Do you want the best out of your solar panel system? Well, it’s no rocket science. The first step is to choose between the two solar panels – monocrystalline and polycrystalline.
However, I understand that you are confused about the right decision for your solar panels. No pressure, I’m here to help you out.
In this article, you will learn some key differences between monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels. Then, you can easily decide which one is best for your project.
The more you know, the easier it is to make an informed decision. Let’s get started!
Monocrystalline or Polycrystalline?
Before we look further into their differences, let’s recall the basic function of a solar panel. Solar panels are made of solar cells, which convert sunlight into electricity. Whether monocrystalline or polycrystalline, these solar panels will perform the same basic function.
Now, let’s come to the real question – What’s the difference between the two solar panels? Keep reading for the detailed answer.
The main difference between the two solar panels is in the composition of solar cells.
The process starts with bars of crystalline silicons sliced into wafers to make solar cells. Since it’s a monocrystalline solar panel, it features a single silicon crystal. That’s pretty much obvious from the name itself, right?
Whereas, solar cells in polycrystalline panels are made from different silicon crystals. These crystals undergo a melt-down process to form blended silicon wafers. Eventually, these wafers go on to form polycrystalline solar cells.
Efficiency depends on how pure the solar panels are. To understand which of the solar panels are more efficient, we will discuss the behavior of the two types of solar cells, below.
But, before that, we presume, you have a good idea which one is purer.
Yes, you guessed it right! The monocrystalline panels are purer because there is just one type of silicon crystal. But, here’s a bit more to that.
Their molecules are in a regular shape, maintaining a good symmetry. Also, the electrons in monocrystalline panels have sufficient space to move freely. As a result, they can produce electricity at a much better rate.
Due to their high efficiency and low sustainability, they are more expensive than polycrystalline solar panels.
With polycrystalline, things are slightly different. Because of varying silicon crystals, the symmetry of these solar cells is inconsistent. And they cannot compete with the monocrystalline alternatives in terms of purity as well. This, in turn, gives less space for the electrons to move. So, the resulting solar panel is less efficient than the monocrystalline panel.
The only advantage they have relates to pricing. Polycrystalline solar panels are cost-effective as compared to monocrystalline panels. In fact, they are more in demand because of their cheap rates and highly sustainable procedure.
And if you’re concerned about efficiency, you shouldn’t be, as long as you are buying from a trusted seller.
Which Solar Panel Technology is Best for you?
Now, this is an old-school principle connected to your needs and wants. But, here are some quick questions that can help you choose the right fit.
Do you want panels with darker shades?
Monocrystalline solar panels will give a darker black shade to your roof. And if you like a different color, polycrystalline solar panels are mostly dark blue. You have to consider this point if appearance is important to you.
How much space you have?
Well, space issue is an undeniable one. See how much space is available for the solar panels set-up. Polycrystalline panels are more suited for large and spacious roofs. They’ll underperform in a limited space. In this case, you will have to invest in the monocrystalline solar panels. Otherwise, polycrystalline solar panels can make a better sense.
If space is limited, use monocrystalline solar panels.
Do you want more energy out of fewer panels?
This should be easy, as monocrystalline panels are better. It also means you’ll get your energy requirements fulfilled with lesser panels, in a smaller space.
It’s different for everyone, isn’t it? It all depends on what your budget is, how much space is available, and the amount of energy you want to generate.
Watch my new video about the subject here:
Here you go, you’ve got a quick comparison between monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels. It’ll definitely help you choose the right kind of solar panel. Use monocrystalline if you are limited by space. Use polycrystalline if space is no constraint.
Caveat: keep in mind that the quality of solar panels matters the most. Never, and we repeat, never compromise on the quality, buy from a reputable solar panel dealer. Preferably a company with a proven track record that has been around for many years.
What is better monocrystalline or polycrystalline?
Both are equally as good. Polycrystalline is just a bit bigger for the same amount of power as monocrystalline.
Can you mix poly and mono solar panels?
If both panels have the same current, but different voltage you can connect them in series.
If they have the same voltage, but different current you can connect them in parallel.
Is monocrystalline more expensive than polycrystalline?
Yes, monocrystalline is more expensive per watt because it uses another manufacturing method. That’s why I recommend using polycrystalline when space is not a constraint.
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I’m an off-grid enthusiast. I created this website to give clear and straight-to-the-point advice about solar power. I’m also the author of the book ‘Off-grid solar power simplified‘. Read more about me on my about page, check out my Youtube channel, or send me a message.