Monocrystalline panels consist of a single crystal structure. They are characterized by rounded edges of the links and uniform color. Their cells are made of cylindrical silicon bars, which are cut into 4 parts and used to build modules. This method of obtaining single crystals is currently the most popular.
- Efficiency – The performance of monocrystalline panels is influenced by the high-quality used silicon. Silicon particles placed tightly cause fast attraction of electrons, therefore monocrystalline panels perform better in low sunlight than polycrystalline panels.
- Less space – A photovoltaic installation made with monocrystalline panels requires a smaller area to generate the same energy as polycrystalline panels.
- Durability – Most monocrystalline panels have a 25-year warranty.
- Slightly higher resistance to high temperatures than polycrystalline panels.
- More expensive production – Due to the complicated production and the use of high-quality materials, monocrystalline panels are the most expensive to produce on the market.
- Failure – Dirt, partial shading, or snow coverage can make circuit damage easier and the PV system fails.
Polycrystalline panels are characterized by an irregular surface. The granular structure of the cells is noticeable. The production costs of polycrystalline wafers differ significantly from monocrystalline ones. The production is cheaper and the amount of waste silicon is lower because it is left in the plates.
- Cheaper production – The cost of the production process of polycrystalline panels is relatively low, and thus a photovoltaic installation using polycrystalline panels is cheaper than with monocrystalline panels.
- Dirt resistance – Polycrystalline panels are characterized by higher resistance to dirt and shading compared to monocrystalline panels.
- Lower efficiency – Polycrystalline panels usually operate with an efficiency of about 14-16%. It is smaller than in the case of monocrystalline panels.
- Surface – To fill the house with energy in the case of panels
polycrystalline will require a larger roof area than for the same demand using a monocrystalline panel installation.
- Low resistance to high temperatures – In our climate, this is not a problem. The panels may only have a shorter service life in regions with very high temperatures.
Which panels to choose?
Comparing the performance and durability of monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels, the former has an advantage. However, let us also pay attention to other factors.
- Surface – With a smaller roof area on the non-shaded side of the building, we can also consider monocrystalline panels. Due to their higher efficiency compared to polycrystalline panels, the number of panels used for installation will be smaller, and meeting the energy demand will be supplemented as in the case of more polycrystalline panels. And if you plan to build a house and you are interested in the most advantageous location of the development and the direction of the roof based on the photovoltaic installation, please visit our post How to plan the construction of a house taking into account the photovoltaic installation?
- Price – If I have sufficient space on the roof and we do not care about the effective and uniform appearance of our installation, we can consider polycrystalline panels. They are cheaper to produce and their market price differs significantly from monocrystalline panels.
- Shading – If the best side of the roof in terms of installation is shaded by trees, polycrystalline panels are worth considering. Monocrystalline modules have an increased failure rate in the case of shading and dirt. More on shading in our post How does the shading of solar panels affect the efficiency of the installation?