What is a solar panel?

In general, a  solar panel  is defined as a device to capture solar radiation and transform it into electric current. It consists of many  solar cells  . These are the last ones that ensure the conversion of the solar ray into  electricity  . Each cell has a thin plate with negative and positive charge. The transformation of light into electricity depends largely on the type of  silicon. Used in the manufacture of solar cells. The solar panel can be mounted on a fixed support such as the ceiling or installed directly on the floor. For the sun’s rays to be well received, it must be inclined 30 ° to the horizontal axis. In this way, the production of electric current will be optimal.



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Two types of solar panels are now commercially available:

  • the  solar thermal 
  • photovoltaic solar panel

Thermal solar


This type of solar panel  becomes  directly the  light  of the sun  heat  . It is often used for domestic hot water production. For this, a transparent glass plate captures the sun’s rays. Under this glass, the metal plate, covered with a layer of chrome, will absorb the light rays. These will be converted into heat by the mechanism  of  heat transfer by   radiation  . The absorber, once heated, diffuses the infrared, which will then be blocked between the glass and the metal plates. This is called the greenhouse effect.

The air between these plates, when heated, optimizes the performance of the device. The  thermal energy  will be sent to a heat transfer liquid that will be heated to be sent to a hot water tank. Routing can be done by  gravity  or by  means of a pump. In an accumulator, the refrigerant flows through a circuit and returns its heat to the sanitary water.

The photovoltaic solar panel


This type of solar panel is a bit more complex, especially at the installation level. It  converts  directly  sunlight into electricity  . The photovoltaic solar panel is composed of numerous   silicon-based photovoltaic cells , each of which delivers a voltage of  0.5  to  0.6 volts. . The assembly was designed to obtain photovoltaic modules capable of supplying a normal voltage of 12 volts. As soon as the light is captured, its energy causes a break between the electron and the silicon atom, thus modifying the electrical charges. Three types of photovoltaic cells, whose power varies according to the quality of silicon, are available in the market: monocrystalline cells  (appreciated for their excellent performance),  amorphous cells  and  polycrystalline cells .

The price criteria of a solar panel.

Energy is one of the criteria that define the cost of a solar panel. The most requested installation is between 1.5 and 3 kW and is equivalent to 15 and 30 m² of panels. The price of a solar panel also depends on the area to be covered and the number of people in the house. The brand, type and performance of the device are factors that will vary the price.

Cost of equipment purchase.

The cost of the thermal panels varies according to the technology used and the surface of the sensors. For thermal panels with flat collectors, it costs about  450 euros  . The thermal panels equipped with 15 vacuum tubes are sold for about   550 euros  . With a budget of  1,500 euros  , it is possible to purchase thermal panels with high-end sensors.

The cost of a photovoltaic solar panel ranges between 900 and 4500 euros per kilowatt maximum. For a power of  185  to  280 Wc  , the price  ranges  between 1,500 and 4,000 euros and between 1800 and 4500 euros for a power between  225  and  305 Wc .

Installation cost

The cost of installing a solar thermal panel is between  4,000  and  10,000 euros  . This price depends on the design to be implemented for the installation of thermal sensors, the type of system adopted and the use of thermal panels.

Depending on the surface of the panels, the installation surface and the chosen professional, the installation price of a photovoltaic solar panel can cost between  10,000  and  25,000 euros .

Some tips to choose a solar panel.

If you want to operate your electrical equipment with solar energy, photovoltaic panels are ideal. These will also allow you to have energy independence. If you want to install a solar panel only for the production of domestic hot water, you can resort to thermal sensors. These also provide additional heating and swimming pool.

How to finance the installation of solar panels?

The initial investment required to install solar panels is certainly high for a medium-sized house that requires, for example, 20 m² of solar panels.

But there are several types of subsidies, such as Anah’s help, the tax credit or local subsidies, which will significantly reduce the price of their solar panels.

Also know that with the installation of solar panels for a value of 8000 euros for an area of ​​20 m², in a medium-sized house located on the island of France, you will save approximately 20,000 euros after 25 years of age.

Price of solar panels per m2 in 2019

What is the average price of a solar panel? How much does the pose cost? How much does it cost to maintain a solar panel? What is the price to pay for the removal and replacement of a solar panel? What are the different types of solar panels? We try to answer all your questions.

What are the different types of solar panels?

A solar panel is a large, square or rectangular plate, equipped with a frame and an insulator that absorbs solar radiation to transform them into thermal energy and / or electricity.

There are two types of solar panels or solar collectors on the market. There is a photovoltaic solar collector and a solar thermal collector. The first produces electricity and the second produces hot water. Both are perfect complements of conventional electricity (fuel, nuclear), whose price has increased in recent years.

Even if the price of the panels is quite expensive, its production remains controllable. In fact, the amount of energy produced varies according to the dimensions of the sensor used and, therefore, also the price. Each household can find what best suits their needs within the limits of their financial capacity.

Average price of solar panels

The price to pay for a solar panel depends on its size and the category to which it belongs: thermal or photovoltaic. It also varies according to the power of the sensor and the quality of the place where it will be installed. The average price of a photovoltaic installation is  13,500 euros on average, including supplies and installation (including connection), for a power of 3300 kWh / year  . These are some prices per m2 of each solar panel model, with the exception of the installation, to obtain a more precise idea:

Type of solar panel Price per m2
Photovoltaic solar panel 200 to 300 euros / m2
Solar thermal panel € 200 to € 400 / m2 (glass sensor) 
€ 600 minimum / m2 ( tube collector  )
Photovoltaic tiles 400 to 1,000 euros / m2

Price of photovoltaic solar panels


The photovoltaic solar panel is the most used, it allows to produce electrical energy from solar energy. With the help of its glass wall and the photovoltaic modules inside, it captures the photons contained in sunlight and transforms them into electricity. The modules are formed from the assembly of several photovoltaic cells whose quality affects the power and durability of the sensor. One can distinguish monocrystalline, polycrystalline, hybrid or amorphous photovoltaic cells.

The price of a photovoltaic solar panel depends on its power and size. If the electricity generated is estimated at 120 kWh per square meter per year and the  price per square meter varies from 200 to 300 euros  , a family with an average annual consumption of 3,500 kWh will have to pay 6,000 to 9,000 euros to get the 30 square meters what do you need. With the installation, the total cost is about 10 to 13,000 euros  .

Price of thermal solar panels

The solar thermal panel is mainly used to produce hot water in addition to or replacing what is already produced with conventional electricity. It is equipped with copper tubes or glass collectors that absorb sunlight and transform it into heat.


Few houses use this type of panel due to its high price. The hot water produced can be used for daily hygiene, but can also be consumed by heat transfer devices such as radiators and / or air conditioning units. The price of a solar thermal panel varies according to its size and the materials that constitute it. The price per square meter for an enameled solar panel varies between 200 and 400 euros and that of a solar panel tube is estimated at at least 600 euros, not including the installation  .

Price of photovoltaic tiles

Photovoltaic tiles work in the same way as photovoltaic panels. The idea is that, instead of having solar panels installed, why not simply install photovoltaic panels? Its advantage lies in the fact that they are more resistant to shock, more waterproof, more aesthetic and easy to install, they are only integrated with the tiles of the house.


It is estimated that 1 square meter of photovoltaic tiles can produce 100 kWh per year and its  price per square meter is between 400 and 1000 euros, not including installation  . Thus, a family that consumes an average of 3,500 kWh per year will have to pay between 14,000 and 35,000 euros to obtain the 35 square meters that will cover their needs.

Average cost of installing solar panels

The cost of installing the solar panels will depend on the area to be covered and the difficulties that the professional will face: quality of the roof, accessibility to the roof, etc. The average installation price of solar panels represents approximately 40% of the cost. global. The cost of the placement is estimated at around  4 to 5,000 euros for an installation corresponding to 3,500 kWh / year  , which is generally done for a house of 100 m2. However, this price can increase considerably if the roof needs to be reinforced beforehand.

Maintenance cost of solar panels

Solar panels should be maintained regularly to ensure longevity and avoid decreasing their productivity. The maintenance can be reduced to a simple cleaning whose average cost proposed by specialized companies is approximately  10 euros per square meter  . However, the panels may need repair, in which case the repair cost is estimated at at least 2,000 euros. This amount may increase depending on the work to be done.

Price of removal and replacement of solar panels


After several years of use, a solar panel, even if it is very well maintained, may stop working. In this case, delete it and replace it with a new one. The elimination of solar panels is usually done by the company that installed them, the cost of this uninstallation is approximately 30% lower than the installation cost. The replacement price is the same as that of a new installation.

Cost of photovoltaic electricity storage

The electricity produced by the panels and / or photovoltaic panels can be transformed and stored. For this, you need a photovoltaic inverter and a solar battery.

The inverter transforms the direct current produced by the solar panels into alternating current so that it can be injected into the electrical network of the housing. A photovoltaic inverter costs an average of  1,000 euros  .

Meanwhile, the solar battery can store and / or conserve the electricity produced to use it when necessary: ​​power cut, camp, etc. The price of a battery varies depending on the model chosen and its storage capacity. Here is a summary of the average prices of batteries that can be found in the market:

Battery Type Price
Lead battery 80 to 250 euros
Gel battery € 250 to € 500
Lithium battery 600 to 1,000 euros
AGM battery 200 to 400 euros

Cost of the global installation of solar panels

The total cost of a photovoltaic installation varies on average from  8,000 to 25,000 euros, including installation, depending on the installed capacity and the type of installation. This rate is decreasing according to the size of the installed capacity and includes all costs, including the connection to the electricity grid. However, to be truly complete, we must add a cost of 1,000 euros every ten years to replace the investor.

Power of the installation. Total cost (including installation)
Installation of 3 kwc 8,000 to 10,000 euros
Installation of 6 kwc. 14,000 to 18,000 euros
Installation of 9 kwc. 19,000 to 25,000 euros

A family of 4 in a house of 80 m2 in all electricity will need approximately 12,000 kwh / year. As part of the needs can not be covered by solar panels because they do not work during the day, a 6 kwc installation should be sufficient for self-consumption. The kwc (or kilowatt peak) is the unit of measurement used to quantify the power of the installation.