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Everything You Need to Know About Solar Panels

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Intro to

Solar Panels

The History of Solar Panels

The power of the sun has been harnessed for thousands of years, from lighting fires to powering solar-powered steamboats. Although we have been able to use solar power for a long time, the first solar cell wasn’t invented until 1883. This solar cell had an efficiency of 1-2% (current solar panels usually work at 16%-22%), which is where it would stay until the 1950s. The efficiency increased to 6% when it was discovered that silicon cells were more efficient than the previous selenium that was used in solar cells.

The 1970s brought a new wave of research, but as prices were still high many people weren’t able to invest in solar. In 2006, the Solar Investment Tax Credit was enacted which triggered a solar revolution. As more people invested in solar, installation prices went down while solar panel efficiency went up. All of these changes pushed solar into the forefront of the energy industry.

Check out our article Intro to Solar to learn how solar panels work!

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Polycrystalline Vs. Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Difference between Mono vs. Poly

Solar Panels are made with silicon, which consists of silicon cells forming a crystalline structure. These cells are formed differently depending on the type of solar panels. The main types of solar panels are:

  • Monocrystalline Solar Panels: These are formed as one solid silicon panel that is separated into different wafers.
  • Polycrystalline Solar Panels: These types of panels are made up of different pieces of silicon that are then combined to create the wafers.

The reason that these panels are differentiated is that Monocrystalline panels are, on average, more efficient than Polycrystalline solar panels. This has made them the preferred type of solar panel.

Get in touch with us to see what kind of solar panels would work best for your home!

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Mae and Lee - Virginia


Mae and Lee, a couple from VA saved $7,665 by taking advantage of the federal solar tax credit when they purchased their solar system in 2020

Environmental Impact of Solar Panels

Solar panels are known for being a renewable power source that produces CO2-free energy. Here are ways that solar panels have been able to continually benefit the environment.

  • Offsets Greenhouse Emissions: Every year, the average solar system is able to offset more than 8,000 pounds of carbon dioxide.
  • Solar panel recycling: Depending on the materials that the solar panels were built with, their materials may not be easily recycled. To ensure a positive impact on the environment, choose solar panels that are highly recyclable.
  • Low carbon footprint: As the solar industry has grown, the manufacturing of solar panels has become more carbon conscious. A study done by Nature Communications, they concluded that they have seen a downward trend in the number of greenhouse gases being released from the production of photovoltaic panels.

Contact us to learn more about the Silfab 370 Panels!

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Our Recommendation For Solar Panels

Silfab 370 Panels are powerful, durable, and are built with sustainable materials. REC has designed its panels with Anti-LID and Anti-PID in mind to get the most of your panels. They have a sleek black-on-black aesthetic, so not only do they produce renewable energy for your home but they look good while they are doing it.


A Solar System for your home or business can vary in cost, but with the energy credits your system produces with the current government incentives, most people can switch to solar without any extra out-of-pocket expense - and many end up saving money immediately vs their current electric bill. Switching to solar has many benefits, some immediate, and some realized over the course of owning your system. These benefits include lifetime savings on your energy costs as well as reduced pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The cost of electricity is always on the rise. When you switch to Solar, you own your own generating station. As the electric company raises their rates, your affordable Solar payment stays the same. Once your system is paid in full, you'll continue to generate electricity for your home at no cost! To see how much you can save, lifetime, click here!

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