Solar panels can be manufactured from many different materials, but crystalline silicon is the most common option by far. Depending on how molten silicon is solidified into photovoltaic cells during the production process, there can be two different types: polycrystalline and monocrystalline panels. In this guide we will compare both options, highlighting their pros and cons while giving you some buying tips.
Polycrystalline solar panels have a lower price per module, but they also have a lower efficiency. On the other hand, monocrystalline panels produce more watts per square foot thanks to their higher efficiency, but this comes at a premium price. If you have established a solar generation target in kilowatt-hours per year, you will need more polycrystalline panels to reach that mark.
- The exact wattage of solar panels depends on the brand and model, but mono solar panels are typically 15-20% more productive.
- This is not an issue for homeowners with plenty of roof space for solar panels, since you can simply cover a larger area with poly solar panels.
- However, when space is a limitation, monocrystalline panels will maximize the kilowatt-hours produced – and the corresponding savings on your power bill.
Before we continue discussing this topic, it’s important to clarify a common misconception. Polycrystalline panels are less efficient by design, but this does not make them low-quality products, and you can find excellent panels of both types with solid warranties. An SUV will use more fuel than a sedan when traveling a given distance, but there are high-quality vehicles of both types – the same applies for solar panels.