Poly-crystalline vs Mono-crystalline Panels

Updated: Jan 27, 2019

Polycrystalline vs Monocrystalline

A question which nearly everyone has is which type of panel to install on their rooftop. As the solar Panels are one of the most vital components of the system, naturally anyone would want to make the right choice.

To understand this, it’s first necessary to know how the solar panel is made and how it works.

Solar Panel:

The most abundant element present on earth is Silicon, what we know as sand. This sand is to converted to 99.99% pure silicon crystals through a very complex purification process. It then, can be used in production of solar cells. This raw silicon is then converted to gaseous compound form, which can be mixed with Hydrogen to get a highly purified Poly-Crystalline silicon. These silicon ingots, as they are called as, are reshaped and are cut into very fine thin slices called as silicon wafer.

If this chemical process of silicon crystals is taken one step further, the Polycrystalline cells will become Monocrystalline cells. This method is called as the Czochralski method, and it produces cylindrical ingots. Four sides are then cut into these ingots, and thus there is a lot of wastage in cutting. This is the reason you will see mono-crystalline cells don't have a perfect square shape.

The difference between Polycrystalline and Monocrystalline cells is their difference between internal crystalline lattice structure. In Polycrystalline cells, multi crystals are randomly oriented.

Poly and Mono Cells close up

These silicon wafers are then doped N-type and P-type to get a solar cell which can generate electricity when sunlight falls on it.

The technology used to manufacture Polycrystalline panels is cheaper, thus these cells are available at a lower cost. This allows higher system plant size to be installed in the cost of Monocrystalline panel system. They have a blue hue.

Monocrystalline panels performance deviation in dimmer light or high heat conditions is lower than their counterparts. They have a black hue.

Both monocrystalline and polycrystalline cells have nearly the same performance, but what majorly should be considered is that the make of these panels is from a reputed company so that there is no defect in the manufacturing process and the company will be willing to provide with a warranty in case the generation falls below the warranted levels.
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