Monocrystalline Vs. Polycrystalline - Which Solar Panel is Better?

HelpSaveNature brings to you the advantages and disadvantages of the two most popular solar panels; monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels. If you are planning to get any one of these installed, but do not know which is best for you, then we assure you that after reading this article, you will be in position to take the final call.
HelpSaveNature Staff
Did You Know?
Monocrystalline solar panels were introduced in the 1950s, while polycrystalline solar panels were hit the markets in the 1980s.

Solar panels reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. They are not only safe, clean, and reliable, but also cheaper than conventional energy resources in the long run. Therefore, it is important to use these devices in our day-to-day lives.

Solar panels consist of silicon crystals that convert light energy received from sunlight into electrical energy. The electrons in the silicon crystals get excited and spring to a higher energy level and produce electric current, after drawing in light.

But with so many types of solar panels in the market, it can be tough to choose the right one that will suit your requirements. There is high demand for both solar panels all over the world. Further, we shall talk about the similarities and differences between these two solar panels so that it will help you make an informed decision.

Monocrystalline Vs. Polycrystalline

Composition

Monocrystalline solar panel consists of a single crystal ingot. A silicon crystal cylinder is cut into thin layers with the help of laser. These thin layers of silicon are thereby fixed together to an aluminum frame in groups to make solar panels. Its cells are black in color and are square-shaped with their corners cut to accommodate more cells in a panel.

For making polycrystalline wafers, a cast is filled with raw molten silicon. Once cooled, the obtained rectangular block of silicon is cut into square wafers of 156 mm. Then, these wafers are assembled on a rectangular structure of glass or aluminum.

Advantages
These are the first variety of solar panels and are older than all its counterparts. Although solar technology experts believe that these solar panels survive up to 25 years, according to many reports, some of the older monocrystalline models which were installed in 1970s are still in use today. These panel have defied the wear and tear of space travel as well!

Compared to other solar panels, these are capable of converting the most amount of solar energy into electricity. Monocrystalline solar panels are apt for urban settings, or anywhere where there is a space constraint.

There are some solar films which use cadmium telluride. This element is a probable carcinogen and is not environment friendly. But monocrystalline solar panels do not pose any threat to the environment.

Compared to monocrystalline solar panels, these are less expensive and easier to produce.

They yield lower electricity than monocrystalline solar panels, and therefore, produce less power bills.

Polycrystalline solar panels have a lower heat tolerance than monocrystalline solar panels.

When it comes to durability, polycrystalline solar panels are as good as monocrystalline panels.

Disadvantages

Monocrystalline solar panels are fairly expensive.

If the solar panel is covered with dirt, snow, or shade, the circuit of this solar panel can easily break down.

They are fragile, and can be easily damaged if hit by any flying or heavy object.

Polycrystalline solar panels' efficiency is less than the monocrystalline type, in terms of electricity output and size. The former requires more space to be accommodated, than the latter.

During low light conditions, these cannot perform. So, when installed in a shady place, their output may drop to 50% of optimum even if a very small part of the panel is in the shade.

These are not as uniform and aesthetically pleasing as their counterparts and also are equally fragile when compared to monocrystalline solar panels.

Polycrystalline cells, due to their cost-efficiency, are preferred by large-scale contractors. Nevertheless, monocrystalline solar panels are the number one choice of solar panel users. After reading that monocrystalline solar panels are more efficient than polycrystalline solar panels, one would definitely jump to the conclusion that the former is better than the latter. But wait, certain factors need to be considered before installing a solar panel. You must take into account are, the roof space, your budget, and the temperature of the region you wish to get it installed in. Depending on these crucial factors, the overall efficiency of the panel may vary. Hence, an outright conclusion about one panel being better than the other cannot be made. Keeping all these factors in mind, make a wise choice!