Monocrystalline solar panels are made up of single crystal wafer cells. These require a smaller surface area which is great when you have limited space.
Multicrystalline solar panels are made from multifaceted silicon crystal. These usually require a larger surface area as they are less efficient when converting the sun’s rays. New technology is diminishing the performance gap between monocrystalline and multicrystalline solar panels.
Thin film solar panels are created by applying a thin layer of material with photoelectric properties directly onto flexible materials. This process requires much less silicon. Thin film panels are less efficient than crystalline solar panels and therefore require a large surface area. The thin film also degrades faster over time than crystalline panels. Thin film technology is marketed as having the ability to perform better in cloudy conditions, but they aren’t proven to generate more kWh’s in a year than crystalline panels.