Monocrystalline vs polycrystalline solar panel. Which to choose?

Difference between solar panels

Published at: Nov 10, 2022

Updated at: Apr 28, 2023

placas monocristalina y policristalina

What is better a monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panel? What are the most efficient solar panels? What is the best solar power system? What does monocrystalline solar panel mean?

You are probably thinking of installing a solar panel system in your home or business and you are asking yourself some of these questions. Well, here we bring you the answers! 🤓

It often happens that companies in their eagerness to sell their products (for example, monocrystalline panels), end up criticizing those who are not selling (polycrystalline panels), and vice versa! But don't stress, we'll keep it simple here.

What is the best type of monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panel? What are the differences between panels?

Monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels are made from the same basic material, silicon. When comparing monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels with the same rated output power (maximum power that a panel could have under Standard Measurement Conditions), the difference in performance between panels is small.

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Polycrystalline solar panel on the left and monocrystalline on the right.

What does monocrystalline silicon solar panel mean?

As its name indicates, monocrystalline solar panels are those that are made with a single silicon crystal and usually have about 60 or 72 solar cells, depending on their size. They are characterized by their black color and for being the ones with the highest price and wattage on the market. They are also known as a more premium option.

What are polycrystalline silicon solar panels?

From its name in this case, we can also get an idea that polycrystalline solar panels are made of several silicon crystals, instead of one. These crystals are what give the panel its bright blue appearance and like monocrystalline panels, they can contain 60 or 72 solar cells.

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A polycrystalline solar cell on the left and a monocrystalline on the right.

Which is the best for a solar power system? What are the most efficient photovoltaic solar panels?

Among the types of solar panels that exist, those that stand out a little more and have greater efficiency and performance are those based on monocrystalline technology. This is because you will be able to install more power on your roof in the same area than if you use other solar panels with lower efficiency.

The efficiency is determined by the watts (W) of the panel and the surface to be installed. The higher the number of watts on the same surface, the more efficient the installed solar system will be.

As we have seen, roughly for two panels of similar power, the difference in performance between one monocrystalline and the other polycrystalline is small. However, we can mention that depending on factors such as the geographical area and the climate in which the home or company is located, it will be more efficient to use one type of solar panel or another.

It is recommended to install monocrystalline solar panels in cold climates since they better absorb solar radiation when there is snow, fog or storms, and install polycrystalline panels in warm climates. Still, monocrystalline solar panels are the best value for money on the market.

You already know! At Quiero Sol we help you compare before you buy solar products and get quotes from installers quickly and easily, and also so that you can be aware of the fundamental and necessary solar knowledge about photovoltaic installations.🌞

Quierosol author

Florencia Q.


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