Monocrystalline Versus Polycrystalline: Which PV Module is Better?

Solar energy has become more popular worldwide as the technology has progressed. As the equipment used to gather and process solar energy has become more advanced, the price point has likewise come down considerably. When combined with a desire by members of the public and government to find clean and renewable sources of energy, these factors have caused the popularity of solar power to increase exponentially.

To harness the power of the sun efficiently and use the power of solar as a green energy source, you must first understand some basics about the hardware involved. Currently, photovoltaic, or PV, solar panels come in two primary varieties. Those varieties are monocrystalline and polycrystalline PV modules. Both have pros and cons, so it pays to educate yourself and consider how each will perform in your specific application. Read on to determine whether a poly PV module or mono PV module will best serve your needs.

Mono PV Modules

Monocrystalline PV panels are considered the premium type of solar panel in use today. The name monocrystalline comes from the way the modules are manufactured. During manufacturing, silicon is formed into bars that are then cut down into wafer shaped pieces. Those pieces are used to fill the PV module. That means that there are single crystals of silicon used in the modules. Because the crystals in each cell are comprised of a single molecule, the electrons have more room to move and generate energy. Mono PV panels are far more efficient in converting the sun’s rays to electricity. They also tend to be less clunky, smaller, and more aesthetically pleasing. That increase in efficiency and beauty doesn’t come without a cost, however. Monocrystalline PV modules tend to be significantly more expensive than their polycrystalline counterparts.

Poly PV Modules

Polycrystalline PV modules offer good performance at a greatly reduced price point when compared to monocrystalline PV modules. While polycrystalline PV modules also feature only silicone, the wafers are not created using single silicon crystals. Multiple silicon crystals are melted together to form the wafers. Because there are many crystals comprising each wafer, the electrons in the silicon molecules don’t have as much room to move to generate energy, which makes them far less efficient than mono PV modules. Poly modules aren’t considered as aesthetically pleasing either, as they have a blue hue compared to the black color of monocrystalline modules. If installation expense is a consideration, poly PV modules may be the best choice to get your solar system underway.

If you’re considering the installation of a solar power system for your home or business, one of the first things you’ll decide is whether to use a mono PV module or a poly PV module. Each has its merits and drawbacks, so research both types to discern which will work best for you.

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