Choosing the Right Solar Panel for Your Home: Monocrystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Choosing the Right Solar Panel for Your Home: Monocrystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Are you planning on installing solar panels on your roof or business? Monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels are today’s two most common options, but which can be your right choice? That depends on many factors. First of all, you should know something about their differences, which we will explore in this guide.

What Are Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline Solar Panels?

A solar power system mainly consists of solar panels, a charge controller, an inverter, and sometimes solar batteries. Solar panels are responsible for capturing sunlight and transforming it into DC electricity, at the same time, the charge controller regulates the voltage and amperage of the DC electricity, and the inverter turns the electricity into AC.

What a solar panel looks like

You may notice solar panels on your neighbor’s roof or somewhere, a flat panel with a deep-colored glass surface and solid frame, angled against the sunlight. If you want to know more, the deep-colored layer behind the crystal glass panel is made up of dozens of solar cells. And those are exactly what tell you what type of solar panels you are looking at. Solar panels that use monocrystalline cells are called mono solar panels. Likewise, solar panels that use polycrystalline cells are named poly solar panels.

Both solar cells are made from the same material, but they look different in color and their conversion efficiency is not the same. That’s because each of them has a unique structure, and the differences in structure cannot be caught by naked eyes.

Mono solar cells vs. poly solar cells

Usually, mono cells have a deeper color than its fellow. Mono solar panels are often used on limited spaces, such as RV roofs, while poly solar panels are preferred for business projects. Down below, we’ll discuss more details. But if you are looking for more information on solar panel cells, have a peek into how monocrystalline solar panels are made here.

Differences between monocrystalline vs. polycrystalline solar panels

Poly costs less; mono costs more

Monocrystalline solar panels are more expensive than polycrystalline solar panels. Suppose you have had a look at the article mentioned above, you’ll learn how a monocrystalline solar cell is made. In that case, manufacturing a mono cell is much more complex and time-consuming than manufacturing a poly cell.

However, higher efficiency means a higher price as well as a smaller panel size, which follows that you can consider investing in the mono type if you have a smaller roof space. In another way, poly solar panels can save you a bit if you have a vast place to load it up.

Mono trumps poly in efficiency

As we’ve mentioned before each type of solar cell is characterized with its own performance. According to ScienceDirect, monocrystalline cells feature an efficiency of 15-22%, and polycrystalline cells work at 13-20%.

Black mono; blue poly

Most of the time, mono cells and poly cells can be distinguished with eyes easily, as the mono is black and the poly is deep blue.

Mono performs better at higher temperatures

Temperature is an essential factor that can affect the functional performance of a solar panel. Let us tell you a fun fact: solar panels work better at a cooler temperature than in torrid weather. If you live in a tropical area, a monocrystalline solar panel can work more stable than the other option.

What type of solar panel is best: mono vs. poly solar panels?

Now that we’ve compared both types of solar panels, it’s a sure thing that you might post this question “what type of solar panel is best?”. However, We have to tell you that there is not a certain answer. It all depends on nothing but your own needs and your budgets.

Monocrystalline vs. polycrystalline solar panels for home or RV

If you are considering installing solar panels on your RV, yacht, or other small-scaled off-grid scenarios, we do recommend you go for monocrystalline panels because the space on RV and boat is quite limited. For home owners, monocrystalline solar panels also remain an ideal choice because the payback period might be much shorter than you imagine, as there are many rebates and incentives set up as bonuses for individuals or businesses to go green. Also, once hooked up, high-efficiency monocrystalline solar panel systems start generating electricity and that can immediately counteract part of your energy bills.

But with a large roof area or vast land available for installing solar panels, things can be different. Polycrystalline solar panels, though with a slightly lower efficiency, are more competitive at the price level, and they share the same lifespan as their monocrystalline alternatives.

Why you shouldn't rule out polycrystalline panels

The difference between polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panels you should really focus on is their efficiency.

Monocrystalline solar panels have a conversion rate of up to 22%, 2% higher than polycrystalline solar panels. However, the 2% raise in efficiency comes at the cost of additional hundreds of dollars. Most homeowners may not care much about the slightly higher price, because it is still a worthwhile purchase. Several hundred of dollars more for a higher-efficiency solar panel system, why not?

But things are more complex for businesses or bulk buyers who need to bulk in thousands of solar panels to build a solar energy plant or some large-scaled projects. That small price gap can roll in a shocking sum. In their situation, polycrystalline solar panels are their best option. Now we hope we’ve make it clear why you shouldn’t rule out polycrystalline panels.

Where can you buy the best monocrystalline panels for your home and RV?

Of course, we do not recommend you to buy the best, but the right monocrystalline solar panels for your own property. You can easily size your own solar PV system with Renogy Super solar calculator or common solar powered calculator.

Once you’ve decided what size and how many solar panels you need for your house, Renogy has everything you need. The product lines of Renogy include solar panels, charge controllers, solar inverters, and 12V lithium batteries. Different sizes of monocrystalline solar panels are available, ranging from 50 Watts to 550 watts, each of them are made up of premium-quality components. For example:

320 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel

The best design of the 320 Watt mono solar panel is the adoption of PERC monocrystalline solar cells, which are known for better light-capturing ability. With 5 hours of sunlight, the solar panel is able to provide 1600Wh per day. Installing four of this panel can easily meet a family’s power needs.

If you are looking for solar panels for your RV roof. This 320 Watt 12 Volt Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel below might fit your need.

100 Watt 12 Volt Flexible Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Considering weight can burden a running RV, solar panels better are as lightweight as possible. And this 100 Watt flexible solar panel will be your first pick. It weighs 4.2 lbs and is 0.08 inches thin, and it can bend 248 degrees. Sealed with an ETFE film, it is made more efficient and requires less maintenance. Given all these advantages, the 100 Watt flexible monocrystalline solar panel offers a perfect choice for RV owners.

Now, visit the Renogy store, so that you will not miss the best quality solar panels and other solar products. 

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