How are N-Type Solar Panels different to P-Type Solar Panels?
At the most basic level a solar panel is made up of two layers. When the sun shines on the panel it will knock electrons loose from one layer and they will be absorbed by the other layer. This flow of electrons creates electricity.
The layer that the electrons is knocked loose from is typically silicon infused with boron and is called the P-Type layer. P standing for “positive” because when the layer loses negatively charged electrons it becomes positive. While the layer receiving the electrons is normally silicone infused with phosphorus and is called the N-Type layer (N standing for “Negative”).
A P-Type panel has a P-Type base layer and then the N-Type layer on top of it, while an N-Type panel has the N-Type layer as a base with the P-Type layer on top.
Historically P-Type panels have been more common and are generally cheaper. However, they are less efficient and degrade faster.
From a consumer perspective, P-Type panels are great and are what you’ll typically find on most houses. N-Type panels will generally cost a little more but they may come with a longer performance warranty and being slightly more energy efficient you may be able to produce more power for your roof space.
As panel prices have decreased, N-Type panels are increasingly economical, and in addition the different structure allows them to work better in “bifacial” panels – which are panels that produce electricity not just from the sun shining on their front, but also from light reflecting onto the back of the panel.
For example the Winaico WST-NGX-D3 panel is an N-Type Bifacial panel which produces an extremely competitive 430W through its front, but can add 10% or more from light coming in through the back. The caveat being that it has to be mounted in a way that allows light to hit it on both sides to maximise the value of the bifacial technology. A common example being if it was tilt mounted rather than flat against the roof.
MSE has a great range of both panel types as well as bifacial panels so give us a call today about getting an obligation free quote for your new solar system!