Types of Solar Cells: IBC vs. PERC

December 03 2020

Two men installing PERC solar panels on a roof

Different types of solar cells offer different levels of efficiency and reliability. Understanding your options is important. Before you buy, decide whether IBC solar cells or PERC solar cells are right for you.

Not sure which types of solar cells to choose? Greenlife Solar can help. We’re here to making going green simple. With free resources that cover every decision in the buying process, you’ll be able to find a solar installation that works for your home.

Discover which solar panel cells fit your needs. Learn more about IBC and PERC solar panels today. Here is everything you need to know about types of solar cells.

IBC Solar Cells

IBC, or “interdigitated back contact”, solar panel cells use back contact energy conversion. This eliminates the need for the metal ribbons found on the front of PERC cells. In turn, this reduces shading on the front of IBC solar cells.

Since more surface area is available to absorb sunlight, more photons can be converted to energy.

Traditional solar panel cells convert energy via front contacts in the cell. Photons that reach the surface of the cell must be absorbed at that moment to release electrons and generate electricity.

IBC solar cells do not have contacts on the front of the cell. Instead, they are on the back. This allows IBC solar panels to achieve higher efficiency thanks to reduced shading on the front of the cell.

The back contact technology used in these types of solar cells is much more complicated than traditional options. However, IBC solar panels have the highest efficiency cells on the market today.

Of course, higher efficiency comes with a higher price tag. IBC solar panels are typically more expensive than PERC options.

PERC Solar Cells

When comparing types of solar cells, you’ll also want to consider PERC, or “passivated emitter rear contact”, cells. PERC solar cells also offer improved efficiency over traditional panels, but in a different way than IBC options.

PERC solar panels have two extra layers on the back. These extra layers bounce sunlight back into each cell for a second time while improving the electron’s energy. This gives PERC solar panels a second chance to capture sunlight and turn it into electricity.

Unlike IBC solar panels, PERC panels do have metal strips running through them because they capture sunlight on the front of the cells. This means PERC solar panels are more likely to crack than IBC panels.

Keep in mind that PERC solar cells are priced lower than IBC options. Compare all types of solar panels here.

PERC solar cells shining in the sunlight

Finding the Perfect Fit for Your Home

Both of these types of solar cells are a great investment over the traditional options. By increasing the efficiency of your panels, you’ll increase your return on investment. Plus, it means you’ll need fewer panels to get the job done.

Choosing the right solar panel cells for your home is important. After all, solar is a big investment.

Want to compare your options before you buy? Greenlife Solar works with a variety of pre-screened solar installers. Simply enter some information about your home and we’ll send you free quotes for solar panel installation that fits your needs.

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