Numerous factors, such as the generation a solar panel belongs to or the number of connections it has, may be used to classify solar panels. There are single-junction and multi-junction solar panels that differ in the number of layers in the solar panel based on the number of junctions. Another technique to categorize solar panels is according to the generation to which they belong. This method focuses on the construction and performance of various solar panels kinds.

FIRST GENERATION SOLAR PANELSThese are the most basic solar panels, used in normal settings, and they are built of monocrystalline or polycrystalline silicon.

  • Monocrystalline solar panels (Mono-SI)

They are formed of silicon monocrystals. They feature rounded corners and a dark appearance throughout the panel. The use of highly pure silicon gives these panels the best efficiency rate. They are the most costly because of their characteristics of taking up little space, having a high power output, and having a long lifespan. The panel efficiency range for monocrystalline solar panels in India is 17%, 18%, and 19%.  Check out our Solar Project Management & Consultancy.

  • The cost of monocrystalline solar panels with a watt range of 250–above 300 W and a 17% efficiency is Rs 47 per Wp. 
  • Prices for solar panels with an efficiency of 18% are Rs 48 per Wp for panels between 250 and 300 W and Rs 50 per Wp for panels beyond 300 W. 
  • The most affordable solar panels include monocrystalline cells with a 19% efficiency. Their cost varies from Rs. 42 per Wp for panels with 200–300 W of power to Rs. 46 per Wp for panels with 0–50 W of power.


  • Polycrystalline solar panels (Poly-SI)

Their manufacturing method relies on melting unprocessed silicon. They are blue and have an exterior structure with square cells and uncut angles. They are less expensive than Mono-SI because they use more room to produce the same amount of energy, are less efficient, last less time, and cannot withstand extremely hot temperatures. They are available with up to 17% efficiency. From Rs 48 per Wp for 200-250 W to Rs 55 per Wp for 0-50 W, the cost of polycrystalline solar panels with less than 13% efficiency falls within this range. The cost of polycrystalline solar panels is listed below:

  • Rs. 52 per Wp for 150-200 W to Rs. 64 per Wp for 0-50 W with 13% efficiency
  • The price varies from Rs 52 per Wp for 200-250 W to Rs 88 per Wp for 0-50W at 14% efficiency.
  • For 15% efficient panels, the price varies from Rs 37 per Wp for 250–300 W to Rs 63 per Wp for 50–100 W.
  • Costs for 16% efficiency range from Rs. 37 per Wp for power beyond 300 W to Rs. 68 per Wp for power between 50 and 100 W.
  • While the price for panels with a 17% efficiency ranges from Rs 36 per Wp for power beyond 300 W to Rs 73 per Wp for power below 50 W


These panels are made up of many thin film solar cell types, which are mostly utilized to create solar power plants with lower power output.

  • Thin film solar panels (TFSC)

These are a more affordable choice. They are created by covering a substrate with one or more layers of photovoltaic material. As less material is required for their production, they are less expensive. Because they need big expenses to produce enough energy, they are not appropriate for home usage. Compared to their first-generation predecessors, they have shorter warranties. They work best in locations with lots of free space for installation.

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  • Amorphous silicon solar panels (A-Si)

These solar panels employ triple-layer technology, which is regarded as the best available for thin film solar panels. Although they are inexpensive, they only have a 7% efficiency.


This generation of solar panels uses both organic and inorganic components. They consist of several thin film panels, some of which, like “biohybrid solar cells,” are still in the research and development stage.

  • Cadmium Telluride solar panels (CdTe)

Cadmium Telluride is the material used to make these solar panels. They are effective because producing them uses very little water and has extremely cheap manufacturing costs. The main benefit of these panels is that they may considerably reduce carbon footprints, while the sole drawback is that they can be lethal if swallowed or breathed.

  • Concentrated PV panels (CVP or HCVP)

With a 41% efficiency, these panels are the most effective kind of solar panels. To increase their efficiency, they incorporate cooling systems and utilize curved mirror surfaces and lenses. These are multi-junction solar panels, and they work best when the sun’s rays hit them at the ideal angle.

Cost of solar panels and grants offered by the government to install them

The price of the panels alone might range from Rs 30 to Rs 50 per W. An inverter, wires, batteries (in the case of off-grid systems), etc. are common components of a PV system. 


  • Grid-connected PV systems cost between Rs 50,000 and 75,000 per kWp, and the price varies depending on the inverter and panel type used.
  • Off-grid solar PV systems are expensive because they need expensive batteries, costing about Rs 1,000,000.
  • Rooftop solar costs around Rs 1,000,000 per kWp, including installation fees. If you want to use a battery as a backup, the price will increase by an additional Rs 25,000. There are, however, several incentives that can lower this expense. PV system installation is encouraged by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), which also provides consumers with a subsidy. For the installation of rooftop solar panels in residential, institutional, and social buildings, a subsidy of up to 30% is provided. Additionally, the Income Tax Act provides expedited depreciation of 80% for rooftop solar installations. Therefore, with subsidies and accelerated depreciation, the net cost of a typical rooftop solar system might drop to about $50,000 per kWp.
Cost of a 1 kW rooftop solar panel INR 1,00,000
30% in the form of a subsidy INR 30,000
Cost following subsidy INR 70,000
A 80% rate of accelerated depreciation INR 56,000
Savings on taxes at 35% after AD INR 19,600
Net cost after savings from AD and subsidies INR 50,400

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