What solar panels should I choose
Over the last few months the second most common question behind what is a tier 1 solar panel, was what is the difference between monocrystalline vs polycrystalline solar panels and which is better.
The differences in panels has narrowed quite a lot and people will still tell you one over the other is better, I tend to say that they both have slightly better attributes than the others in different areas. It’s still more important to choose the right manufacturer over a monochrystalline (mono) / polycrystalline (poly) cell specifically. As a good quality poly manufacturer will bet a ave mono manufacturer and vice versus.
So what is the difference between mono and poly solar panels
Mono crystalline cells – solar panels
Typical monocrystalline solar cell is a dark black colour, and to make a further discrepancy between the panels you will usually find the corners of cells are usually missing as a result of the production process.
Monocrystalline solar panels have for a long time been denoted the better solar panel because of the technology advanced and the higher peak output achieved on an average across the board. This alone does not make mono panels better than poly panels. Following previous results published by the Photon testing statistics show clearly that the mix of mono and poly is quite varied through the results.
Poly crystalline – solar panels
Polycrystalline, on the other hand, is easily identifiable by its signature light or dark blue colour, although not uniformed in its appearance you will find patches if different colours and if sun hits the panels in the right light it might even look like you have two different sets of panels on your roof. This is no issue but only a variation caused from the manufacturing process if the solar panels.
Poly crystalline solar panels over the last few years have increased their market share in Australia, and this trend is maintaining its self. The general cost of producing poly over mono is up for discussion but pricing across the board usually between the same brand panels sits a few percent below mono panels.
Poly crystalline, is also referred to as Multi crystalline panels, one of the better known solar panels / manufacturer is REC. REC is a Norwegian company and well known in the industry. Other companies like Yingli solar have both mono and poly solar cells in their range.
Under testing specifications at testing facilities it does show that mono solar panels in general do have a higher peak output, the general thought in he industry though is that the poly panels seem to have a higher output generically in low light conditions, (first thing in the morning and last thing at night). Also low light conditions. These conditions are not tested under testing conditions because only one reading is required.
Solar panel efficiency
How important is the panel efficiency?
The panel efficiency is a good starting point in regards to the quality of the panel and the technology that has gone into making the panels . However if you have plenty of room on your roof then the panel efficiency really has no bearing on the installation. The solar efficiency related to the amount of solar power that can be produced over a certain footprint if a solar panel. For example a 250 watt solar panel is the exact same size as a 270 watt solar panel but because it produces 20 extra watts it’s efficiency will be greater. But the actual output if total of panels is more important than how many panels are required. especially for buildings with ample roof. When picking the solar panels for your installation please make sure that all the components for your solar system are decided on a manufacturer by manufacturer basis on top of the above information. Other items like solar inverters, railing and installing solar company are just as important
The Company behind the solar panels
Quality technology is important in selection of solar panels, monocrystalline and polycrystalline are both proven technologies though and should be treated as good quality solar components, Niether mono or poly should be seen as better than the other silicon solar cells are proven technologies, and one should not automatically be considered better than the other. Manufacturing equipment for silicon wafers is now more readily available now than it ever has been in the past, importantly though R&D (research and design) investment by a manufacturer is usually indicative of the company’s intentions to quality and the initiative moving forward to better their products. Also showing that the company is whiling to spend the money on the assumption they will be around for a while to come, to recoup the costs their whiling to put into R&D.
Solar panel warranty
Nearly all the solar panels on the market now, whether they be mono or poly have a 25 year performance warranty, this s now standard across the board. This warranty can be as high as the 30 years with some manufactures. This is showing an understanding in the industry that solar panels should be good for 25 years. The manufacturing warranty of nearly all solar panels though should be at least 10 years now as this is also the induxtry standard. When using these two warranty details, please keep in mind that if the manufacturing warrantyruns out after 10 years and the panel malfuntions at year 11 then the perforance warranty that may be 25 years, most likely will be null invoid.
Thank you for reading another blog from Velocity Solar, stay tuned for the next blog.