What’s the difference between Polycrystalline and Monocrystalline

Currently on the market there are two types of solar photo voltaic panels polycrystalline and monocrystalline. In layman’s terms the difference is in the crystal structure of the silicon.

Monocrystalline cells are cut from a chunk of silicon that has been grown from a single crystal. These are used in the more expensive types of solar panels and are more efficient in converting the sun’s rays to electricity. A polycrystalline cell is cut from multifaceted silicon crystal. More surface area is required due to inherent flaws and these panels are less efficient in converting the sun’s rays in lower light intensity. However, polycrystalline technology has closed up the performance gap in recent years.

Also, a 185 watt rated monocrystalline solar panel and a 185 watt molycrystalline panel are essentially the same – they produce the same amount of electricity (in standard test conditions i.e. 1000 lux / m2).

The video below show a test between Polycrystalline and Monocrystalline.

James Eades

By: James Eades

Operations Director, James Eades is EnergyMyWay's in-house expert on renewable energy policy, microgeneration technologies and best practice in the renewable energy industry.