Types Of Solar Panels?

Solar panels convert sunlight into energy, powering your home or business in a sustainable fashion. They can also reduce your bills which is becoming increasingly important in the United Kingdom. But when it comes to installing panels do you know what the best solar panel brands are?

Many new types of solar panels have appeared on the market in the past twenty years alone. If you combine this fact with a lot of the information online being interwoven with ads, it can be hard to pinpoint the best solar panel brands.

ground mounted solar panels


Ground Mounted Solar Panels

Solar Panel Key Differences

There are many types of solar panels out there, most varying in size and energy output. This is important as different consumers have different needs: roof space being a major component. The best solar panel brands offer a wide selection of panels, however, this can be a deterrent to those who are new to the world of solar energy.

With the solar industry booming in the last few decades, we’re seeing more and more variants of solar panels on the market. You can get caught up in what the best solar panel brands are, but do you know the difference between the types of solar panels?

There are four main types of solar panels that change more than just their size and efficiency.

  • Solar shingles.
  • Polycrystalline
  • Monocrystalline
  • Thin film solar cells.

Each of these panel types comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

What are Solar Shingles?

As the name might suggest, these solar panels are an integrated part of your roof. They have a sleek and technical appearance whilst also protecting your roof and generating solar power. They also have the added benefit of being able to withstand most weather types.

However, they’re not as commonly produced as other types of solar panels. This means the waiting times for these particular solar panels can be quite long. They’re also more expensive than other types of solar panels.

What are Polycrystalline Panels?

Polycrystalline solar panels are both cheaper and less wasteful in their production than monocrystalline solar panels. This is due to “poly” referring to the fact that they’re constructed from a mixture of silicon crystals that are melted down and fused into single solar crystalline cells. This makes the panels a popular choice for most homeowners.

However, this process means that the efficiency and resilience of the panels are generally lower than their monocrystalline counterparts. Polycrystalline cells may also suffer in high-temperature environments, so bear this in mind.

What are Monocrystalline Panels?

Monocrystalline solar panels are made from a purer grade of silicon. This has the benefit of increased efficiency when compared to polycrystalline solar panels. It also means that the panels look more uniform due to their colouration and the way that they’re made.

However, they’re more expensive than polycrystalline panels. The process also lacks the recycling of silicon involved in creating polycrystalline panels. 

Thin film solar cells

What are thin film solar cells?

These are a more recent, inexpensive, inventions when considering types of solar panels. As the name suggests, they are thinner than other solar panels and some are even flexible. This means they can be installed in more versatile places than traditional solar panels. They’re also not bound to a set cell count, meaning it’s much easier to ask for a custom size or shape.

However, although thin film solar cells are more customisable than other types of solar panels they’re not as efficient. They also have a shorter lifespan, meaning that warranties on these types of panels are typically shorter as well.

Brands That We Install

At System Electrical Group we generally offer two solar panel brands, as well as three different inverter brands. However, we can supply and install other solar panels on request; depending on their availability and specification. Feel free to get in touch if you’ve done your own research and have your heart set on a certain solar panel or inverter brand!

JA Solar Panels

Founded in 2005, JA Solar has quickly established itself as a leading global manufacturer within the industry. The PV solar systems have been sold in 135 countries and regions with over 33,000 clients worldwide.

In particular, JA solar panels have been favoured for use in commercial solar farms and ground-mounted power plants across the planet. Founded in China they now have 12 manufacturing bases and 20 branches worldwide. JA Solar is commonly considered one of the best solar panel brands for large-scale projects.



Canadian Solar Panels

Founded in Canada in 2001, Canadian Solar is another world-leading manufacturer of solar panel technology. With contracts in more than 160 countries, they’ve supplied the means to deliver green energy to more than 17.7 million households.

Canadian Solar aims to reduce costs for industrial and commercial customers by studying the solar panels’ lifecycle and engineering the manufacturing process.


A solar inverter is essential for anyone looking to use solar panels. It converts the DC output from your solar panels into AC current that can be used in your home, or transferred back through the grid. Without an inverter your solar panels are basically functionless, so selecting your inverter is just as important as examining types of solar panels.


Solis is an Australian-based company with more than twenty years of solar inverter technical development experience. They offer both single and three-phase solar inverters depending on your budget VS worries about voltage drop. They also offer energy storage inverters that have the benefit of a built-in battery.

Solis has a wide selection of solar inverters; differing in efficiency, functions, and noise generated. This enables you to balance your budget against what you need from your PV solar setup.


SolarEdge has a focus on solar inverters as smart energy managers. This means as well as converting DC to AC energy your inverter can choose when to use energy from the grid VS its own stored energy. Some models may also choose when to power certain smart devices in your home to save money by heating water when energy rates are low, for example.

SolarEdge is a global company with 16 offices worldwide. Their website  allows you to download localized PDF datasheets listing the efficiency, noise level, and other important factors of their inverters.



Sunsynk is based in Cheshire in the United Kingdom. Their solar inverters are available with an integrated app and customisable installation. This means you can choose which inverter setup to start with and upgrade as your needs change.

You can start with a grid-tied system consisting of solar panels and the inverter. You can also choose a hybrid system consisting of panels, the inverter, and a battery or go entirely off grid. You’re also able to install the inverter and battery with no solar panels to better regulate your energy use.

Contact Us

System Electrical Group has over twenty years in the electrical industry and is happy to work with you on your commercial project.

Please don’t hesitate to get in contact if you have any additional questions, or want to start the process of your commercial solar panel installation.

commercial solar panel installation