When you evaluate solar panels for your photovoltaic (PV) system, you will encounter two categories of panel options: monocrystalline (mono) and polycrystalline (poly).
Both monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels serve the same function in the overall solar PV system: they capture energy from the sun and turn it into electricity. They are also both made from silicon, which is used for solar panels because it is an abundant, very durable element. Many solar panel manufacturers produce both monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels.
Both mono and poly solar panels can be good choices for your home, but there are key differences between the two types of technology that you should understand before making your final solar purchase decision.
To make solar cells for monocrystalline solar panels, silicon is formed into bars and cut into wafers. These types of panels are called “monocrystalline” to indicate that the silicon used is single-crystal silicon. Because the cell is composed of a single crystal, the electrons that generate a flow of electricity have more room to move. As a result, monocrystalline panels are more efficient than their polycrystalline counterparts.
Polycrystalline solar panels are also made from silicon. However, instead of using a single crystal of silicon, manufacturers melt many fragments of silicon together to form the wafers for the panel. Polycrystalline solar panels are also referred to as “multi-crystalline,” or many-crystal silicon. Because there are many crystals in each cell, there is to less freedom for the electrons to move. As a result, polycrystalline solar panels have lower efficiency ratings than monocrystalline panels.
|Cost||More expensive||Less expensive|
|Efficiency||More efficient||Less efficient|
|Aesthetics||Solar cells are a black hue||Solar cells have a blue-ish hue|
|Longevity||25+ years||25+ years|
Saving money is one of the best reasons to solar, and whether you choose mono or poly solar panels, you’ll be decreasing your electricity bills. The option you choose comes down to your personal preferences, space constraints, and the financing option you choose.
We recommend you explore your options with both mono and poly solar panels before making a final purchase decision. When you register your property on EnergySage, our network of pre-screened, vetted installers will provide you with quotes that you’ll be able to easily compare side-by-side to find the system and panels that are best for your unique situation