Considering getting a solar panel system but cannot decide which one is better? Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline are the most commonly available solar panels in the market. But this is what is confusing you the most. Which one should you select, the costly one or the affordable? If you are going for the expensive one, is it really worth it and do you really need it? Will the less costly one last longer and is it reliable? Which is better monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panels? The questions are endless but do not worry. Here is a complete comparison of monocrystalline solar panel vs polycrystalline solar panel for you.
Monocrystalline Solar Panel Vs Polycrystalline Solar Panel
Two main categories of solar panels are monocrystalline and polycrystalline. These two are the most commonly demanded types of solar panels because of their features and specifications.
Monocrystalline Solar Panel
It is one of the premium types of solar panels because of its material and manufacturing method. A monocrystalline solar panel is made from solar cells made from single-crystal silicon. This gave them their signature pyramid structure and earns it the name mono-crystalline solar panel. Electrons move more freely in such cell construction, resulting in higher energy production. This makes it more efficient among all types of solar panels.
Polycrystalline Solar Panel
Silicon is the building material of these solar panels too. However, the method of manufacturing is different because multiple fragments of silicon are melted together, and wafers are formed. These wafers are then converted into solar panels. The manufacturing method gave them the name poly-crystalline or multi-crystalline solar panels. This type of cell gives less space for electrons to move, resulting in low power generation and lower efficiency than monocrystalline solar panels. After this, let’s thoroughly understand the difference between monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels.
Differences Between Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Read the table below to compare monocrystalline solar panel vs polycrystalline solar panel.
|Appearance||Octagonal Black solar panels||Square-edged Dark Blue solar panels|
|Lifespan||Minimum 25 years|
Maximum 40, sometimes 50 years
|Minimum 20 years|
Maximum 25-30 years
|Temperature coefficients||Low (0.35% per °Celsius)||High (0.4% per °Celsius)|
|Applications||Smaller areas with less sunlight||Large areas with the most sunlight|
|Annual degradation||Lower at 0.55% per year||Higher at 0.7% per year|
Monocrystalline Vs Polycrystalline Solar Panel Price
After understanding the difference between monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels, let’s also see monocrystalline vs polycrystalline solar panel prices. The price comparison of both solar panels is based on different factors. Monocrystalline is expensive and costs around $0.50 and $0.80 per watt. Polycrystalline solar panels per watt may cost around $0.40 to $0.50.
The difference in price exists because of the following factors:
1. Materials: Single silicon crystal of monocrystalline solar panels makes them more expensive than poly panels that are made from different silicon fragments.
2. Power Capacity: The solar panels have power ratings that are measured in Wat peak (Wp). This is the peak direct current power that the panel can generate. This rating is given after the performance of solar panels under testing conditions. The monocrystalline solar cells combined with PERC technology have the highest power rating of 540 Wp DC power. On the contrary, polycrystalline solar panels have a rating range between 320 Wp and 370 Wp.
3. Efficiency: The higher the efficiency, the more costly your solar panel is. In terms of price and efficiency relation, monocrystalline solar panels are the most costly. But with high efficiency, fewer panels are required to generate enough power, which means there can be a reduction in costs. The low efficiency of polycrystalline panels will require the installation of more solar panels to generate the required amount of energy. It is an important determinant in the price of monocrystalline solar panel vs polycrystalline solar panel. With this, you should have understood monocrystalline vs polycrystalline solar panel price.
What is Polycrystalline Solar Panel Efficiency?
After learning about monocrystalline vs polycrystalline solar panel prices, you should also be curious about polycrystalline solar panel efficiency. The overall efficiency of polycrystalline panels is a few points less than that of monocrystalline solar panels. It means that the amount of power that monocrystalline solar panels can generate with 20 panels is the same amount that will be generated with about 21-22 polycrystalline solar panels. It means that the average efficiency rating of a polycrystalline solar panel is around 13% to 16%.
Which is Better : Monocrystalline or Polycrystalline Solar Panels?
After learning about polycrystalline solar panel efficiency, let’s find out which is better monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panels. Before determining which one is best you need to consider a few factors. Decisions are easier once you understand the basics. Here are a few factors that will help you determine the best solar panel for your requirements.
1. Availability of Space
This is an important factor to consider because if you have less space. But if you need more power generation then monocrystalline panels are fit for you, keep the budget in mind. On the contrary, if you have plenty of space and would prefer to use it for installing solar panels, then go for polycrystalline solar panels. They will be economical, and you can get a ground-mounted photovoltaic system.
Heat and temperature tolerance has an important influence on the efficiency of solar panels. Monocrystalline solar panels have high heat tolerance, so they will be good if you live in hotter regions. Otherwise, in monocrystalline solar panel vs polycrystalline, you can choose the latter if your region experiences mild to moderate temperature.
Note: It is better to discuss this with the installation company. They will guide you according to the longitude-latitude of your region to make a better decision.
3. Individual Preference
As per my preference, I will recommend the monocrystalline panel if it looks matter the most to you. Their black color goes well with every type of roof and exterior. But if you are not into looks and are worried more about your budget then go for poly solar panels. You may need a bit more space or a higher wattage of panels. But at the same time, they will be affordable in comparison to monocrystalline solar panels.
4. Level of Dust, Snow, and Shade
As per the opinion of some industry experts, monocrystalline solar panels cannot withstand factors like the weight of snow. Or the temperature difference caused in their cells if some of their parts are under-shade. On the other hand, polycrystalline solar panels are more resilient to such conditions and last longer. So, if your regions are dusty, windy, or snowy, or a part of your roof is shady, then you should go for a poly solar panel.
But if you want monocrystalline panels despite their drawback, then install a micro-inverter. It will help counter such issues by maintaining the voltage.
5. Solar Financing
You know that if you connect your solar grid with a utility connection the excess energy produced will be supplied to the powerhouse. You will be paid for that energy, but your billing will be in accordance with the energy generated by the system. Suppose you select a power purchase agreement (PPA) you will have to pay per KWH for the amount of electricity generated by the system. But with a personal photovoltaic system, you can benefit from the efficiency of the solar panels, whether monocrystalline or polycrystalline.
So, after the comparison of monocrystalline solar panel vs polycrystalline solar panels, which one did you finally decide to get? Before making any decision, refer to the determinants and factors that make the decision easier, which is better monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panels? Do share your solar panel purchasing experience and reviews with us. And share this informational guide with your friends and family to help them decide too.
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