Solar panel technology has advanced considerably in the last decade. Solar panels are divided into three main technologies: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film. Each type of panel utilizes different technology to harness the sun’s rays and has a different range of applications. In summary

There are 3 kinds of solar panels available on the market:

  • Monocrystalline solar panels
  • Polycrystalline solar panels
  • Thin film solar panels

The cost of solar panels is calculated using dollars per watt. In 2018, the average installation cost for homeowners was between $2.87 and $3.85 per watt. Before tax credits, the gross cost of solar panels averages to $16,800. Assuming 5 kilowatts (kW) per household, solar panels cost from $10,045 to $13,475 after tax credits are applied.

On average, a solar panel system pays for itself within eight years. If a consumer purchased mono or poly panels with a 25-year life span, consumers could yield 17 years of cost savings on electric expenses.

Remember, in 10 years time electricity rates could be close to R6 – R8 p/kwh.