Monocrystalline Solar Panels

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Monocrystalline solar panels is one of the major solar panel technologies employed today. While installing a solar plant, you mostly have to choose between only two types of solar panels, viz., monocrystalline and polycrystalline. This often creates a confusion of which solar panel technology to choose. To ease this, we must understand about monocrystalline solar panels.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels
Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Monocrystalline solar panels have better efficiency, take less space and are a bit expensive as compared to polycrystalline solar panels. But there is much more to the story. Here, in this post, we will explain everything about monocrystalline panels you need to know, in order to make a right choice of solar panels. So, read the whole article and get to know which solar panel is best for you and why.

To read about polycrystalline solar panels, click here.

To know the difference and read a comparison between the types of solar panels, click here.

Construction of Monocrystalline Solar Panels

The cells of monocrystalline panels are made up of silicon. Silicon at first, is heated and is converted into a molten form. There is a seed which just touches this molten silicon. Now, this molten silicon is cooled very slowly so that the temperature of its surface just touching the seed is slightly lower than the rest. Now, on getting cooled, as the surface starts to solidify, silicon gets stuck to the seed just above it and starts to grow as the seed is slowly moved upwards. As it is pulled up, more and more silicon is formed at the seed and pulling it up forms a cylinder. These cylinders are called ingots which are single crystal silicon. These are then cut into thin slices called wafers. This process is known as Czochralski (CZ) Process. These wafers may further be cut for the desired shape and size.

The difference between different types of solar panels lies in the construction of their cells.

Monocystalline Solar Panels

Let’s make a solar panel out of the solar cells we have created above using Czochralski (CZ) Process.

At the bottom, there is a bottom metal contact. On this bottom contact, solar cells are placed. Solar cells work on a principal of p-n junction. So, these cells are doped with appropriate element, mostly phosphorous and boron. Above these doped solar cells, a top metal contact is placed. The top contact is like a mesh as shown in the figure. This is to let sun rays reach solar cells without causing any hindrance. Above this, there is an anti-reflection coating. This is to reduce sunlight being reflected and let most of it to be absorbed by the solar cells. Then we have the protective glass covering. All these components are mostly housed in an aluminium casing. This construction can be seen in the picture above.

Appearance of Monocrystalline Solar Panels

The cells of these panels are generally cut in octagonal shape which can be seen easily from the top. This can also be seen in the first picture of this post. Also being a single crystal silicon, the color is uniform throughout the cell. This gives monocrystalline panels their unique appearance.

Monocrystalline panels have cells of single uniform color and generally have white spaces between individual cells which are more pronounced at the corners.

Efficiency of Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Monocrystalline panels are most efficient commercially used solar panels. They have better efficiency as compared to polycrystalline panels. The difference is generally of one or two percent.

Heat Tolerance of Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Monocrystalline panels are more heat tolerant as compared to polycrystalline panels. In other words, the degradation in efficiencies of solar panels with respect to temperature changes are less in monocrystalline panels as compared to polycrystalline panels.

Solar panels efficiency decreases with rise in ambient temperature above temperature of Standard Test Conditions (STC). Generally, the ideal temperature of STC is 25 degrees Celsius or 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, in hot countries (generally, countries lying in torrid and temperate zones), where temperature rises well above the ideal temperature, the efficiency of solar panel decreases. This decrease in efficiency of solar panels is small in monocrystalline panels as compared to polycrystalline panels. In other words, monocrystalline panels are more heat tolerant that polycrystalline panels.

Energy Output of Monocrystalline Solar Panels

Monocrystalline panels have better efficiency and are more heat tolerant as compared to polycrystalline panels. So, the energy output of mono panels is better as compared to poly panels.

In other words, you can generate more electricity using monocrystalline panels and thus, save more and get better returns on your investment.

Size of Monocrystalline Solar Panels

The physical size of monocrystalline solar panels is smaller as compared to polycrystalline solar panels.

This not only saves space on your roof, but also, lets you install more in the available space.

Advantages of Monocrystalline Solar Panels

The advantages of monocrystalline solar panels over polycrystalline solar panels are as follows:

  • Higher Efficiency. Monocrystalline solar panels generally have an efficiency of one to two percent higher than that of polycrystalline solar panels.

  • Space efficient. Since these panels are more efficient that polycrystalline panels, monocrystalline panels provide more power output than polycrystalline panels installed in same space.

  • Heat Tolerance. Monocrystalline panels are more heat tolerant than polycrystalline panels.

  • Although the warranty on both these technologies of panels is generally same as 25 years. Monocrystalline panels tend to have longer life than polycrystalline panels.

  • Better performance in low lighting conditions. Since monocrystalline panels have more efficiency than polycrystalline panels, they provide more output on cloudy, foggy and rainy days.

Disadvantages of Monocrystalline Solar Panels

The disadvantages of monocrystalline solar panels over polycrystalline solar panels are as follows:

  • The process involved in making monocrystalline panels is an expensive process. This makes these panels more expensive than polycrystalline panels.

This is quite evident from the post that monocrystalline solar panels are a better choice as compared to polycrystalline solar panels as far as technology is concerned. You can get better returns as more electricity will be generated by these panels. Saying, these panels are slightly expensive as compared to polycrystalline panels.

To read about polycrystalline solar panels, click here.

To know the difference and read a comparison between the types of solar panels, click here.

To know, how much can you earn upon installing a solar plant, click here.

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