Mono vs. Poly Solar: Which Panels Are Better?

Did you know that solar power prices have shrunk by more than 80% since 2010? As a result, solar is now cheaper than coal or nuclear.

Moreover, US homeowners can still enjoy the federal solar investment tax credit. After all, Congress extended the program until 2023.

All that should be enough incentive to invest in solar panels ASAP

Before you do, though, it pays to know more about the mono vs. poly solar debate first. That way, you can decide which is best for your home.

We’ll give you a rundown of what sets the two apart, so be sure to read on.

What Are Monocrystalline Solar Panels?

Monocrystalline solar panels comprise solar wafers made of pure silicon crystal cuts. Each panel, in turn, can house between 32 and 96 cells. Manufacturers then assemble them into rows and columns.

What About Polycrystalline Solar Panels?

Like monocrystalline, polycrystalline solar panels also feature wafers made of silicon. However, the chief difference is that they only use crystal fragments, not pure cuts. That’s also why some refer to them as multi-crystalline panels.

To make polycrystalline panels, manufacturers melt the crystal fragments first. The melted material then goes into a mold where it hardens. After that, they get cut into cells and then assembled into panels.

Mono vs. Poly Solar Efficiency

The more cells there are in a solar panel, the more significant its power output. However, the materials used in them also impact their energy conversion efficiency.

Therefore, mono panels have the highest conversion efficiencies since they boast pure silicon. They’ve displayed efficiency rates of more than 25% in laboratory tests. By contrast, poly panels have only shown 20% efficiency rates in the same trials.

Thus, you may need more poly panels to achieve the same output that fewer mono panels can yield. That’s why the size of the installation area also matters.

So, if you have a large property, you can go for polycrystalline panels, but prepare to buy more of them. On the other hand, you might want to consider monocrystalline if you have a smaller property.

Mono vs. Poly Solar Panel Price

Since monocrystalline panels use pure silicon cuts, they’re more expensive than polycrystalline panels.

In addition, solidifying pure silicon entails a more careful and complex process. As a result, mono panels take much longer to make, requiring more labor. That further adds to their cost, which is why they’re pricier than polycrystalline.

That doesn’t mean the black solar panels are unaffordable, though. Remember: there are many ways to cut solar costs, such as federal/state tax credits and local rebates. You can check out this page to learn about solar installation costs and those incentives.

Mono vs. Poly Solar Panel Appearance

Monocrystalline panels take on a black color when installed on the roof. By contrast, polycrystalline panels have a blue color. So, if appearance matters to you, be sure to factor in these aesthetic differences between the two.

Both Types of Panels Can Help You Save on Energy Bills

There you have it, your guide on the mono vs. poly solar panel debate. Now, you’re aware that the former is more efficient, but the latter costs less.

Either way, both types of solar technology can help you harness the sun’s clean power. That means you can reduce or even eliminate your energy bills, whichever of the two you choose.

Did you find this article informative? If so, feel free to read our other educational blog posts!