Frequently Asked Questions
Below you can find a list with some of the more frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions, please call or email us through our Contact page.
Monocrystalline – these are made from cells created by cutting thin slices from single crystal silicon block and are higher in efficiency, but also higher in cost per watt. They are easy to spot because they have a smooth even color, usually black.
Polycrystalline – these are made from cells created by cutting thin slices from polycrystalline silicon block and are slightly lower in efficiency, but also lower in cost per watt. Polycrystalline silicon is made by combining many individual crystals. They are easy to spot because they have an uneven crystallized look, usually blue.
Multicrystalline – another term for polycrystalline.
Thin film – these are made by depositing a thin layer of very fine silicon (amorphous silicon) or other photovoltaic material, on a substrate. These are much lower in efficiency that crystalline cells, and somewhat cheaper per watt. Their low efficiency makes them undesirable for residential applications because they consume a large amount of roof space compared to mono or poly panels.
Little is known about the longevity of micro-inverters as they are a new product without an extensive track record. Further, a failed micro-inverter may be very hard to access and replace if it is in the center of a multi-panel installation.
At some point it is possible that micro-inverter technology will reach a point where DYI solar installations may become possible. For now, only a licensed electrician can commission a grid-tied system regardless of the type inverter used.