If you plan to install your first solar photovoltaic system on the roof, you may encounter problems with monocrystalline and polycrystalline silicon. The same purpose of poly and mono panels is to use energy from the sun and convert it into usable electrical energy. Both use additional silicon, which is a strong and durable material, so it may be a good choice for your home. However, before deciding which type of panel to buy, there are some key points between the two technical forms. Other articles may say that one is better than the other, but why do they still exist? The question of which the better panel is, depends on the preferences and needs of each household.
Monocrystalline solar panels
Monocrystalline solar panels are cut from a single silicon source. This means that the solar cell composition in a single panel is more pure, because it is made of a piece of silicon. This results in a uniform black appearance and higher efficiency. Monocrystalline solar cells are made of silicon ingots, which are cylindrical in shape. In order to optimize the performance and reduce cost of a monocrystalline solar cell, four sides are cut out of the cylindrical ingot to fabricate a silicon wafer, which gives the monocrystalline solar panel its unique appearance.
Polycrystalline solar panels
The silicon in polycrystalline solar panels comes from multiple sources, which is why poly panels have an uneven blue color. The manufacturing process is much easier and less wasteful, as it utilizes smaller bits of silicon. For this reason, poly solar panels are less expensive to produce (and cost less to buy).
Monocrystalline vs. polycrystalline solar panels: which is better?
Both mono and poly solar panels serve the needs of most homeowners, so it really comes down to personal preference when choosing which type to go with. The option you choose comes down to your personal preferences, space constraints, and the cost of system you choose.
Available Rooftop Space and Panels’ Efficiency
At this point, you need to know that monocrystalline solar modules are made of high-purity silicon, so they can convert solar energy into electricity with the highest efficiency. According to the top panel brands available on the market, their efficiency ranges from 15% to 20%. On the other hand, polycrystalline panels generate power with at least 13% to 16% efficiency. This may sound like the use of a mono panel instead of a poly panel, But believe us when we say that choosing a panel is more than its efficiency. Now it is time to measure the roof space where the panels will be installed. Ideally, limited roof space may require you to use single panels because they are more space-saving, and polygonal panels are best used for houses with larger roof spaces.
If the color of the solar panel is important to you, keep in mind that single and polycrystalline solar panels tend to look different on your roof. Typical monocrystalline panels tend to have a darker black, while typical polycrystalline panels tend to have a bluer color. If where your panels were manufactured is important to you, then ensure you know enough about company that made your mono or poly solar panels.
Cost of the System
As you determine the available rooftop space, another factor that comes in is the cost of the panels. Since the technology used in making mono solar cells are more advanced than a poly, the cost is significantly higher. The process and technology used in making poly panels are simple – making it costs less. With poly’s simple manufacturing process, they produce less waste in production which result in minimal ecological footprint to the environment. If you are working on a specific amount of budget, you might want to request an actual quotation from solar installers and retailers.
Which one of the two will serve you best? Both panels have each pros and cons based on your available resources and preference. We hope that you will consider all the mentioned points of consideration before finalizing your purchase decision.