This is an interesting time to consider adding a solar power system to your home because solar energy is no longer getting cheaper (due to a broader and ongoing price inflation), while the range of available solar options for homes is continuing to expand. Today, your options are no longer limited to the traditional photovoltaic (PV) solar panels.
Thanks to the advancements in solar technology, you can now opt for the so-called thin-film solar panel laminates designed to adhere to standing seam metal panels or to flat roof surfaces (membranes) like PVC, TPO, EPDM Rubber, without the need for any roof penetrations. Thin film panels feature peel-and-stick adhesive that eliminates the need to drill holes in the roof.
What’s in this guide: This guide compares innovative thin-film (TF) photovoltaic laminates to traditional PV solar panels with respect to balance of system (BOS) costs, pros and cons, available options, and more.
Did you know? The cost of residential solar energy panels has dropped by over 50% since 2010. The current average cost of a residential PV solar panel system hovers between $2.80 and $3.50 per installed watt. This is before the 26% tax credits from the federal government. Note that solar investment tax credits (ITC) will be reduced to 22% in 2023, the last year of the program.
For example, today, a typical 6kW PV solar panel system costs approximately $18,000-$19,440 before the applicable federal tax credits and local incentives are applied.
Before we break down residential PV solar system options, this table offers a quick comparison.
|Type||Cost per Watt||Efficiency||Average 6kW System Cost|
|Polycrystalline||$2.80-$3.00||13% to 17%||$17,400|
|Monocrystalline||$3.00-$3.50||17% to 22%||$19,000|
|Thin film Panels||$2.00-$3.00||10% to 18%||$17,000|