Solar Panel Guide

What Monocrystalline Solar Panels Are

Monocrystalline solar panels (or mono panels) are made from monocrystalline solar cells. Each cell is a slice of a single crystal of silicon that is grown expressly for the purpose of creating solar panels.

In the lab, the crystal is grown into a cylindrical log shape called an ingot and is then sliced into thin discs. Each disc is cut along the edges to form octagons.

When the solar cells are placed on the solar panel, the octagonal shapes help the solar panels fit a maximum number of solar cells into the array. It’s much like cookies on a baking sheet. Even tightly spaced round cookies always have spaces between them, but octagonal cookies can be placed tightly together with little wasted space.

Distinctive for their black colour, monocrystalline solar panels typically have an efficiency range of between 15% to 20%, with some newer experimental models even reaching close to 50%.

What Polycrystalline Solar Panels Are

Polycrystalline solar panels (or poly panels) are made of individual polycrystalline solar cells.

Just like monocrystalline solar cells, polycrystalline solar cells are made from silicon crystals. The difference is that, instead of being extruded as a single pure ingot, the silicon crystal cools and fragments on its own. These fragments are melted in an oven and formed into cubes which are cut into thin wafers. So, many different crystals form this amalgam, rather than the single crystal of the monocrystalline solar cell type. It’s a less exacting production process than with monocrystalline cells, so it allows for more solar cells to be produced faster and less expensively.

The blue-coloured square polycrystalline cells fit neatly side by side, eliminating any empty space between the cells. Polycrystalline solar panels operate less efficiently than monocrystalline panels because the melted fragments of silicon afford less room for the electrons to move around.

Polycrystalline panels generally have an efficiency rating of between 13% and 16%. While only a few percentage points less than monocrystalline panels, it’s a difference that can count for a lot when compounded across many solar panels.

Monocrystalline Solar Panel Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Highly efficient at producing energy
  • Panels require less space
  • Black panels blend with darker shingles or foliage
  • Better heat tolerance

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Less sustainable production methods

Polycrystalline Solar Panel Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Less expensive than monocrystalline panels
  • Lifespan comparable to that of monocrystalline panels yet at a lower cost

Cons

  • Panels require more space
  • Less efficient at producing energy
  • Less sustainable production
  • The bluish color stands out more than the black of the polycrystalline panels
  • Less heat tolerance

 

Here is the Top of the Range of solar panel:

LG NEON® ACE MONOCRYSTALLINE SOLAR PANEL WITH CELLO TECHNOLOGY™

This high-quality 360W solar panel is the best-selling solar module from world-leading solar manufacturer LG Solar, part of global company LG Electronics and winner of the Intersolar and Top Brand PV industry awards. This MCS certified panel is perfect for a wide variety of applications, from grid-tie household systems to off-grid installations where mains power is limited or unavailable.

Cello Technology™

Cello Technology™ enhances efficiency and reliability of the panel by replacing the small number of wide busbars in standard solar panels with twelve thin wires. With decreased spacing between wires, electrical losses are reduced by giving electricity a shorter path to travel. Cylindrical cross-section keeps resistance low while deflecting more light onto the solar cell, unlike flat busbars which reflect light that hits them back out of the panel. The tight layout of the wires also gives electricity multiple paths, enhancing long-term reliability through added redundancy.

Robust Construction

Fully waterproof and designed for strong performance in a wide range of environments, this robust panel continues to perform well even in high temperatures or low irradiance – up to 30% more power than similar panels under high temperature conditions. The panel is rated for a load of up to 6,000Pa from the front, equivalent to being buried under 1.8m of snow, and a rear load of 5,600Pa which is greater than the force applied by hurricane-strength winds.

Superior Performance Warranty

Both the output and workmanship of the panel are guaranteed for an industry-leading 25 years. The linear performance warranty guarantees a loss of no more than 0.33% of the panel output per year after the first year, and no less than 90.08% power production in the 25th year; 5-10% higher than other solar cell manufacturers. You can be sure of a long service life from this highly robust solar panel.

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