How much does it cost to install polycrystalline solar panels?
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Polycrystalline Solar Panel Cost Guide
Updated: August 17, 2022
Solar panels can reduce your energy usage, saving money and potentially allowing you to disconnect from the power grid. Several solar panel types are available, with polycrystalline being one of the least expensive.
Polycrystalline panels are large, mounting onto the roof of your home. The panels are made of many crystal shards, making them one of the more economical choices, even though the panels are larger and more visible.
The cost of your panels depends on your energy needs, with larger homes and off-grid homes requiring more panels. The national average cost range for polycrystalline solar panels is $4,000 to $6,600, with most people paying around $5,000 for 10 installed polycrystalline solar panels with 300 watts each. This project’s low cost is $3,000 for 10 panels with 250 watts each installed. The high cost is $8,800 for 10 installed panels with 400 watts each.
Polycrystalline Solar Panel Cost Calculator
Polycrystalline solar panels come in a range of watts, with most falling between 250 and 400 watts per panel. The number of watts per panel impacts your project’s cost and how many panels you need for your desired wattage. In most cases, people want between 3 and 5 kilowatts to reduce energy usage. For larger homes and homes going off-grid, you need more wattage and additional panels.
Below are the average costs for 10 polycrystalline solar panels of varying quality and their installation costs.
Polycrystalline solar panels are made from small shards rather than whole crystals. This means they are lower in cost but larger and less efficient. You may find that you need more of them and that they take up more space.
Pros and Cons of Polycrystalline Solar Panels
The biggest advantage of polycrystalline solar panels is their low cost. Because these panels are made of crystal fragments rather than whole crystals, they can be constructed more cheaply. This means you can get more wattage for less. Otherwise, these panels have all the other positive attributes of other solar panels, such as reduced energy dependency and low emissions. Polycrystalline panels are made of renewable materials, so production does not impact the environment.
However, you need to dramatically increase the panel’s size to get the same wattage with the crystals in fragments. This makes the panels bulky, heavy, and very visible. Aesthetically, they can detract from your home’s curb appeal. Depending on your roof’s condition, they may also require reinforcement because they are larger.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Maintenance. The only maintenance these panels need is periodic debris clearing. If they become heavily soiled, they may need cleaning to return them to full efficiency.
- Energy efficiency. Polycrystalline solar panels are slightly less efficient than monocrystalline panels. They have an efficiency rating of 13% to 16%, while monocrystalline panels have ratings of between 15% and 20%.
- Top brands. Many good brands produce polycrystalline panels, including LG and CertainTeed. Others include SunPower and S-Energy.
- Lifespan. Polycrystalline solar panels can last up to 25 years.
- Permit. In some areas, you may need a permit to install solar panels. Check with the company and your municipality for more information.
- Rebates. Many states have programs that give you rebates on your installation, cutting the cost. Federal programs also exist that deduct the project’s cost from your taxes.
- Contractor. Research the company and contractor you choose thoroughly. Depending on your state, they may need to be licensed in several areas, including as electricians and carpenters.
- Bids. Get a minimum of three bids before hiring a company. Ensure each company tells you the number of watts per panel, the cost per watt, and includes all parts of the installation. You should also get references from each.
- Accreditation. Make sure the contractor has accreditation from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). The NABCEP guarantees all members have adequate knowledge and experience for solar panel installation.
- Inverter. You have additional costs for your installation with the inverter. This converts the energy from the panel into energy you can use. This adds $425 to $3,000 to the final cost.
- How much does a polycrystalline solar panel cost?
The cost of a single panel ranges from $125 to $400. Most people need at least 10 panels, plus the installation.
- Which solar panel is best, polycrystalline or monocrystalline?
While monocrystalline is more expensive, it is much more efficient than polycrystalline. It also has a lower profile, making it less obvious. Many people find that this makes the monocrystalline panel the better choice.
- What are the advantages of polycrystalline solar panels?
The biggest advantage is its low cost. Polycrystalline solar panels are less costly than others because they are made from fragments rather than whole crystals. They are also made of renewable materials and have low emissions.
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.