Not all roofs are flat and even with a few kinks here and there the best type of solar panels would be those that can adapt to the roof’s shape.
Rectangular solar panels are designed to fit flat roofs, but what about triangular ones?
Triangular solar panels are designed to fit angled and curved roofs. They come in a variety of sizes and can be tailored to fit any roof shape, so they are worth considering if you have an oddly shaped roof.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the main information you need to know about triangular solar panels, their pros and cons, and whether they are worth the investment.
- Triangular solar panels are the same as, or very similar to, traditional rectangular solar panels
- Triangular solar panels are easier to install on curved or angled surfaces which can make them attractive to those looking to install solar panels on an A-frame house or sloped roof
- Triangular solar panels are available in many types including monocrystalline, polycrystalline, thin film, bifacial, and hybrid solar panels
- They provide high efficiency as they cover the gaps and utilize the available space compared to the traditional rectangular solar panels
- Triangular solar panels cost more than their rectangular counterparts due to the lack of manufacturers and the fact that they are more difficult to produce
What Are Triangular Solar Panels?
Triangular solar panels are the same as other solar panels but they’re shaped in a triangle.
They also harness solar light in the same way as traditional solar panels and convert it into electricity with the same efficiency.
But their main advantage is that they can fit into places that regular solar panels won’t, such as corners and other tricky spots.
Suppose you have on your roof a big chimney or a large skylight, then using a rectangular or square panel will leave a lot of gaps.
This leads to a lot of wasted space, and that means less power is generated.
That’s why manufacturers have come up with the idea of triangular solar panels which can fit perfectly in places where regular panels won’t.
What Are the Features of Triangular Solar Panels?
Typically, the feature will vary depending on the manufacturer and the model type. But generally speaking, the features you’ll find with triangular solar panels include:
- Shape: As their name implies, they are triangular in shape and offer three sides that follow the roof lines or other shapes
- Size: Triangular solar panels are available in different sizes, depending on your requirements. You can find panels suitable for small residential roofs to large commercial applications
- Output: Triangular solar panels also come with different outputs depending on their size and the efficiency of the cells. You can find panels with outputs ranging from many watts to hundreds of watts
- Durability: Similar to other solar panels, triangular solar panels are highly durable and can be expected to last for many years with minimal maintenance or repairs
- Installation: Triangular solar panels require special installation methods due to their unique shape which makes them slightly more complex to install than traditional solar panels
What Are the Types of Triangular Solar Panels?
- Monocrystalline Triangular Solar Panels: These panels are made from a single silicon crystal which makes them highly efficient and so they’re usually more expensive than other types. Their efficiency can be up to 15-24%
- Polycrystalline Triangular Solar Panels: These panels are made from multiple silicon crystals which makes them a bit less efficient than monocrystalline but still highly effective. They offer an efficiency of up to 13-16%
- Thin Film Triangular Solar Panels: These are made from a thin layer of semi-conductive material, usually amorphous silicon. Their thickness of 1 micron makes them highly flexible and so suitable for curved surfaces. Their efficiency is about 7-18%
- Bifacial Triangular Solar Panels: These are two-sided solar panels, meaning they can absorb light on both sides. This increases their efficiency by up to 27% and they can be either monocrystalline or polycrystalline
- Hybrid Triangular Solar Panels: These solar panels combine two or more types of solar cells, such as thin film and monocrystalline. This increases the chance of taking advantage of the best features from each type and so they offer a higher efficiency of up to 15%
What Are the Pros and Cons of Triangular Solar Panels?
- High Efficiency: Since the panels are designed to cover the corners and other small spaces, this increases the size of the solar array and so more energy can be harvested
- Aesthetically Pleasing: The triangular shape of the panels can make them blend in more easily with the roof and so they can look better than square or rectangular panels. Especially, if your roof has an unusual shape and has a lot of corners or edges
- Expensive Price: Due to their unique shape, triangular solar panels require special manufacturing processes and so they are usually more expensive than traditional solar panels
- Fewer Manufacturers: At this moment, there are only a few manufacturers who make triangular solar panels or they will only offer them on a custom basis. This makes them harder to find or purchase
- Fewer Warranties: As there is relatively limited information available on the longevity of triangular solar panels, they often come with fewer warranties than traditional ones
How to Choose the Best Triangular Solar Panels?
If want to switch to triangular solar panels, there are some things you should consider before making your decision. Here are a few tips that can help you choose the right ones:
- Look for High-Efficient Panels: Since triangular solar panels can be quite expensive, don’t waste your money on low-efficient models. Make sure to check the efficiency of the panels before purchasing them
- Check for Warranties: As mentioned earlier, triangular solar panels usually come with fewer warranties than traditional ones due to the limited information available. However, some companies offer longer warranty periods which can give you some peace of mind
- Check Compatibility: It’s important to make sure that the panels you choose are compatible with your roof and the rest of your solar system. You should also make sure that they meet local regulations and codes
Does Anyone Make Triangular Solar Panels?
Trienergia is the first manufacturer to offer triangular solar panels with an efficiency of up to 16.4% and a warranty of 12 years.
Can You Get Shaped Solar Panels?
You can get differently shaped solar panels based on your custom requirement.
What Shape Is Best for Solar Panels?
The best shape for solar panels is the one that maximizes the area and thus, increases the efficiency of your solar system.
Rectangular or square-shaped panels usually offer the highest efficiency but if your roof has an unusual shape, then triangular panels may be a better option.
As promised, we’ve now covered everything you need to know about triangular solar panels.
We’ve discussed their features, pros and cons, and tips on how to choose the right ones. We’ve also answered some of the most common questions about them.
And if you ask me, I recommend only switching to triangular panels if you have a roof with an unusual shape. Otherwise, rectangular or square-shaped panels are usually the more cost-effective option.
Do you still have questions? If so, don’t hesitate to drop them in the comments and I’ll be more than happy to help out.