Most solar panels come in two different varieties: monocrystalline and polycrystalline, otherwise known as mono and poly solar panels. Both of these types of solar panels are made from crystalline silicon, and both will serve you well enough in supplying energy for your home, but which one is better? Let’s take a look at each one and find out.
Mono Solar Panels
Mono solar panels have been around longer than poly solar panels and are therefore the more developed of these two varieties. As their name implies, mono solar panels are made from a single crystal of silicon, which allows electrons to move more freely through them. This makes them more efficient than poly solar panels and allows them to reach energy efficiencies of over 22 percent. The downside is that they are more expensive to produce than poly solar panels, so you will be paying more for a more efficient panel. This is why poly solar panels are more common on the market these days, although mono solar panels are still being made for the premium end of the market.
Poly Solar Panels
While mono solar panels are made from a single crystal of silicon and have a more uniform appearance, poly solar panels are made from a silicon crystal that has been melted down and recrystallized. This does make them easier and less expensive to produce, which definitely makes them the cheaper option. They also have a higher temperature co-efficient than mono solar panels thanks to a lower heat tolerance. Unfortunately, they are less energy efficient than mono solar panels, with efficiencies of 14 to 16 percent. This will mean that you may need larger solar panels with greater surface area if you want your set of poly solar panels to work as efficiently as mono panels. Many people find poly solar panels to be less aesthetically pleasing since they lack the uniform appearance of mono panels.
So, with all that being said, which type of solar panel is “better?” That’s a tough call. If you want to get technical, mono solar panels are probably better thanks to their greater efficiency, but their higher price tag will likely scare a lot of homeowners away. Poly solar panels are by far the more popular option for most homeowners mainly because of their price. They may not technically be the “better” option, but a lot of people are willing to trade efficiency for affordability.
In the end, the decision is yours to make. If you have the budget for mono panels and you really want a more efficient option, then mono is the way to go. Otherwise, you might be better off if you just stick to poly solar panels.