Monocrystalline vs. Polycrystalline: Which One is Right for Me?

featured photo showing monocrystalline versus polycrystalline solar panels
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More and more, people are understanding the power of going solar, but one important decision potential buyers face is whether to buy monocrystalline or polycrystalline solar panels. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each will ultimately help you make a more informed decision based on your particular wants and needs. At CRJ Contractors, we are experts in understanding everything solar. We are here for you to answer your every technical or financial questions about your buyer options. 

Monocrystalline vs. Polycrystalline

The biggest difference between them is monocrystalline have solar cells made from a single crystal of silicon while polycrystalline have solar cells made from various silicon crystals melted together. The second biggest difference that monocrystalline panels have a sleek black aesthetic while polycrystalline panels have a smeared dark blue tint.

Monocrystalline vs polycrystalline solar panels infographic

Monocrystalline solar panel advantages

Most efficient solar panel.

When we say that solar panels are “efficient,” we are referring to the amount of energy from the sun that is converted into electricity. Because monocrystalline solar panels are made from a single crystal of high grade silicon, they are able to generate more electricity per panel. They produce about 18 to 22 % efficiency.

Smallest footprint.

Because monocrystalline solar cells are the most efficient in the market, this also means they take up less space. On average they save approximately 200 square inches per screen when compared to polycrystalline panels, which makes it a great choice for small residential homes.

Weather resistant

Because of the pure material made in monocrystalline panels, they are able to convert more effectively in a variety of situations such as in shade and extreme heat conditions. 

Monocrystalline solar panel disadvantages

Cost

Although monocrystalline panels have plenty of strengths, they are also the most expensive on the market. Due to the high manufacturing costs involved in creating a pure crystalized material, the price difference will also account for this. Generally a panel can cost anywhere between $1.00 to $1.50 per watt depending on the brand. If you are looking for the best deals on monocrystalline solar panels, talk to your local solar panel company or consult us at CRJ today!

Polycrystalline solar panel advantages

Cheaper

The process to create polycrystalline solar panels is relatively simple. Rather than being made from a single crystal of silicon, it is melted together with various silicon materials. The end result is a cheaper material of various crystals with less efficiency. The average cost per wat is $.90 to $1.00,

Polycrystalline solar panel disadvantages

Lower-space-efficiency

You will generally need a larger surface area in order to create the same electrical output of a single crystal panel, thus polycrystalline solar panels will take up slightly more space. However, the difference is negligible, so it can work well for both commercial and residential uses depending on how much land you have available. 

Electrical efficiency

Polycrystalline usually produce 13-16% efficiency in terms of energy conversion, which is slightly less than the single crystal panels. However, technology is constantly evolving and polycrystalline panels have been overwhelming favored for residential use despite their reputation of being less effective. 

Should you buy monocrystalline vs polycrystalline?

The decision to buy monocrystalline should be a person who is looking for the best their money can buy. It has the best efficiency, it works well in various situations, and takes up the least amount of space. However, if you are wallet-conscious and rather save money while you save energy with minimal differences of efficiency, polycrystalline panels are a great fit as well.

Which Solar Panel is Right For You? CRJ Contractors Can Help

As experts in the industry, we believe that you deserve to know all the pros and cons of your buyer options. From understanding the science behind solar energy, to showing you alternative ways to save energy in your own backyard, you can expect great things from all of us at CRJ Contractors. If you have any questions about the differences between monocrystialline and polycrystalline, or anything related to solar energy, feel free to contact us today!

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