Solar panels are widely used in the world today as power backup. They have also widely impacted the technology industry to the extent that every time someone thinks of constructing a house, the thought of solar panels also has to come hand in hand.
Technology is all about advancement, and solar panels are leading the way with technological advancement since we can clearly see that the current solar panels are far better than the first solar panels to enter the market.
This is mainly due to new challenges that lead to new ideas that cause a flow of technological improvement.
When installing solar panels in your house, you have to think about some things, such as the cost of installing solar panels and, most importantly, the type of solar panel.
Currently, the two main types of solar panels are monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels.
Both of these solar panels harness the sun’s energy to create light, but each solar panel has different characteristics that make them better or different from the other.
In this article, we will compare monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels and see how each works and which is better.
How does solar panel work?
Solar panels allow photons or light rays to make contact with electrons, allowing for electricity flow.
Solar panels contain small cells called photovoltaic cells, which means that the cells convert sunlight into electricity.
When many of these cells link together, they form the solar panel, producing light.
Photovoltaic cells are usually made from silicon which is made from silica minerals. Silicon is also the same material that is found in microelectronics.
So that the photovoltaic cells work, they need to establish an electric field that occurs when two opposite charges are separated.
It is said that phosphorus is added to the top layer of silicon to add more electrons.
So when the sun’s photons get into contact with the silicon layers, an electric field is created. When an electric field is created, power is then generated from the solar panel.
What is a Monocrystalline solar panel?
The monocrystalline solar panel is a solar panel that comprises monocrystalline solar cells.
The monocrystalline solar cells comprise a cylindrical silicon ingot derived from high purity single crystal silicon that provides the electrons with a bigger space for a better electric flow.
The monocrystalline solar cells have an octagonal shape known as wafers that ensure maximum utilization of the monocrystalline cells.
The single crystal from which the cylindrical silicon ingot is derived is what makes the monocrystalline panels have that name.
Monocrystalline solar panels work by the sunlight rays falling on the monocrystalline solar panel, and the monocrystalline cells absorb the energy, creating an electric field. The electric field consists of current and voltage that combine to form power.
Because the monocrystalline solar panels are made of single-crystal silicon, electrons can flow easily through the cells to create energy that can be used to power devices in homesteads and companies.
Considering the first flow of electricity through the cells, the power of the monocrystalline solar panels can be used to power a vast area, and they can also be used to power street lights and rural gardens.
What is a polycrystalline solar panel?
Polycrystalline solar panels are solar that constitute several crystals of silicon in a single PV cell.
Polycrystalline solar panels are formed from melted silicon fragments, including the wafer of polycrystalline solar panels.
They are also made from several silicon, which makes them have a square shape and a bright blue hue.
Unlike monocrystalline panels, polycrystalline solar panels have multiple silicon crystals.
Thus there is limited space for the electrons to flow through the polycrystalline cells to produce energy.
For the polycrystalline solar panels to produce power, the solar panel absorbs heat from the sun, and then cells absorb the heat, and two electrodes are connected to the PV cells.
Due to their multiple silicon crystals, polycrystalline solar panels have little space for electrons to flow through.
Therefore they have lower heat tolerance than other types of solar panels. These solar panels have a maximum temperature of 85 degrees; therefore, at very high temperatures, they are less efficient.
Polycrystalline solar panels are used in many places, such as big-scale farming, to provide light, they are also used on street lights, and they can also be used at home to power home appliances and devices.
Differences between monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels.
In terms of their making, monocrystalline solar panels consist of a single silicon crystal that provides enough space for electrons to flow through the monocrystalline cells easily to produce power.
In contrast, polycrystalline solar panels consist of multiple silicon crystals that occupy a bigger space, thus preventing the easy flow of electrons through the polycrystalline cells from producing power.
Because of the silicon crystals, monocrystalline solar panels are more efficient than polycrystalline solar panels. As already stated, polycrystalline solar panels have less space for electrons to flow through.
Hence it’s not easy to produce power, thus becoming inefficient, while monocrystalline solar panels have more space for electrons to flow through; hence they generate power quickly, thus becoming very efficient in powering many devices and things.
Monocrystalline solar panels are generally more expensive than polycrystalline solar panels. This is mainly due to how they are manufactured.
With monocrystalline solar panels, the single-crystal silicon is solidified. This solidification process requires a lot of control and time, which can be very tiresome and time-consuming for the manufacturers, which is why they are costly.
Meanwhile, the polycrystalline solar panels are produced by pouring melted silicon into square molds then the wafer is cut into individual cells.
However, you shouldn’t be limited to fixed prices. Other online and offline retail shops can sell you solar panels at affordable prices.
Polycrystalline solar panels tend to have a lower temperature efficiency. This means that their productivity tends to drop as temperatures increase.
They are said to have an efficiency of 20%, which is too low if you want to light up a huge area for a long.
This also means that if you’re going to increase the efficiency of the polycrystalline solar panels in your home compound or company.
Then you will have to install many polycrystalline solar panels so that they can achieve the required level of efficiency, which can be pretty costly.
Meanwhile, monocrystalline solar panels tend to have a higher temperature efficiency due to their ample space allowing more electrons to pass through.
This means that they do not lose their power productivity fast. They are said to have an efficiency of 23%, which is higher than other solar panels.
Hence you do not need to install many monocrystalline solar panels in your home.
Due to their temperature efficiency and function, monocrystalline solar panels have a longer lifespan than polycrystalline solar panels.
Monocrystalline solar panels tend to be very efficient in lighting due to the extensive area for the electrons to flow.
They are more tolerant to higher temperatures than polycrystalline solar panels. This makes them have a very long lifespan.
Polycrystalline are known to have a shorter lifespan since they are not good at tolerating very high temperatures. This makes them less efficient in light production.
It is also said that during the winter season, when there is snow, the polycrystalline solar panels are so bad at preserving and absorbing the slight heat from the sun that they do not light at all.
Monocrystalline solar panels are more attractive than polycrystalline solar panels because they tend to have a black color, making them match most houses’ roofing.
In contrast, polycrystalline solar panels have a blue color, making them a bit difficult to reach with most roofs of buildings.
Solar panels are made from silicon, in which silica is the raw material that is extracted from the earth’s surface.
The removed material is then refined and crystalized into ingots which are then cut into strips that are well-known as wafers in solar panels. This extraction of raw material causes environmental destruction.
It is said that monocrystalline solar panel manufacturing has a more ecological footprint than polycrystalline solar panel manufacturing.
It is also worth noting that no ecological destruction is bigger or smaller than other environmental destruction. Both impact the environment negatively.
Monocrystalline solar panels are made of just one single silicon crystal, making their structure less bulky than polycrystalline solar panels, which are made with multiple silicon crystals.
This makes their structure to be bulkier when carrying and transporting from one place to another.
Which one is better, monocrystalline or polycrystalline?
Polycrystalline solar panels are much better than monocrystalline solar panels since they are cheaper to acquire than monocrystalline.
This is mainly attributed to the fact that the cost of monocrystalline is relatively high, so many people might be unable to afford them. Hence retailers especially stock their shops with polycrystalline than monocrystalline solar panels.
Monocrystalline solar panels are far better than polycrystalline solar panels because they have higher efficiency and can tolerate high heat.
So it means that, even though the price of monocrystalline is high, you will still have an excellent solar panel that operates exceptionally well.
You can be assured that whatever the weather, the solar panel will still work without failing.
The monocrystalline solar panel is better than a polycrystalline solar panel because they naturally have a longer lifespan than the polycrystalline solar panel.
This means that monocrystalline solar panels can last more than 25 years without requiring any fixing or repair, unlike polycrystalline solar panels.
Monocrystalline solar panels are better than polycrystalline solar panels because they are manufactured with single silicon crystals, which makes them, to be lighter to carry and fix than the polycrystalline solar panels which are made from multiple silicon crystals, thus making them bulky to handle transport.
Polycrystalline is way better than monocrystalline solar panels because they have less heat absorption; hence, it becomes difficult for the cells to get damaged due to the sun’s intense heat.
Many people naturally prefer polycrystalline solar panels to monocrystalline solar panels for their homes due to their color shade.
It is far better to get yourself a polycrystalline solar panel because it can match your building more easily than you have a monocrystalline solar panel.
The monocrystalline solar panel mostly have a dark shade which may make the house or area a bit dull in color.
When it comes to the size of your roof or the space available for fitting your solar panel, it is far much better to buy a monocrystalline over a polycrystalline due to its high efficiency.
This is mainly because the monocrystalline solar panels absorb more electrons and sunlight quite faster, thus producing power more quickly.
This means that you are assured that even though you have just one monocrystalline solar panel, your house will be well-lit than if you purchase a couple of polycrystalline solar panels.
Amount of snow and dust
Experts say that monocrystalline is more susceptible to breakage if a lot of dust or snow settles on them. This means that the solar panel will become shaded and unable to absorb the sun’s heat properly.
It is worth noting that this is very different from polycrystalline solar panels since they are more resilient to such harsh weather conditions.
If you really want to have a monocrystalline solar panel at your home, it would be best if you invested in a micro-inverter to help solve the problem.
The climatic conditions of your place should also help you decide which solar panel to install in your home.
If you live in dusty and snowy weather climate areas, as discussed earlier, it would be best if you used a polycrystalline solar panel for your home.
This is because the adverse climate of snowy weather can damage the monocrystalline solar panels of your homestead. Although this might happen, the effects on the solar panel might just be minor and not adverse.
FAQs related to monocrystalline vs. polycrystalline solar panels.
Which solar panels are best for home use?
Polycrystalline solar panels are best for home use since they are cheap to acquire from any manufacturer or hardware shop that sells solar panels.
Plus, because homes are more prone to dust and snow during the winter season, polycrystalline is best since, even with the snowy weather, they will not shade.
This helps them become more efficient even during harsh weather conditions since they can still function as required.
Can you mix different solar panels in your compound?
It all depends on your house type and the amount of space in your compound. If you have a huge space on your rooftop and want to save as much money as possible.
You can buy two to three polycrystalline solar panels since they will be pocket-friendly for you and more beneficial in case of adverse weather conditions.
You can also mix the polycrystalline solar panels with monocrystalline solar panels since the monocrystalline solar panels are good at absorbing the sun’s heat.
Hence you are assured that there will be higher efficiency of power production in whichever season you might be. Also, mixing the different solar panels might improve the area’s aesthetics.
Can the monocrystalline cells get damaged by adverse heat conditions from the sun?
As much as monocrystalline solar panels have a good temperature coefficient, they can also get damaged due to the sun’s extreme heat.
Monocrystalline solar panels are made from a single silicon crystal, which means they have a vast surface area to absorb sunlight and convert it into power.
If the cells absorb too much heat from the sun, the cells might get damaged in the long run. Thus the solar panel might get damaged entirely with time.
Therefore, you must purchase your solar panel from a trusted manufacturer to avoid this situation from happening.
Are solar panels a better power alternative?
Solar panels such as monocrystalline and polycrystalline are better alternatives since they do almost the same things as normal electrical power.
Plus, they can be fitted in every household, and they naturally use the sun’s heat to produce energy. With high electric power failure from energy producers, solar panels can be a better alternative.
Solar panels are taking over the energy world. With the many technological advancements, solar panels will be seen in many homesteads and businesses due to their natural way of using sunlight as their energy source, and they do not cost much.
It is much better to purchase polycrystalline solar panels than monocrystalline solar panels due to their many benefits.