There are three main types of solar panels in the market today: thin-film, monocrystalline, and polycrystalline. Among the three, monocrystalline solar panels have gained tremendous popularity in recent years, due in part to their high efficiency and low-temperature coefficient.
Below we’ll provide all the information you need about monocrystalline solar panels. We also compare monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels to help you make the right choice for you.
What Are Monocrystalline Solar Panels?
Monocrystalline solar panels are made of high-grade silicon. They’re also known as single crystalline panels and each has a deep black distinctive look with cut edges.
Each panel contains 60 or 72 solar cells, depending on their size. However, 60-cell panels tend to be used for most residential installations.
The cells in monocrystalline panels have a larger surface area than other types of panels, allowing them to collect more energy from sun rays. To further increase the absorption of sun rays, manufacturers coat the cells with silicon nitride that reduces reflection.
The energy produced from the panels is direct current (DC), but then an inverter is required to convert the generated power into usable alternating current (AC).
What makes monocrystalline panels a favoured option is their high efficiency and a long lifespan. As such, many manufacturers offer a 25-year warranty on these types of panels.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Monocrystalline Solar Panels?
Despite their valuable features, monocrystalline solar panels have a few advantages and disadvantages you should be aware of.
Pros of Monocrystalline panels
Here are the advantages you can expect to get by installing monocrystalline solar panels:
The efficiency of solar panels refers to how well they convert solar energy into electricity. The efficiency level differs from one type of solar panel to another depending on its solar cell technology.
Monocrystalline solar panels have a high-efficiency level. This is because of the purity of their material, which means electrons on monocrystalline solar panels can move more freely.
As a result, these panels provide better electricity flow, making them the highest efficiency in the market. Monocrystalline panel efficiency level ranges between 15% to 24%.
The panels’ high efficiency increases the produced power. It also decreases the installation space the panels require to produce a specific power capacity. This makes them the ideal choice for houses with limited roof space.
Monocrystalline solar panels have a high life expectancy of up to 30 years. In addition, there are new models with a lifespan of up to 50 years.
This means they’ll continue to operate at a good performance level throughout those 30 to 50 years, though efficiency will decrease gradually.
Good Performance in Low Sunlight Levels
Unlike other types of panels, monocrystalline panels perform considerably well in areas with low levels of sunlight. This makes them excellent choices for people living in cloudy areas.
High Heat Resistance
Solar panels work at their peak performance within a temperature range from 59°F to 95°F. Above this range, the panels start to operate less efficiently.
High temperatures negatively affect the output efficiency of all types of solar panels by 10% to 25%. Nonetheless, monocrystalline panels are the most heat-resistant type, making them the best option in hot climates.
Cons of Monocrystalline panels
Monocrystalline panels come with one main drawback, which is their high price. These panels undergo a complicated manufacturing process, leading to their excellent efficiency. However, this production process results in huge material waste.
That way, monocrystalline panels cost considerably higher than other types. As a result, they might not be within the budget of every person.
Which Is Better: Monocrystalline or Polycrystalline Panels?
When choosing a solar panel, most people hesitate between monocrystalline and polycrystalline types.
Here are the main differences between the two types to help you make up your mind:
Both monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels have an excellent lifespan. They last from 25 to 30 years. Still, some new models of monocrystalline panels can last slightly longer.
That said, it’s necessary to maintain regular maintenance and provide optimal care to ensure the entire lifespan of either type.
As mentioned above, monocrystalline panels have an efficiency level ranging between 15% and 24%. On the other hand, polycrystalline panels’ efficiency level ranges between 13% and 16%, meaning that mono panels have considerably higher efficiency.
Polycrystalline panels have a high-temperature coefficient. As a result, hot temperatures reduce their efficiency significantly.
Conversely, monocrystalline panels have a low-temperature coefficient. As such, hot temperatures have only a subtle impact on them.
Many people have personal preferences regarding the look of their solar panels. That’s why they pay close attention to the colour of the panels.
Polycrystalline panels have a blue hue that makes them highly noticeable on roofs. On the other hand, monocrystalline panels have black colour that pairs well with the appearance of most houses.
The manufacturing process of the two solar panels varies considerably, which impacts their overall costs. The production process of monocrystalline panels is complex and requires high-quality silicon.
Conversely, polycrystalline panels consist of lower-quality and recycled silicon cells, and their production process is relatively simpler. That way, monocrystalline panels cost more than polycrystalline ones.
Monocrystalline Solar Panel FAQs
How Much Do Monocrystalline Panels Cost?
The total cost of a monocrystalline solar panel system varies depending on the number of panels your home requires and their size.It also differs depending on the manufacturer, installation method, panels’ power level, and other factors.
Although monocrystalline solar panels seem expensive, you gain many benefits from installing these panels. These benefits include huge savings in electricity bills and switching to green electricity.
If you want to find out the potential cost of installing monocrystalline panels for your home, you can contact one of our experts for help.
What Are the Applications of Monocrystalline Solar Panels?
Monocrystalline solar panels come in different sizes and output levels. You can use each of them in many ways.
The following are the most common applications for each panel size:
- You can use 5 to 25-Watt panels to charge laptops, cameras and phones. You can also use them to power a lamp, fan, or small pump.
- You can use 40 to 50-Watt panels to power appliances like microwaves and refrigerators.
- You can use large panels to illuminate a spacious garden, power a house or even light up a street.
Monocrystalline Solar Panel Conclusion
Monocrystalline panels are highly efficient and have a long lifespan of up to 30 years. They also have perfect heat resistance and can perform well in cloudy areas.
As for appearance, monocrystalline panels have a black colour that most people prefer as they fit well with the appearance of most houses. That said, they cost much more than the other solar panel options.
Finally, choosing a reliable manufacturer and installer is as important as the type of panel you plan to install. So, you should select them carefully.