When you start gathering information about switching to solar, you are immediately confronted with deciding which are the best solar panels for your home – mono vs poly solar panels.
After all, this is a long-term investment, since the panels should be going strong even after 20 years. Energy efficiency and aesthetics play a big role in your decision, especially as costs have dropped dramatically and aren’t quite as much of a factor.
Let’s take a look at these two types of solar panels to help you make a choice.
Monocrystalline Solar Panels
These days, mono panels are seen as a premium product because of their higher efficiency levels and sleek looks. Mono refers to the single-crystal silicon wafers used in the panel. The use of just one crystal leaves plenty of room for the electrons that generate power to move around, which contributes to their efficiency.
The panels have a uniform black color from the wafers, which look like squares with the corners cut off. This creates small gaps of white between the cells, making it look a little like a tiled floor. Each panel will have about 40 wafers in it.
Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Poly panels are the original style, introduced in 1981, and their lower price makes them popular for anyone installing on a budget. The wafers used in these panels melt many bits of silicon together, which leaves less space for electrons to move around, This gives them a lower efficiency rating than mono panels, although the gap is closing.
The panels have a mottled blue color due to the many bits of silicon. The wafers form solid squares that give a uniform look to the panel as a whole.
Mono vs Poly Solar Panels
While looks might matter to you, the biggest factor in choosing a panel is the efficiency rates. Mono panels hold the edge there, especially in warmer weather. If you live where summers are long and hot, they might be the better choice.
In addition, the lower the efficiency rating, the more panels you’ll need in your installation. This impacts your overall cost, but space is a bigger concern. If you have a smaller roof or available space, mono panels might be required to get the amount of energy needed to run your home.
If you have plenty of space, poly panels might be a good option since they would have a lower up-front cost. You can also estimate solar savings to see which will pay for themselves faster.
Make Your Solar Panel Choice
Solar panels can improve the value of your home and pay for themselves in a few years. The technology has improved greatly in recent years, driving down the costs and making the difference of mono vs poly solar panels more about looks and space requirements.
Check out more articles on our site to learn more about how to switch to solar, get solar energy tips, or find other green home improvement projects.