5 Efficiency, advanced technology (half-cut cells, bifacial). High efficiency vs. higher initial cost.

Simply Explained: What Is The Warranty On Solar Panels

Longer warranties generally indicate better confidence in product longevity and performance.

For example, Jinko offers a 25-year warranty, while JA Solar offers a 12-year warranty.

The image below from PV Magazine illustrates key features that can reduce the warranty risk of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules.

It shows a Venn diagram highlighting three major risks: underperformance of the PV modules, default of the PV module supplier, and the intersection representing the overall warranty risk of solar.

PV Magazine Solar Warranty

Key features reducing warranty risk in solar PV modules.

Source: PV-Magazine.com

To mitigate these risks, the image lists the following solutions:

  1. Quality Assurance:
    • Certifications and bill of materials.
    • Factory inspections and supervisions.
    • Extended reliability tests.
  2. PV Warranty Insurance
    • Back-stop in case the risk occurs.
    • Due diligence by insurance.
  3. Supplier’s Credibility:
    • Track record.
    • Financial strength.

These measures collectively help ensure the reliability and longevity of solar panels, thereby reducing the associated warranty risks.

4. Whch Solar Panel Is Better? Efficiency and Degradation Rates

When evaluating solar panels, two key metrics to consider are efficiency and degradation rates. These factors influence the overall performance and longevity of the solar system.


  • Efficiency Range: Most panels from tier-1 manufacturers, such as Longi, Jinko, and JA Solar, offer efficiency in the range of 19%-21%. This means that 19%-21% of the sunlight that hits the panels is converted into usable electricity.
  • Material Impact: Monocrystalline panels typically provide higher efficiency (20%-23%) compared to polycrystalline panels (15%-18%) and thin-film panels (10%-13%).
  • Technological Advances: Over the past decade, advancements in materials and design have significantly improved solar panel efficiency, allowing for better performance even in less ideal conditions.

Degradation Rate

  • Annual Degradation: On average, solar panels degrade at a rate of 0.5%-3% annually, with quality panels experiencing a lower rate. For example, panels with a 0.5% degradation rate will retain approximately 87.5% of their original capacity after 25 years.
  • Manufacturer Guarantees: Many manufacturers guarantee at least 80%-90% of the original output by year 25 or 30. For instance, Jinko offers a 25-year warranty with strong performance guarantees, while JA Solar provides a 12-year warranty with similar assurances.
  • Impact on Performance: Lower degradation rates are crucial for maintaining the panel's efficiency over time. Panels with lower degradation rates ensure higher energy production and better return on investment throughout their lifespan.

Solar Degradation Rate
Solar Panel Degradation Rates - Quansah, D.A., Adaramola, M.S., Takyi, G., & Edwin, I.A. (2017). Reliability and Degradation of Solar PV Modules—Case Study of 19-Year-Old Polycrystalline Modules in Ghana.

The graph above  highlights the importance of choosing solar panels with lower degradation rates. Panels with a lower degradation rate retain their efficiency longer, leading to a better return on investment over the lifespan of the solar system. For instance, panels with a 0.2% annual degradation rate maintain 80% of their capacity for approximately 45 years, while those with a 2.0% degradation rate drop to 80% capacity in just about 10 years.

Main Differences

Efficiency Variations

Monocrystalline panels (20%-23%) are generally more efficient than polycrystalline (15%-18%) and thin-film panels (10%-13%).

Degradation Rates

Panels with lower degradation rates (e.g., 0.5% per year) will maintain their performance better than those with higher rates (e.g., 3% per year).

Longevity Guarantees

As mentioned before, tier-1 manufacturers often provide extensive warranties and guarantees, ensuring long-term performance and reliability.

Guide: EV Charging Typologies Explained

Solar Energy: The Physics and Engineering of Photovoltaic Conversion, Technologies And Systems

Solar Energy: The Physics and Engineering of Photovoltaic Conversion, Technologies and Systems

Book Review

Still not sure which solar panel is better?
Discover the fascinating world of solar energy with "Solar Energy: The Physics and Engineering of Photovoltaic Conversion, Technologies, and Systems".
Authored by Delft University researchers, this comprehensive book provides valuable insights into solar technology, from the fundamentals of photovoltaic cells to practical applications.
With engaging graphs and exercises, it's the perfect guide for anyone eager to delve into the realm of solar power.
Don't miss out — grab your copy now and embark on a journey towards sustainable energy solutions!.

Solar Panel Efficiency Comparison
Solar Panel Type Efficiency Range (%)
Monocrystalline 16.5% - 23%
Polycrystalline 15% - 18%
Polycrystalline PERC 17% - 19.5%
Thin-film 10% - 13%

By considering both efficiency and degradation rates, consumers can select solar panels that offer optimal performance and durability, maximizing the benefits of their solar investments.

5. Cost of Solar Panels

The cost of solar panels in 2024 varies widely depending on the size and type of system. In the United States, the average cost for a complete solar panel system ranges from $8,500 to $30,500, which translates to approximately $2.40 to $3.60 per watt, including installation.

Individual solar panels, typically rated between 380 to 420 watts, cost between $200 and $315 each. For full installations, homeowners can expect to pay around $1,000 per panel for roof-mounted systems and about $1,200 per panel for ground-mounted systems. A standard 6kW solar panel system costs between $15,000 and $22,500, while a 10kW system ranges from $22,000 to $30,000.

Type Of Solar Panel And Its Impact On Cost

The type of solar panel and brand also significantly influence the cost. For example:

  • Monocrystalline panels, known for their high efficiency, are generally more expensive.
  • Polycrystalline panels are cheaper but less efficient.
  • Thin-film panels are the least expensive but also the least efficient.

Solar PV Brand Examples

  • SunPower panels, known for high efficiency and performance, tend to be on the higher end of the price spectrum.
  • LG Solar panels are also premium and come with robust warranties.
  • JA Solar and Canadian Solar offer more budget-friendly options while maintaining decent efficiency and durability.

These costs reflect the decreasing prices in solar technology, making it an increasingly viable option for energy savings.

In the UK, a typical 4kW system, including installation, costs between £9,000 and £10,000, with total costs rising to £14,000 to £20,000 when including a battery system. Solar panels generally have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years, with most systems reaching a break-even point in 6 to 10 years. In the UK, households can save between £440 and £1,005 annually on electricity costs.

Solar Panel Cost Table
System Size Cost (USD) Cost (GBP)
Individual Panel (380-420W) $200 - $315 £150 - £250
6kW System $15,000 - $22,500 £9,000 - £10,000
10kW System $22,000 - $30,000 £14,000 - £20,000 (with battery)

Check out the video below for more information about the 10 best Solar Panels in 2024...

The 10 Best Solar Panels in 2024

Check out the video below for more insights Solar Panels purchasing...

I Ranked Every Solar Panel (Here’s What’s ACTUALLY Good)

Closing Thoughts 💭

In conclusion, when considering which solar panel is better, monocrystalline panels typically emerge as the preferred option due to their higher efficiency, lower degradation rates, longer warranties from reputable manufacturers like Longi, Jinko, and JA Solar, and potential long-term cost savings despite initial higher costs. While polycrystalline and thin-film panels offer alternatives, monocrystalline panels provide superior performance and durability, making them the optimal choice for maximizing the benefits of solar energy investments.

While there may be inherently superior technology in certain solar panels, other individual features such as cost, efficiency, and warranty may ultimately determine the most suitable choice for your needs; however, based on efficiencyand longevity, monocrystalline panels are often considered the best option.

We hope this article was informative in helping you understand the differences between solar panel models, manufacturers, as well as the features to consider when making a purchase.

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1. Which Type Of Solar Panel Is Best?


Monocrystalline solar panels are generally considered the best type of solar panel due to their higher efficiency compared to polycrystalline panels.
They typically have efficiency ratings ranging from 15% to 22% in real-world conditions, making them more efficient at capturing sunlight.

2. What Type Of Solar Panel Is Most Efficient?


The most efficient type of solar panel is the monocrystalline solar panel, typically offering efficiency ratings ranging from 15% to 22%.

3. How Do I Choose A Good Solar Panel?


When choosing a solar panel, focus on cost, quality, efficiency, durability, size, and the type of solar cells used.
Consider your budget, prioritize quality by checking manufacturer reputation and technical specifications, opt for high efficiency and durability, ensure the panel fits your available space, and choose monocrystalline panels for higher efficiency.
By considering these factors, you can select a solar panel that offers the best balance of performance and value for your needs.

4. What Is The Most Effective Type Of Solar Panel?


When considering the most effective type of solar panel, monocrystalline panels stand out for their superior efficiency, typically ranging from 15% to 22%, compared to polycrystalline panels, which offer efficiency rates of 12% to 17%.
Monocrystalline panels are renowned for their high power capacity, often exceeding 300 watts and even reaching up to 400 watts, thanks to their single-crystal construction.
While polycrystalline panels have made advancements, bridging the efficiency gap, monocrystalline panels still lead in terms of power output in a smaller package.

5. What Brand Of Solar Panel Is Best?


Among the best solar panel brands, SunPower consistently earns top marks for overall quality, Tesla for availability, Blue Raven Solar for customer satisfaction, and Palmetto Solar for their equipment.
Ultimately, the choice between monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels depends on factors such as efficiency, power capacity, and budget, with monocrystalline panels often being preferred for their higher efficiency and power output.

6. What Is The New Solar Panel Technology In 2024?


The new solar panel technology in 2024 encompasses advancements in thin-film solar cells, particularly in materials like copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) and cadmium telluride (CdTe).
These innovations enhance the efficiency and flexibility of thin-film panels, making them more versatile for various applications.
Additionally, there are developments in perovskite solar cells, pushing the boundaries of photovoltaic efficiency further and contributing to higher generation capacities and reduced costs in solar power systems.

7. Which Is Better, Monocrystalline Or Polycrystalline?


Monocrystalline panels are better suited for limited space and higher efficiency needs, typically ranging from 15-20%.
They can maximize electricity production even in areas with less sunlight.
Polycrystalline panels, with efficiencies of 13-16%, are less efficient but more affordable and require more roof space.
So, if space and efficiency matter most, choose monocrystalline; if affordability and ample space are key, opt for polycrystalline.

References 💡

  1. Exponent (2020). Shedding Light on Solar Panel Degradation.
  2. Fortum (n.d.). Solar energy - facts and advantages about solar power.
  3. International Energy Agency (2023). Will solar PV and wind costs finally begin to fall again in 2023 and 2024? Renewable Energy Market Update - June 2023.
  4. Quansah, D.A., Adaramola, M.S., Takyi, G., & Edwin, I.A. (2017). Reliability and Degradation of Solar PV Modules—Case Study of 19-Year-Old Polycrystalline Modules in Ghana.
  5. Roofit Solar (2023). Why Do Solar Panels Degrade?.
  6. SolarReviews (2024). How Long Do Solar Panels Last?.
  7. World Economic Forum (2021, November 11). Renewable energy costs have fallen - but that’s not the end of the story.
  8. Yale University (n.d.). Why Is Solar Energy Becoming More Popular? – Ledger.
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