The 3 Types of Solar Panels: Know Your Options

types of solar panels

What Are The Three Types of Solar Panels?

The three types of solar panels are monocrystalline solar panels, polycrystalline solar panels, and Amorphous solar panels. Today’s Solar Panels can be traced back to the 19th Century when Alexander Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect and explained that we can generate electricity from sunlight. It then took us 100 more years to invent a solar cell! Shortly after that, we started using solar energy to power Space Satellites and now the International Space Station. Nowadays, solar cells can be produced in a few different ways, providing homeowners with choices. See below the three most company-used solar cells and what differentiates them. 

types of solar panels

Monocrystalline Solar Panels (Mono)

Monocrystalline solar panels are made of monocrystalline silicon. They are the most commonly used solar cells in the residential market.

Thanks to their silicon’s purity, these solar panels are very productive. Their efficiency rate is around 20%. When it comes to high temperatures, the monocrystalline silicon makes the panels incredibly durable and efficient, which slightly influences higher prices. Additionally, the Mono-Si panels have a high-power output and a lifespan of more than 25 years! 

Polycrystalline Solar Panels (Poli) 

The polycrystalline panels are made by melting raw silicon, which significantly reduces their production time and price. Their efficiency rate is slightly lower than monocrystalline panels,  around 16% and (like Mono panels) will last for over 25 years! They are produced differently, so their look differs from monocrystalline panels: they have a blue, speckled look to them. While they may look different, these panels are just as good as monocrystalline panels and are commonly used in the commercial sector. 

Thin-Film: Amorphous Silicon Solar Panels 

Amorphous panels are produced by placing materials like silicon, copper or cadmium onto a base. The surface color can either be dark blue or black. In comparison with Mono and Poli, this kind of panel is cheaper because their manufacturing utilizes less material. Also, thin-film panels are often used for smaller solar power installations and are very flexible, which makes the application highly manageable. They have a lifespan of about 15 years and their efficiency rate reaches 10%. Consequently, you need twice as many amorphous panels to generate the same amount of power as monocrystalline panels.

The table below shows a comparison of three types of solar panels: monocrystalline, 

polycrystalline, and thin-film.

types of solar panels

These three most common types of solar panels are all advantageous for different reasons, and any one of them may be the best for your specific needs. For your questions regarding the switch to solar or about which type of solar panel may be best for you, contact Solartime USA today.

How the Federal Solar Tax Credit Works and What You Need to Know

solar tax credit 2019

Solar energy not only helps save the planet, but it can also help you save money!

Did you know that once you install solar panels on your home, you’re eligible to claim a third of your total setup costs on your tax return? For anyone who’s on the fence about switching to solar from traditional power grids, reaping the benefits from the Federal Solar Tax Credit could be just the thing to sway your decision. 

Here’s what you need to know in order to do it right: 

Understanding the Federal Solar Tax Credit

As mentioned above, the Federal Solar Tax Credit (or the Investment Tax Credit) allows you to claim 30% of your total solar installation, licenses, and equipment costs on your Federal tax return. 

This means that if you wind up spending $15,000 altogether on your new solar system, you’ll essentially save $5,000 on your taxes the next year. In fact, research shows that the average solar shopper in 2019 saves around $5,000 just by switching to solar and taking advantage of the current program.

This opportunity was originally introduced in 2016, and Congress has since extended the tax credit to 2022 for homeowners to take advantage of in hopes to promote sustainable energy consumption. However, this deal won’t be around for long.  

How the Federal Solar Tax Credit Will Change Over the Years

Unfortunately, the Federal Solar Tax Credit only has a lifespan of 5 years. Not to mention, its value depreciates the longer you wait. 

The amount that you can deduct from your following year’s taxes becomes less and less with each passing year. Here’s a quick breakdown of the payout differences:

  • 2019: If you purchase solar panels within the year, you can enjoy the full 30% tax credit on your entire system installation. Now is the time to buy since 2019 is more than halfway through!
  • 2020: Anyone who makes the change to solar energy can enjoy a 26% tax credit off their total cost.
  • 2021: A little late to the game, but homeowners and commercial business owners can still claim a 22% tax credit on their solar panel system from Uncle Sam. 
  • 2022 and beyond: At this point, only commercial solar energy buyers can claim a modest 10% tax credit on their solar setups. Residential homeowners are out of luck. 

Although the deal starts to wither, the U.S government does give buyers a little breathing room to get the job done and reap the rewards. For instance, changes to the program have made it so that people can claim the tax credit immediately after construction and installation is finished. The only catch is that solar systems have to be fully operational by the end of 2023. 

Knowing if You’re Eligible for the Federal Solar Tax Credit

Combing through all this information concerning timeframes and percentages may seem a bit overwhelming, but knowing if you’re eligible for the Federal Solar Tax Credit and claiming benefits is pretty straightforward. 

Essentially, the only stipulation that determines your eligibility for the Investment Tax Credit is whether or not you own your solar system outright. This means that, if you happen to lease your solar systems through a solar energy provider, you do not own the equipment. Therefore, you’re not eligible for any kind of tax credit. 

On the other hand, if you do own your system, great! Claiming your solar tax credit is as easy as informing your year-end accountant about your purchase and giving them the proof, or if you use a virtual tax filer (TurboTax, H&R Block), you can simply plug in the credit and watch your savings roll in. 

Working with a Solar Professional Can Help

Whether you’ve already made a solar system purchase or you’re considering taking the plunge, working with a solar professional can help make the process a lot easier. 

For those with a setup in place, don’t hesitate to reach out to your provider to ask questions and gain valuable insights so that you can get the most out of your energy plan. From product issues to general questions, an expert-level solar provider should assist you with any problems so that you can live a better life with a sustainable peace of mind. That being said, if solar energy is new to you, then feel free to contact a professional at SolarTime USA to learn more. 

Their mission is to always put the customer first. Serving over 21,000 families and businesses throughout the U.S. and Europe, you can trust that your solar needs will be met with the utmost care, and most of all, the greatest affordability. 

Reaping the benefits of the Federal Solar Tax Credit is just one aspect of how solar energy can benefit your home, so visit SolarTime USA today and start making a difference for the future.


How do solar panels affect the value of my home?

solar panel appraisal value

Do you know about solar panel appraisal value and how it can increase your selling price and decrease your bills?

You might not be moving and selling yet, but it’s worth to be aware of what value your home could gain with solar panels installation added to it. In this blog post, we will explain how solar panel impacts your appraisal value.

Solar Panel Appraisal Value

According to the study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, people who are looking for a new home have been willing to pay more for a property with the solar system already installed. The study examined about 23,000 home sales during 13 years of home sale data. The findings showed that homes with solar panel installation are more expensive by an average of $4/Watt more than homes without solar panels.

Cash Purchase

Customers who purchase solar panels with cash are fully owning their system. In this case, a system is considered as a part of the property and it raises the value of the house.


Financing your solar panel installation through a loan that has since been paid in full means that you are now the owner of the system. If your solar panel system is financed via an unpaid loan, you are obliged to make monthly payments to cover your debt, ownership depends on the contract signed with the lender. Selling your home with the solar loan increases the value of your property and thanks to the additional revenue you may pay off the loan. In some instances, you may also choose to pass on the solar loan to the new home-buyer, without increasing the sale value.


Leasing the solar panels allows the homeowners to pay for the right to use the solar system for a defined period of time, but they are not the owners of the system. The system belongs to the solar provider. When you are ready to sell your home you can pay the rest of your lease and sell the solar system to the new homeowner. There is also a possibility to transfer the lease to the buyer, provided that the new property owner wants to take over the lease.

How Solartime Can Help

We are aware that installing solar panels is a long-term investment so we want to make it more simple and straightforward for all families.  If you decide to sell your home with a solar loan, we can help you transfer it to the new homeowner. We can also assist you in moving your solar panels to your new home. We are here to help you in the best way we could.

Should you have any further questions about this, do not hesitate to contact us at 972 675 7725 or

Do Solar Panels Panels Work During Cloudy Weather & Other Weather Conditions?

Do Solar Panels Panels Work During Cloudy Weather

Solar panels are very adaptable to different weather conditions and are installed all over the world, in places such as the below-freezing temperatures of Alaska and the searing heat of the Sahara. If you are thinking about how solar panels work during cloudy weather, it is crucial to understand how the weather may affect their efficiency and output. Let’s take a look at different weather conditions and how they affect the solar production.

Do Solar Panels Work in Cloudy Weather?

Yes, solar panels will still generate electricity in cloudy weather, just about 20-30% of its full capacity. As a result, clouds reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches your panels. Solar panels are designed to use direct and indirect sunlight to generate electricity. No worries, you are still producing power even when the clouds are up there!

Do Solar Panels Work In The Cold?

Solar panels’ production is more reliant on the amount of the sunlight that reaches the panels, than the temperature of the air surrounding them. However, since we are dealing with electricity, it is known that as the panels get hotter, they produce less energy even with the same amount of sunlight. The panels are tested at a temperature of 25 degrees C- about 77 degrees F, and heat can reduce that efficiency by 10-25%. That’s why the best production months for Texas are during spring and fall when days are already long, but the temperature is mild!

How About Rainfall?

Solar panels produce electricity even on rainy days due to visible sunlight getting through the rain. Rain is beneficial for solar panels, as it helps to keep your panels operating efficiently by washing away dust, pollen, birds’ droppings, and or debris. So rainy days are solar-shower days!

And Snowfall?

A little bit of snow, as in the case of rain, can be useful for cleaning solar panels. The sunlight can still pass through a thin cover of snow. Designers always install solar panels at the most effective angle to help with sun reflection and the fall of snow if needed. Fortunately, we do not have to deal with this as much, here in Texas!

Solar Panels in Hail

Solar panels could possibly be damaged by a heavy hailstorm, but it is very rare. Fortunately, if it happens, any potential damage caused by severe weather conditions would be covered by your homeowner’s insurance, just like your roof. Solar Panels are tougher to break than your roof, so you can sleep calmly! They will withhold the hail and if not we will work with your insurance to fix them if needed!

Solar Panels In The Wind

Most solar panels can withstand winds up to 100mph. Every solar installation is firmly attached to the roof. The panels must be properly mounted to a sturdy, immovable surface to pass the final inspection.

If you still have any questions regarding the performance of solar panels share your questions with us at or call/text us 972 675 7725.


Solar power is great, but where do I start?



Our number one goal is to make ALL of our customers happy! One of them offered to write a blog post explaining how easy it was to go solar. We asked her to tell us her story and this is what she wrote:

That’s a great question and it can be an overwhelming task to try to figure out. My name is Heike and I had that same daunting task ahead of me, where do I start? How do I find out more? How do I know I’m dealing with a legitimate company…oh, and even worse, I’m a co-op member is Solar power even possible for our family?

All those questions made my head spin, luckily that was a little over a year ago and I am happy to say I now have answers! I’m happy to share my experience with you and hopefully take some of the headaches away for you.

As I mentioned I’m a co-op member, not by choice mind you, that’s the only option where we live, however, we now have solar panels!!!

From my experience, it’s most important to have a company that is honest, helpful and passionate about solar power and helping others become solar power users.
After talking to a few other companies I finally found Solartime USA!!! Right at the first meeting, I was impressed with the knowledge and history of the company, this is a family owned and ran a company that has been in business in Europe for many years (let’s face it; Europe has been at the forefront of the task to save our environment).

Solartime USA will have a representative come out, go over your ideas with you and help you get the system you envision, whether that is roof mounted, a ground mount or even on a carport. The support is amazing, they will walk you through the entire process, pretty much handle everything for you from design to finance to installation (in our case they handled everything with the co-op as well!)…The icing on the cake is the 30% tax credit from the government and yes, you guessed it, Solartime USA even has help available for claiming your tax credit- for FREE! You’ll end up with a high-quality system with a great warranty. Most importantly, the support continues after installation, your system is remotely monitored. We’ve gotten random cards in the mail or a call to make sure we are happy with our system.

The entire process, from the first meeting to completed installation only took a few weeks! All those hours I spent worrying about how to get solar was basically wasted, this was so very easy once I found Solartime USA. We produce energy for ourselves, what we overproduce we sell back to the co-op, our electric bills have drastically shrunk, we made it through the winter months that usually produced $500 to $650 monthly bills to our highest bill being $130. Going solar has been a great choice!!! In a nutshell, going solar can be very simple, it has been for us, it can be for you. All it takes is to reach out…here’s how:

Call: 972-675-7725     Email: or go online: