Polycrystalline VS Monocrystalline – Which is the best?

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Polycrystalline VS Monocrystalline – Which is the best?

Several decades of research, work, and development have lead to the wide range of different types of solar panels now available on the market for solar panels.

To give a broader overview, Solar Backup has put together some helpful information about the most common types of solar panels.

Solar Cell Type Efficiency-Rate Advantages Disadvantages
Monocrystalline Solar Panels (Mono-SI) ~20% High efficiency rate; optimized for commercial use; high life-time value More Expensive Than Polycrystalline
Polycrystalline Solar Panels (p-Si) ~15% Lower price Sensitive to high temperatures; lower lifespan & slightly less space efficiency
Thin-Film: Amorphous Silicon Solar Panels (A-SI) ~7-10% Relatively low costs; easy to produce & flexible Shorter warranties & lifespan

1st Generation Solar Panels

These are the traditional types of solar panels made of monocrystalline silicon or polysilicon and are most commonly used in conventional surroundings.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels (Mono-SI)

This type of solar panels (made of monocrystalline silicon) is the purest one. You can easily recognise them from the uniform dark look and the rounded edges. The silicon’s high purity causes this type of solar panel has one of the highest efficiency rates, with the newest ones reaching above 20%.

Monocrystalline panels have a high power output, occupy less space, and last the longest. Of course, that also means they are the most expensive of the bunch. Another advantage to consider is that they tend to be slightly less affected by high temperatures compared to polycrystalline panels.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels (Poly-SI)

You can quickly distinguish these panels because this type of solar panels has squares, its angles are not cut, and it has a blue, speckled look. They are made by melting raw silicon, which is a faster and cheaperprocess than that used for monocrystalline panels.

This leads to a lower final price but also lower efficiency (around 15%), lower space efficiency, and a shorter lifespan since they are affected by hot temperatures to a greater degree. However, the differences between mono- and polycrystalline types of solar panels are not so significant and the choice will strongly depend on your specific situation. The first option offers a slightly higher space efficiency at a slightly higher price but power outputs are basically the same.

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