When choosing a solar panel for your business photovoltaic (PV) system, there are two basic categories of solar panels to choose from: monocrystalline (mono) and polycrystalline solar panels (poly).
Both mono and poly panels capture energy from the sun and turn it into electricity. They are also both made from silicon. However, although they share some similarities, there are also significant differences between mono and poly solar panels.
Mono vs Poly Solar Panels: Key Differences
If you know the basics of solar panels, you’ll know that each panel comprises individual solar cells.
In monocrystalline panels, these individual cells comprise a single crystal of silicon. Manufacturers take a sheet or bar of silicon and cut it into wafers to produce solar cells for monocrystalline solar panels. Since mono panel cells are made of single silicon crystals, they are generally more efficient than poly panels. The reason for this is that the electrons generating electricity flow have more room to move.
Polycrystalline solar panels are not made from a single silicon crystal. What manufacturers do is to melt fragments of silicon together. These melted fragments are then used to form the silicon wafers for the panel. In effect, these solar panels are made from ‘many-crystal silicon.’ Since there are many crystals in each poly solar cell, electrons have less freedom to move, resulting in a lower efficiency rating.
However, although mono panels are more efficient than polys, the difference in efficiency is negligible. Still, monos do provide superior performance in either extreme heat or low-light conditions. They’re also the better choice if what you’re after is a top-of-the-line PV system.
Other points of difference between the two include the following:
- Colour: Monocrystalline solar panels take on a characteristic black colour, whilst polycrystalline solar panels have a blue tint.
- Cost: Mono panels are generally more expensive than poly panels. This is probably why most households have poly panels on their roofs.
But what about businesses? Which are considered the best commercial solar panels?
The Best Solar Panel for Your Business
Like we said, the difference in efficiency between monos and polys is marginal. And, whether this difference is a big deal to you depends on your business, budget and location.
This is why it’s essential for your provider to visit the site and assess your situation and weigh it against your energy requirements. There may be cases when the energy efficiency difference can be as significant as comparing a 10kW to a 6kw solar panel in Melbourne. There are also instances when going with cheaper polycrystalline solar panels makes more sense.
If you’re in the market for a commercial PV system, please contact Solar Miner.
We can help you make the right choice for your business.