Two of the most common types of solar panels on the market are monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Knowing the characteristics and operation of each of them is the best way to know which one is best for each type of photovoltaic solar installation.
Both types of solar panels are made with monocrystalline or polycrystalline silicon that provides different benefits to the systems where they are installed.
How to choose between monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels?
How monocrystalline solar panels work
Monocrystalline cells are made of very high purity silicon the internal structure of which has only one direction of crystallisation, so their efficiency is much higher. Higher powers can be obtained, requiring less space to install.
Monocrystalline silicon cells are made from Ingots (cylindrical silicon blocks). All four sides of the cylinder are cut, so a lot of silicon is lost in the process. Obtained sheets have rounded edges. Therefore, the crystals have a high purity, which causes the performance of each cell to increase.
Monocrystalline solar panels have a black color when exposed to light.
Monocrystalline solar panels advantages
- Great performance in low light areas.
- Less space required for installation.
- These cells have a long life span, even reaching 30 years.
- Produce more energy in less space
How polycrystalline solar panels work
To create polycrystalline cells, silicon is melted and introduced into molds with which the cells are shaped. As a result, the sheets are all perfectly square but The sheets are all perfectly square but with different directions of crystallisation forming polycrystals that form polycrystals. These polycrystals reduce efficiency.
With this process, less of this element is discarded and losses are avoided in the production phase.
When the polycrystalline panels are exposed to light they usually turn a dark blue color.
Polycrystalline solar panels advantages
- Its production process has a lower cost, making solar systems with these panels more economical (less silicon is wasted).
- Performance tested over time
Which is better monocrystalline or polycrystalline
In cold climates with a tendency to storms or fog it is better to use monocrystalline panels. This type of solar panels tend to absorb radiation better.
In warmer climates it is better to install the systems with monocrystalline panels because they are more resistant to overheating due to their lower temperature coefficients.
Polycrystalline panels are cheaper than monocrystalline ones, so if money is a determining factor when installing a photovoltaic system, polycrystalline panels are the best choice.
If you are looking for the highest performance and the highest amount of electrical energy generated, monocrystalline panels should be the option taken.
The space available for the installation of the solar panel system is another aspect to consider before opting for one or the other option. If space is limited, the solution will go through the monocrystalline panels, and if sufficient space is available it may be more profitable to install polycrystalline panels.
Although both cells contain silicon, they present different behaviors depending on aspects such as the amount of light or the necessary dimensions. Price is another key issue in deciding whether to install a system with monocrystalline or polycrystalline photovoltaic cells.