Mono or Poly?
Solar panels have become more and more popular in the last decade and are now been seen as a viable electricity source. Polycrystalline and monocrystalline panels are two different types of solar panel currently available but there is much debate about which is the best option to select. In this article we will look at the differences between the panels and try to decipher which option is the most suitable.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels – the Basics
Monocrystalline panels are made with almost pure silicon and produce a single crystal which is then cut to be used in the actual panel. This single crystal makes the solar panel more effective in converting the energy from daylight into electricity. As a result these types of solar panels are more expensive to produce and, therefore, retail at a higher price.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels – the Basics
Polycrystalline solar panels are still made with silicon but the cells are made from multiple crystals rather than just one singular crystal. This makes their surface look like shattered glass in comparison to the smooth finish of the monocrystalline panels. The multiple crystals mean that the panel is less effective in producing electricity as less light is absorbed over the shattered surface. However, creating many smaller crystals is a cheaper process which means the solar panels themselves are more affordable than the single crystal option.
So which option is best?
Whilst moncrystalline solar panels are more effective than their polycrystalline counterparts their high price means they are the less viable option. The difference in efficiency between the two is not enough to make the monocrystalline option worth the additional cost. Polycrystalline solar panels are found more widely across the country and unless the price of the single crystal cells drops their popularity look sets to continue into the foreseeable future.