Just as we had got our heads around solar panels, along comes another one just to add more flavor, and those are the triangle solar panels. They are readily available from manufacturers like Wanhos in China and Trienergia in Italy.
Triangle solar panels work the same way as conventional rectangular ones. Still, they are designed to fit into the spaces left by traditional installations, fill gaps, or be installed on roofs where standard solar panels won’t work as well due to design constraints.
To understand more about triangle solar panels, we need to look at the following:
- What role do triangle solar planes have in a PV System?
- Do triangle panels have the same efficiency as standard panels?
- Can you only use triangle solar panels for your PV system?
- Are triangle panels more expensive?
Here is all the info you would need about triangle solar panels and whether you should consider them for your PV system.
Why, Where, And How Are Triangle Solar Panels Used?
If you have installed a PV System, you will notice that due to the roof shape, or protruding features like chimneys, you may have some ‘open spots’ or empty spots where your regular rectangular panels could not fit.
Unlike tiles that can be cut to fit spaces, solar panels cannot be cut to do, and this potentially loses out on some available and valuable generation space, but until this point, there was no other way around it.
Triangular solar panels are just solar panels designed in a three-sided shape, and they are beneficial to fill in spaces left in standard installations. Remember that because they can form squares too, triangle-shaped panels are very versatile.
Because of their shape, they can round off edges and cover any leftover gaps. This adds aesthetic value to the installation and increases the generation capacity.
Where Are Triangle Solar Panels Used?
They can be used on roofs, but they are more often utilized where greater flexibility in terms of placement is needed.
For example, the roof may be an odd shape, with protrusions like chimneys or skylights that won’t allow placement of regular panels or a triangle-shaped section of the top where rectangular panels won’t work.
Another use for triangular panels boosts the generation and coverage area and increases the system’s capacity by covering leftover gaps and spaces.
Are Triangle Solar Panels As Efficient As Rectangular Panels?
Regarding generational capacity, triangular solar panels work the same way as standard rectangular ones. They can generate power based on their rated wattage and have the same functionality as the regular panels; they are just a different shape.
When used, they deliver added capacity to the existing system, but as a rule, they are generally not used as the sole shape; they work in conjunction with the larger rectangular panels.
Can You Use Triangle Panels For The Whole Roof?
Covering your entire roof with triangular panels would not be practical from a cost perspective, as you would need a lot more of them to achieve the same coverage as regular panels.
While the aesthetics will be exceptional for your home, looks aren’t everything, and unless you have won the lottery, using triangle-shaped panels for your PV system won’t be viable.
Triangle Solar Panels Vs. Rectangular Panels – Cost
Here is where the rectangular panels dominate. Because there are very few manufacturers of solar panels at the moment, their price is high, and availability is lower.
If you compare a 100W panel from Trienergia at $150 per panel or $1.50/watt against a Renogy 100W panel at $97 or $0.97/ Watt, that’s more than a 33% difference in price. Considering that most PV panels used in residential installations are between 280W and 360W, using 100W triangular panels will be very expensive.
The pricing disparity becomes evident if we take the cost per watt of a 100W triangle solar panel against a 350W solar panel. At $175 for a 350W panel, that’s a cost of $0.50 per watt vs. $1.50 per watt on the triangle panel.
That’s 300% more for the triangle panel than for the standard one, and for most homeowners, paying that much more to add more capacity isn’t worth it. For the exact generation cost, it’s easier to add one additional rectangular panel than three 100W triangle panels.
What Other Drawbacks Do Triangle Solar Panels Have?
Aside from the price and being a more specialized product, they are more expensive and difficult to manufacture due to their shape. The machinery and technology needed to achieve the geometrical precision drive the cost of these panels up.
With regular solar panels, warranties abound, but due to the rarity of triangle solar panels, the warranty data from third parties is not readily available, making them potentially risky to install.
The other consideration is that not many installers know about or have experience with these types of panels, so they may not be keen to install them. While they have the same function and connect to the array similarly, positioning the triangular panels in an array will take a little more planning.
The Future Of Shaped Solar Panels
Triangle-shaped panels will probably not be the only ones to evolve, as hexagonal panels are already available and used in solar farm arrays and industrial applications.
They have proved to be very effective in those applications. Still, since most factories are geared toward producing rectangular panels for residential use, it may be a while before this type is commercially available.
As solar panel costs decrease as demand increases, the variety of shapes of panels will increase. While some profiles may not be as efficient and fall away, others, yet unthought of, may replace existing technologies in the future. We may find rectangular and even triangular panels obsolete in the future.
However, as the shape of solar panels unfolds, the rectangular ones are the go-to. Until the technology exists to make other forms cheaper with the same efficiency or better, that is where we will stay.