In the past decade, more households across the United States have chosen green energy or solar energy to power their homes. In 2008, about 0.34 GW of electrical power was generated using solar panels. Today, the amount of electricity produced has significantly increased to more than 90 GW.
The sum accounts for 3 percent of electricity produced in the country, powering more than 18 million homes. Moreover, the mean cost of buying and installing a solar system has decreased to about 70 percent.
There are several factors to consider before purchasing and installing solar panels. You need to know your house location, sun exposure, the cost, and more. Once you have decided to use solar energy, you must get an in-depth understanding of solar panels. Before buying a system, you need to determine whether you will go for polycrystalline or monocrystalline.
Note that polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panels mainly consist of silicon, but they differ in manufacturing. Below are the similarities and differences of these solar panels.
Monocrystalline panels come from one silicon ingot. To make ingots, authentic crystal silicon is put into the molten silicon. Then, it is carefully pulled and circled upward to create a single ingot. The ingot is then split into wafers, which should be thin and rough to refract more sunlight. Then, phosphorus is placed on the wafers individually. The more silicon wafers there are, the greater the output.
Polycrystalline panels, also known as multicrystalline panels, consist of silicon as well. However, they are created using many silicon fragments. They are melted, then cooled, and molded before cutting them as panels. The final process is similar to monocrystalline panels.
Polycrystalline vs. Monocrystalline
The temperature coefficient determines how solar panels react to temperature. The rate for monocrystalline panels ranges from -0.3 percent to -0.45 percent, which means that for every 1℃, monocrystalline panels become 0.3 to 0.45 percent less efficient.
On the other hand, the rate for polycrystalline panels is -0.5 percent. Therefore, monocrystalline panels generate 20 percent more electricity compared to polycrystalline.
Measuring the amount of sunlight captured to generate electricity is essential to know how efficient solar panels are. The higher the amount, the greater efficiency. Polycrystalline panels have an efficiency of 13 to 16 percent, while monocrystalline panels have an efficiency of 15 to 20 percent. Therefore, monocrystalline panels are more efficient than polycrystalline panels.
Though there are benefits in using either polycrystalline or monocrystalline panels, it is still clear that monocrystalline panels have more to offer. These panels provide a better temperature coefficient and efficiency.
However, the cost for installing a monocrystalline system can be higher compared to setting up polycrystalline technology. Suppose you are unwilling to spend extra money for monocrystalline panels, yet you still want to take advantage of clean energy and get lower bills. In that case, you can always opt for a polycrystalline system.