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Solar Panel Types


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Solar generated power is now fairly commonplace in our lives, from outdoor lighting to bike lights. However, many households and businesses still don’t use it as a sustainable source of energy. 


What are Solar PV Panels?

The term ‘photovoltaic’ means that electricity is produced when two materials are exposed to light, in this case sunlight. When choosing solar panels, you’ll find this is the main type available, but there are different versions that are better suited to different situations. 


Choosing the right kind of photovoltaic (solar PV) panel will mainly come down to  energy efficiency, versatility of fitting and price. You may find different types of solar PV panels while shopping around, but there are three main types you’re most likely to come across.


The term ‘photovoltaic’ means that electricity is produced when two substances are exposed to light, in this case sunlight. Solar PV panels convert the sunlight to electricity, which can be used as energy to power appliances in the home.

  • Thin Film PV Panels
  • Polycrystalline PV Panels
  • Monocrystalline PV Panels

What are Solar Thermal Panels?

Unlike solar PV panels, which convert energy from the sun to electricity for use with heating, hot water or appliances, solar thermal panels take this energy for heating or hot water directly. Like solar PV panels, they can have a big impact on household bills, with some savings being around 60% for heating water and 30% on heating rooms. Like solar PV, there are different types of solar thermal panels.

  • Flat Plate Collector Solar Panels
  • Evacuated Tube Collectors

To find out more about solar panels and installation, you’ll find our trade branches can point you in the right direction for a consultation.


Disclaimer: The information contained on this page is intended as an overall introduction and is not intended as specific advice from a qualified professional. Travis Perkins aims to avoid, but accepts no liability, in the case that any information stated is out of date.

Always refer to the manufacturer's guidance for installation instructions and product maintenance.