Solar panels made of monocrystalline crystals are the most popular choice for rooftop solar panel installations today. Homeowners looking for a budget-friendly solar panel installation choose polycrystalline panels, otherwise known as multi-crystalline panels.
Monocrystalline silicon solar cells are manufactured using a process known as the Czochralski method, in which the silicon seeds are placed in melted silicon at high temperatures.
In the same way that monocrystalline panels use silicon solar cells, polycrystalline panels use silicon solar cells. In contrast, the cooling process causes multiple crystals, not just one.
Cells in monocrystalline solar panels are cut from single crystalline silicon ingots. Due to the fact that these cells are made from a single piece of silicon, their composition is purer.
The result is that mono panels have a slightly higher efficiency than poly panels. Furthermore, they will produce closer to their rated output in less-than-ideal environments due to their better performance in high heat and low light. However, their production costs are higher, and that higher cost passes on to the buyer. The price of mono panels is a bit higher than that of poly panels with the same wattage.
Additionally, mono panels produce more waste than their alternatives. Mono panels are made from square silicon wafers with their corners shaved off, resulting in their distinctive shape.
Multiple silicon pieces are blended together to form polycrystalline solar cells. Solar cells are created by molding and treating smaller bits of silicon. Manufacturing is less wasteful because hardly any raw materials are discarded.
It is the blended makeup of the cells that gives poly panels their iconic blue color. When you look at them up close, you’ll notice that the texture and color are uneven.
Due to imperfections in the surface of the solar cells, poly solar panels are slightly less efficient than mono solar panels. It makes sense that they will cost less to make, so they will cost less to use.
Solar panels of both types serve the same purpose:
Solar energy is converted into electricity.
However, the structure of crystalline silicon affects the performance and appearance of solar cells.
Observing the shape and color of the solar cells can tell you what type of panel it is.
Thanks for reading
The Forever Energy Team