Solar Panels: Comparison of Polycrystalline and Monocrystalline Panels

Let’s see which solar panel is better in type. In order to understand what this or that panel is better in, it is necessary to understand what their difference is. The main and most popular types of solar cells on the market are polycrystalline and single-crystal solar cells.

The most important difference is energy efficiency. Different solar panels, depending on their type, have a different indicator. The difference in this indicator is based on the different efficiency of one and the second type of battery. Efficiently converting solar energy is the key, because the better the panel converts energy, the more electricity you get. The single-crystal structure produces an efficiency of up to 22%, while polycrystalline batteries – up to 18%.

The difference in performance is associated with a different approach to the production and quality of solar cells. More specifically, for monocrystalline silicon, only highly purified silicon is used, and for polycrystalline silicon, secondary raw materials, waste, and recycled materials are also used. Of course, with this approach to production, the second version of the panels is much worse not only in terms of efficiency, but also in reliability, and they also have significantly less work life. Microcracks begin, oxygen entering the system and the destruction of structural elements. But, the cost of such batteries is lower.

The quality and effectiveness of the panels have a direct effect on the area. It is important to understand here that with different efficiency and quality of materials, solar panels will occupy different areas at the same power.

Cost. Of course, one of the most interesting moments for the consumer is the price of a solar panel 100 watt or some other types. It is clear that the cost of single crystals is higher than the cost of poly, because the quality of these two different types of batteries is significantly different. But at the same time, polycrystalline solar panels are much more popular in Europe because of their low cost and at the same time quite good performance. In the European market, the share of polycrystalline solar panels is more than 50%. We can say that in the world this type of battery takes a leading position. Why is this happening? Yes, because the difference in energy efficiency and in the area of ​​panels for the same power is not as significant as the difference in price. Especially if you want to equip large areas. On the other hand, if you need to cover a complex geometric surface, flexible solar panels come in handy.

The difference in appearance. Of course, the latest factor, because we are much more interested in technical indicators than the appearance of the batteries. However, for single-crystal solar cells, the surface is more uniform and even, the corners are rounded. A more even color is due to the fact that the entire surface of the battery, in fact, is one solid silicon crystal, simply recycled. In polycrystalline structures, the color is not so uniform and has a square shape, thanks to production blanks. The uneven color of such batteries is justified by various impurities in the structure and heterogeneity of various silicon crystals.

So: what is the difference between single-crystal and polycrystalline solar panels?

Surely, you could figure out for yourself which batteries are better and how solar panels differ. In the end, I would like to once again repeat the main differences between the batteries:

  • Energy efficiency
  • Difference in area
  • Cost
  • Appearance

Of course, it does not matter for your home solar power plant which solar panels you will use. Which solar panels are better poly or monocrystalline, we figured out. That one that another option produces the same voltage and power.