The Great Debate? Monocrystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels

By in Manufacturing, Technology

When choosing the most appropriate solar PV panel for your project, consumers are faced with many choices on the quality and cost spectrum. In many markets, not just solar, consumers seek the best-possible combination of high-quality at a competitive price… but in doing so, they might overlook their technology options. In solar, it’s important to consider the performance advantages between monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels.

Simply defined, the material difference between polycrystalline and monocrystalline rests in the composition of the silicon substrate used to make solar cells, and in turn solar panels. As the name implies, monocrystalline means “a single crystal,” while polycrystalline means “many crystals.” Large crystal sizes lead to more efficient solar cells, which is why monocrystalline cells are typically 10% to 15% more efficient than their polycrystalline counterparts.

But there’s a catch: because of the silicon casting and wafering process, it costs about 20% more to create solar cells with monocrystalline structures. You could think of monocrystalline like single origin coffee, cultivated from one particular bean varietal, which requires more care and preparation than a blended product. Polycrystalline and multicrystalline silicon panels comprise the vast majority of PV panels sold in the global market.

So, which is better? In fact, the “debate” over whether to choose mutlicrystalline or monocryatlline solar panels is not really a debate at all, but rather a question of the specific goals for a solar project. The answer depends on the location and design parameters of your project, and other factors including local labour costs and utility rate structures.

Generally speaking, polycrystalline panels are ideal for installations with near-unlimited roof or ground space, and regions with lower “soft costs,” including project installation and permitting. They also make sense for owners looking to minimize upfront installation costs. On the other hand, monocrystalline panels are ideal for smaller roof tops or space-constrained properties, as monocrystalline technology produces higher efficiency cells so you get more power onto the same surface area. Monocrystalline panels also feature a lower temperature coefficient, which means that as the panels get hotter they will typically outperform their polycrystalline counterparts.

There are key differences to consider when weighing the benefits of polycrystalline and monocrystalline panels, but the key point to remember is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Solar buyers should be informed of all the technological options and make a choice best suited to a project’s specific energy needs.

That’s why we provide our customers with the option to choose either monocrystalline or multicrystalline panels. As a global leader in solar PV manufacturing and the world’s first fully vertically integrated module manufacturer, Yingli takes pride in providing the highest-value products, and in being able to demonstrate the comparative benefits behind our various solar panel options. In addition, our solar panels are backed by third-party warranties, providing you an additional layer of assurance that your solar investment will be secure for years to come.

comments (6)

  1. Solar Panel Installer
    Howdy! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!
  2. Tonye
    This is a good explanation. Most matketers don’t give you this options when selling their products.
  3. Henning Herbst
    Good article that explains in understandable language
  4. Mark Fernandes
    Many people technically feel that the performance of the monocrystalline solar panels in high temperatures is better when compared to the Polycrystalline solar panels But I recommend the usage of polycrystalline solar panels over the other one as its effect will be very negligible.
  5. hussein mohamed sherif
    thanks very good informations
  6. Tobias Zulu
    I am impressed on way you have explained the different types of panels and how effective and application ability.

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