Solar PV panels - Mono or Poly? The things you need to know.
Solar PV Panels (or PV modules) come in many different types, but the most important categories are mono-crystalline solar panels (mono) and polycrystalline solar panels (poly).
In many ways, they are the same:
- Both panels capture energy from the sun and turn it into electricity
- Both are made from silicon
- Both are often made by the same manufacturers
- Both can be good choices
- Both have a long life span
There are a few key differences however. Mono-crystalline solar panels have solar cells made from a single crystal of silicon (‘mono’ – single), while polycrystalline solar panels have solar cells made from many silicon fragments melted together (‘poly’ – many).
Mono-crystalline panels can be recognised by a black-ish colour and are generally more efficient than polycrystalline panels and have sleeker aesthetics. Mono-crystalline cells are generally more expensive, but will produce more power in a given space, e.g. if your roof space is restricted. Mono-crystalline cells perform slightly better in heat and lower light intensities.
Polycrystalline solar panels can be recognised by their blue-ish colour and generally have lower efficiencies compared to mono-crystalline panels, but have a lower price point. Most people use polycrystalline panels at the moment.
Which one to choose, Mono or Poly?
Whether you choose polycrystalline or mono-crystalline panels depends on several things:
- you might prefer the colour of one of the panels
- you might have space constraints (mono-crystalline panels are more efficient)
- you have a budget and prefer the cheaper poly panels
One of the best places to start is to look at the cost per Watt-peak and take it from there. You will have to divide the panel costs by the rated wattage to be able to compare the panels.
There are other differences in solar panel technology, e.g. PERC, half-cut, and bifacial panels, and we will explain these differences in another blog post.
Click here to view SunStore's Solar PV Mono and Poly Panels.
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Source: adapted from: energysage.com and Wholesalesolar.com