Polycrystalline solar panels were some of the first photovoltaic (PV) cells to be used. These silicon based panels have been in use since the early 1980s. They are inexpensive due to how these types of solar panels are manufactured. Many homeowners who have a lot of space and receive ample sunlight may choose these types of panels because of their reasonable cost. Polycrystalline solar panels are gray or blue, and depending on the particular product, the panels may have a variegated pattern.
Monocrystalline solar panels have become more popular to homeowners over the years as solar energy developments have reached consumers. Though polycrystalline solar panels were favored in the early days of solar energy development, monocrystalline solar panels have found a place in the industry with good reason. Monocrystalline solar panel efficiency is superior and they offer many benefits that polycrystalline solar panels lack. They do cost more, but they are made with higher grade materials and have great efficiency. A third type of panel exists called thin film. Its application is not widely used on residential buildings, so monocrystalline and polycrystalline are the standard choices most homeowners use.
A Note on Heat
Solar panels are often used in extreme heat conditions. This can have a big impact on solar panel performance and durability. For this reason, homeowners find monocrystalline solar panels a popular choice. Monocrystalline panels have a higher heat tolerance than polycrystalline solar panels. The higher grade materials of the single cut silicon crystals allow these panels to outperform polycrystalline solar panels in high heat. High heat can affect the performance of polycrystalline panels more than monocrystalline panels. Another negative effect of high heat environments is that it makes polycrystalline solar panels degrade faster over time.
Benefits of Monocrystalline Solar Panels
Monocrystalline solar panels will cost more initially, but the materials and manufacture of this kind of solar cells are longer lasting and more efficient. This makes them a good choice for homeowners, especially if space and energy efficiency are priorities. Some benefits of using monocrystalline solar panels include:
- High efficiency – With efficiency rates in the 15% to 20% range, monocrystalline solar panel efficiency is excellent. They will make up energy savings over time to offset initial costs of a solar energy system.
- Compact – A higher efficiency percentage means that the panels can be more compact. This can be good for homes that have roofs with tight spaces or complex designs. The compact design also means more panels can be used in less area. This can benefit a design which requires maximizing use of space.
- Longevity – Monocrystalline solar panels have a long life span. Many warranties for the panels go to 25 years or more. If these panels are cared for and maintained properly, many years of use can be expected with little decrease in efficiency.
- Higher wattage – Monocrystalline solar panels tend to be of a higher wattage with current designs reaching 400 watts power capacity.
- Aesthetics – Many people prefer these tyoes of solar panels for their more compact design and black color. The dark black is appealing and works with home designs to blend in better.
- Performance – Monocrystalline solar panels outperform other types of panels. They are more efficient at low light levels.
- High quality – The way the silicon is composed in the manufacture of monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar cells differs. Monocrystalline solar panels, kono meaning one, are manufactured in a more pure way using a single silicon crystal. This gives them superior quality over polycrystalline cells which use fragments of silicon crystals that are melted together then cut into a square or rectangle.
Finding Solar Energy Experts in Your Area
If you are setting up a monocrystalline solar panel efficiency system, there are many benefits and some drawbacks to consider. High efficiency, durability, and an aesthetically pleasing appearance make monocrystalline solar panels attractive choices for homeowners. The higher initial costs may deter some people. While this type of system can function in lower light areas better than polycrystalline solar panels, it is suitable for high heat and intense environments like Perth, Australia that receive a lot of sun. Using a monocrystalline solar panel buying guide will help you make sensible choices when you are setting up your solar energy system. Speaking with professional solar energy contractors who sell, install, and maintain monocrystalline solar panels will give you more knowledge on the type of system that will work best for your home.