All Voltaic products use monocrystalline photovoltaic cells. Most are encapsulated in urethane for long-lasting performance although some of the folding solar panels are coated in ETFE. In developing our products, we have considered alternatives like amorphous silicon, but settled on monocrystalline for a number of reasons:
- Monocrystalline panels tend be be more efficient. We currently use 19% efficient cells that collect as much power per inch as possible. When designing a bag that's powerful and sized for comfortable, normal use, efficiency is important. Otherwise, charging your devices will take longer.
- Our panels are super tough. We have a video here showing us submerging them and beating them with a hammer, and they're still putting out power. With the flexible, thin film panels, creasing will often decrease the power output. if you’re like us and sometimes jam a bag full of stuff or put it under a seat on an airplane, you’re going to crease the panel.
- Monocrystalline cells degrade very slowly. We've had panels outside for several years with no measurable drop in their output. The special coating we use is UV and scratch resistant and even self-heals with heat.