When it comes to solar panels, there are two main types: monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Both types of solar panels have their own advantages and disadvantages, but which one is cheaper? Monocrystalline solar panels are best for areas where space is limited, as they produce more electricity on a smaller scale than polyethylene panels. Monocrystalline solar cells are manufactured using a method called the Czochralski method, in which a silicon “seed” crystal is placed in a molten tub of pure silicon at a high temperature. Monocrystalline panels not only have the highest efficiency ratings, but they also tend to have the highest power capacity ratings.
While monocrystalline panels tend to be more expensive, some households will find that the total price of the system will be cheaper than if they used polycrystalline panels. On the other hand, polycrystalline solar panels have a lower cost per watt, making them cheaper than single-crystalline solar panels. Since more polycrystalline panels are needed to generate the same amount of energy, homeowners will need to invest in more installation costs, shelving equipment, and possibly inverters (if using chain inverters*). The blue square polycrystalline cells fit neatly side by side, eliminating any empty space between cells.
Polycrystalline panels have an efficiency of between 13 and 16%, while monocrystalline panels have an efficiency rate of 15 to 20%. Although all solar panels are bulky, monocrystalline solar panels, with their dark tone, fade better in the background than polyethylene units. The lower efficiency of polycrystalline panels also means that they tend to have a lower output power than monocrystalline panels, which generally range between 240 and 300 watts. When it comes to cost-effectiveness, polycrystalline solar panels are usually the better option. However, if you're looking for maximum efficiency and don't mind spending a bit more money upfront, then monocrystalline solar panels may be the way to go.
Ultimately, it depends on your budget and what you're looking for in terms of energy output.