Monocrystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels
When you take the decision of getting a solar PV system on the roof. You start searching the web for the best solar panels and inverters. It is the time when you realise that it’s that easy to choose the panels and inverter that best suits your needs. There are different types of solar panels in the market.
What are solar panels made of?
Solar panels are made from silicon (Monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels) and also from a different type of silicon known as amorphous silicon (Thin film solar panels). Now you might be wondering –
Which solar panel is the best?
The market is flooded with a large number of solar panel options but there are 2 main solar panel types available.
Monocrystalline vs polycrystalline solar panels – Similarities
1. Both mono and poly solar panels capture energy from the sun and turn it into electricity.
2. Both are made from silicon which is present in abundance and is a very durable element.
Solar panels Mono vs poly – Differences
The difference between monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels lies in the making of solar panel cells.
In the making of mono solar panels, silicon is formed into bars and is cut into wafers. Mono indicates the cell is composed of single-crystal silicon, thus provides electrons with enough room to move.
While in the making of polycrystalline solar panels, many fragments of silicon are melted together to form the wafers for the panel. As many fragments of silicon are used, so the term ‘poly’ is used. It is also referred to as multi-crystalline.
Which are more efficient solar panels –Monocrystalline vs polycrystalline?
Monocrystalline solar panels are more efficient than Polycrystalline because, in mono, the cell is composed of a single crystal, the electrons that generate a flow of electricity have more room to move. On the contrary, many crystals are present in each cell in poly so there is less freedom for the electrons to move hence lower efficiency.
Between Monocrystalline solar panel and polycrystalline – which are economical?
Obviously Polycrystalline are more cost-efficient and if you have enough roof space to accommodate more number of panels, then you can go with poly panels. But currently, in 2020, the price difference is not significant between the two types and comparing the poly panels of today with that of past, their efficiency has also increased.
Let’s summarise the Key differences
Monocrystalline solar panels vs Polycrystalline
|Monocrystalline Solar Panels||Polycrystalline Solar Panels|
|These panels have solar cells made from a single crystal of silicon. In its making, silicon is formed into bars and cut into wafers.||These panels have solar cells made from many silicon fragments melted together. In its making, many fragments of silicon are melted together to form the wafers for the panel.|
|Have higher efficiency and sleeker aesthetics and hence considered as a premium solar product.||Have comparatively lower efficiency.|
|They have a darker black colour.||They have a bluish colour.|
|Major manufacturers –
|Major manufacturers –
Benefits of Monocrystalline Solar panels
The major monocrystalline Panels manufacturers are:
You can click on the links above to get detailed information of those particular brands and panels.
There is one more option available but its use is quite rare in residential PV systems –
Thin Film Solar Panels.
They are also known as amorphous solar panels as these are made using Amorphous Silicon which is a different type of silicon. Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) and Copper Indium Selenide (CIGS) are also used sometimes. These are not popular due to their lower efficiency.