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Beginner’s guide to types of Solar Panels

When you begin your research for the most efficient solar power system for your home, you will come across a wide range of panels and inverter options that are currently available in the Australian market. In order to make the right decision while narrowing down the best options suited for your home, it is important to be aware of certain technical terms which determine the solar panel’s efficiency and overall performance. Monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels are the two most common types of solar energy receptors. The difference between monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar cells is the configuration of the silicon:
  • Monocrystalline solar panels are those PV panels in which the cell is made of a single silicon crystal. These are sometimes referred to as “mono solar panels.”
  • Polycrystalline solar panels: Each PV cell is made of multiple silicon crystal fragments that are melded together during manufacturing. You may see them called “multi-crystalline panels” or “poly panels.”
Both types of solar panels have the same purpose: converting sunlight into electricity. However, the crystalline silicon structure of individual solar cells affects their performance and appearance. In fact, you can identify the type of panel by simply observing the shape and color of its solar cells.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Monocrystalline solar panels are characterized by their black PV cells with rounded edges. They have a higher conversion efficiency than polycrystalline panels, which means they produce more kilowatt-hours of electricity. If you want to install a solar panel system but your space is limited, monocrystalline panels will be more productive per square foot. While they’re the most efficient solar panels, they’re also the most expensive, since the manufacturing process of single-crystal silicon cells is more complex.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Polycrystalline solar panels have blue-hued PV cells with straight edges. They have a lower efficiency compared with monocrystalline cells, which means you need more panels to reach the same power output. However, polycrystalline panels also have a lower price, since their manufacturing process is simpler.

Polycrystalline panels are very durable, but they tend to last slightly less than monocrystalline panels. They are also affected more by high temperatures, which reduces their productivity on the hottest days.

Polycrystalline solar panels are more affordable, but monocrystalline panels are more productive. If you have access to a solar loan with favourable interest rates, you can finance your solar installation and pay the loan off with the money you save on utility bills. In this case, the extra cost of monocrystalline solar panels won’t be an issue.

Also, make sure you compare several solar quotes. Monocrystalline solar panels are more expensive individually, but you must also consider other system components and installation costs. There may be cases in which a completed installation with monocrystalline panels is actually cheaper, even if a single panel costs more.

To start comparing costs, you can get a free, no-obligation quote from Sunmate solar today. Call us at 1300-078-662.