The core component of a solar power system is the solar panel. They are also known as PV panels, photovoltaic panels, and solar modules. These terms generally apply to the same thing: a device that uses energy from the sun to generate electrical power. The amount of PV power that a module can produce is measured in a unit called the watt (amps multiplied by volts). The higher the watt rating, the more power the panel can produce. Nearly all low wattage panels are rated for 12 volts DC and used on small scale battery charging systems. The one hundred watt modules and higher are often available in 24 volt configurations and higher. Usually the 24 volt panels are used for grid-tie solar systems while the 12 volt panels are generally used for charging off-grid or RV and boat batteries.
Most panels are what's referred to as a multicrystalline or polycrystalline module. These encompass most panels rated at 100 watts and below. Many panels larger than 100 watts are also polycrystalline, however you will also see another type of module called a monocrystalline. The monocrystalline panels tend to be more efficient and will usually generate more power in lower light conditions. The silicon solar cells are produced with a single type of silicon crystal which enhances the overall performance of the module.
We stock a wide range of solar panels, ranging from the small one watt trickle charge panels, up to the very large Kyocera 325 watt PV panels. Most modules 140 watts and below can be shipped via UPS, whereas the larger modules must be shipped via a freight carrier. If you are interested in 20 or more modules, be sure to ask about our pallet discounts and special pricing. Check out our section for modules over 100 watts to see price per watt comparisons.
Are you a solar beginner and looking for a place to start learning about solar power? Take a look at this YouTube video by The Pacific Energy Center:
Solar Power Basics