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All types of solar panels that exist

You already know that there are different types of solar panels. The range is wide and sometimes it can be difficult to understand their particularities and differences.

Our objective in this article is to offer you a retrospective based on the comparison of the wide offer that the market presents with regard to the different types of photovoltaic installations. And provide a bit of information that we hope will be useful when deciding on one of them. Shall we start?

All types of solar panels that exist

The potential offered by the Canary Islands to generate solar energy is enormous. Here we enjoy an average of 4,800 hours of daylight per year. And this, as an anecdotal fact, positions us as the place with the most daylight hours in Europe.

We live in an ideal destination for harnessing the sun’s energy, which, as we have already mentioned, can be achieved through different types of solar panels.

On the one hand we have the commonly called thermal solar panels. On the other, photovoltaic panels. And we add a third hybrid typology to the list.

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Are we talking about the same thing, with different nomenclature? No. Despite the fact that they are all united by the fact that they are created to take advantage of clean energy from the sun in an efficient way, not all panels are the same, nor are they designed for the same purpose.

So, of the types of solar panels that exist, which ones are the most suitable for you?

Let’s analyze each one in detail.

Photovoltaic solar panels

Among the different types of solar panels that exist, photovoltaic panels are responsible for capturing the sun’s energy and converting it into electricity. And this electricity generated by the photovoltaic cells is mainly used to power the appliances and electronic equipment in your home.


    • Photovoltaic panels are silent and visually unobtrusive.
    • They generate clean energy with 0 CO2 emissions during operation.
    • They have easy installation.
    • Small-scale photovoltaic modules can take advantage of unused space on roofs and decks of buildings and single-family homes.
    • Photovoltaic installations can be expanded if energy needs change. That is, modules can be added every few years as your energy usage increases.
    • The operation and maintenance costs of photovoltaic panels are considered low, almost negligible, compared to the costs of other renewable energy systems.


    • As in all renewable energy sources, solar energy has intermittency problems; It is not generated at night, but its production can also decrease during the day due to cloudy or rainy weather.
    • Consequently, intermittency and unpredictability will affect your consumption needs, which must be powered by the electrical current from the electrical network.
    • Solar power panels require additional equipment (inverters) to convert direct electricity (DC) to alternating electricity (AC) in order to be used on the power grid.
    • For a continuous supply of electrical energy, especially for grid connections, photovoltaic panels require not only inverters but also storage batteries; considerably increasing the investment cost of photovoltaic panels.


Depending on the technology they use, that is, how the panels work, they are divided into:

    • Monocrystalline solar panels.
    • Polycrystalline solar panels.
    • Amorphous silicon solar panels.


thermal solar panels

Another type of solar panels are thermal ones, which take advantage of the sun’s radiation to provide heating to the house and have hot water in it.


They are capable of significantly reducing the cost of your consumption: up to 60% less energy to heat water and up to 35% less energy to heat spaces.

    • They generate clean energy with 0 CO2 emissions during operation.
    • Its use contributes to the reduction of fossil fuel consumption.
    • Solar thermal systems can be integrated into existing heating systems.
    • The most advanced systems work efficiently, even in winter.


    • They are more voluminous installations and require more space. · Require plumbing work.
    • They require the installation of storage tanks and the integration of heat exchange systems.
    • Domestic hot water systems use frequent cycles to keep the water at a suitable temperature. The problem with solar thermal systems is that they can’t do this overnight.
    • Compared to photovoltaic panels, solar thermal panels are more fragile and require more extensive maintenance.


When we talk about thermal solar panels, we distinguish between:

    • Flat collectors.
    • Vacuum tube collectors.

hybrid solar panels

The third of the types of solar panels, as its name indicates, offers a solution that combines the previous two. So in a single installation, capturing energy from the sun generates electricity and at the same time produces heat with which to heat domestic hot water or heat a home.



    • The most obvious: the space needed to give the energy captured from the sun both uses is reduced by half.
    • As in all types of solar panels, we are talking about a very complete system for generating clean energy, respectful of the environment.
    • Hybrid solar systems store solar energy and low-cost electricity.
    • The use of solar energy in peak hours is possible.
    • They can be used for advanced energy management.
    • It’s a great way to reduce network power consumption.


It has a higher cost compared to the previous ones.

It has a limited battery life, between 7 to 15 years.

You can limit the number of devices you can run at the same time. They depend on the hybrid inverter and its capacity.



    • Hybrid solar panels are divided into:
    • Generation 0 panels.
    • First generation panels.
    • Second generation panels.


The greatest advantage of all the types of solar panels that we have just seen is the use of clean renewable energies and the energy independence that they offer you.

You have control of its management and currently, thanks to the path that is being traveled towards the energy transition, you can benefit from interesting bonus programs and subsidies for its installation.

In addition, from EAVE Canarias and in what refers in particular to photovoltaic solar panels, in addition to the fact that they are installations that are better integrated into roofs, terraces and roofs in general and are less bulky than thermal ones, they have the added advantage that you can sell the energy that you have left over.

This is an interesting financial incentive that makes photovoltaic systems an attractive investment alternative.

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