Polycrystalline Solar Panels

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Polycrystalline solar panels is the most employed solar panel technology in India. 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 polycrystalline panels.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Polycrystalline solar panels are cheaper as compared to monocrystalline solar panels. But there is much more to the story. Here, in this post, we will explain everything about polycrystalline 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 monocrystalline solar panels, click here.

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

Construction of Polycrystalline Solar Panels

The process of making polycrystalline cells is simple. Polycrystalline solar cells are made up of silicon. Silicon is heated up to convert it into its molten form. The molten silicon is then put into molds and are allowed to cool and solidify. These are then cut into wafers.

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

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Let’s make a solar panel out of the solar cells we have created above.

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. 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 Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Polycrystalline panels can have slight color differences, that is, there are different shades of same color (generally, blue) throughout the panel surface. Different crystals inside a solar panel can be seen easily by looking at the surface. Also, there are no white boundaries around any cell as can be seen in the monocrystalline panels.

Efficiency of Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Polycrystalline panels have lower efficiency as compared to monocrystalline solar panels. The difference is generally of one or two percent.

Advantages of Polycrystalline Solar Panels

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

  • Polycrystalline panels are cheaper than monocrystalline panels.
  • Since these panels are economical, they are the most used ones in India.

Disadvantages of Monocrystalline Solar Panels

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

  • Lower Efficiency. Polycrystalline panels have lower efficiency than monocrystalline panels.
  • Space requirement. These panels cover slightly larger space than monocrystalline panels to produce same output as monocrystalline panels.
  • Heat Tolerance. These panels are less heat tolerant than monocrystalline panels. That means, their efficiency decreases more than monocrystalline solar panels with increase in temperature.

Polycrystalline solar panels are the most used solar panel technology in India and the entire world. They are used in domestic and commercial sectors and also for large scale solar projects. They have a lifespan of more than 25 years and are cheaper as compared to monocrystalline solar panels.

To read about monocrystalline 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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