Is Monocrystalline Panel Best in The Philippines
The plates that generate photovoltaic solar energy are mainly produced in crystalline silicon. There are two main types: mon and poly panels – each with particularities and can meet different needs.
Monocrystalline silicon photovoltaic panels have a uniform color, indicating the high purity of the raw material, and their technology has higher efficiency, as they are produced from a single crystal of ultrapure silicon.
To know the main characteristics, recommendations for uses in photovoltaic energy generation, and differences in this type of panel, continue reading our article until the end!
Photovoltaic and silicon panels
To understand the types of photovoltaic panels, one must know more about what they are and their composition. This factor is directly linked to the characteristics and efficiency of each one.
Photovoltaic panels are solar panels installed in regions with good insolation to capture sunlight and transform that light into electricity. They are formed by silicon, a semiconductor material of tiny atoms charged with electrons.
Typically, photovoltaic panels contain two distinct ends: on the negative charge, silicon combines with boron; in the positive, it associates with phosphorus. The reaction between these molecules allows the cells to react with the sun, producing electrical energy.
What are The Two Types of Photovoltaic Panels
Polycrystalline: Composed of tiny silicon crystals, also called polysilicon. This material is produced in misaligned silicon glass, lying between amorphous silicon, in which there is no long-range order and monocrystalline silicon;
Monocrystalline: A type of silicon used in virtually all electronic equipment today. It has a great capacity to receive radiation. Due to its purity, energy efficiency is between 14% and 21%, a rate higher than that of polycrystalline silicon.
In addition, other types can be found on sale, such as thin film panels, amorphous silicon panels, and cadmium telluride panels, among others. However, these represent a small portion of the market.
If we combine the polycrystalline and monocrystalline types, we have a share of more than 80% of the world’s photovoltaic energy market. Both types are produced from silicon, albeit in different forms. The method used in casting the crystals is the main difference between the technologies.
In the case of polycrystalline, silicon crystals are fused into a block, preserving multiple crystals.
In the case of monocrystalline, the structure is continuous, without edges. Most silicon single crystals derive from the Czochralski process, which provides for production in cylinders up to 2 meters long and 45 centimeters in diameter. The cuts of this material give rise to microcircuits.
One of the ways to distinguish the two types of solar energy panels is to know that the edges are rectangular in polycrystalline. This is because, during manufacturing, silicon is melted, molded, and then cut into square sheets.
Conversely, monocrystallines are produced from a single type of silicon crystal with perfect alignment.
What Are The Features of Monocrystalline Panels
Monocrystalline technology is older but remains more efficient. This panel type is easily recognizable as its uniform color indicates high-purity silicon and rounded corners.
A single silicon crystal is divided and transformed into individual sheets, which, in turn, are treated and transformed into photovoltaic cells. Among the differentials of a monocrystalline photovoltaic silicon plate are:
With the gain in efficiency, the panels occupy less space;
Useful life around 30 years;
Improved performance in low light conditions compared to polycrystalline panels.
It is worth mentioning that monocrystalline silicon is considered one of the most important materials of recent decades since its availability and affordable price have been essential for developing new technologies and electronic devices.
Advantages of the Monocrystalline Panel
The main advantage of using monocrystalline photovoltaic panels is the greater efficiency, even in low light conditions, such as cloudier days.
Although their cost is slightly higher than that of polycrystalline panels, it is important to understand that the efficiency of individual photovoltaic cells is greater than that of several cells together.
During the assembly process of the polycrystalline solar panel, when encapsulating a photovoltaic cell, the light that reaches its surface is filtered by the glass and the encapsulating material, thus reducing the efficiency of the panel as a whole.
However, with this production method, the use of silicon is greater. In the case of the monocrystalline panel, the disadvantage is that some of the cells are wasted when the cut is made.
Anyway, the central differential of the monocrystalline panel is its high efficiency. This means a monocrystalline system has better results with the same number of panels. The installation takes up less space to achieve the necessary amount of energy generation using monocrystalline panels.
This also means reduced installation, transport and logistics costs. Higher solar module efficiency means lower solar system cost per watt.
Disadvantages of the Monocrystalline Panel
The first point we can highlight is the price, which can be considerably higher if we consider the size of a photovoltaic project.
We can also highlight the waste during production caused by the Czochralski process. It is common for the edges to contain imperfections, causing recycling and silicon staining.
Monocrystalline vs. Polycrystalline panel: Which is better?
It is worth remembering that the power generation will be the same if you choose the panel according to the power. An 80-watt monocrystalline plate will generate the same as a polycrystalline plate of the same number, although it takes up less space.
Next, I compared the types of panels according to some parameters related to photovoltaic energy generation. Check out:
|Panel Specifications||Monocrystalline Panels||Polycrystalline Panel|
|Space||Takes more space||Takes less space|
|Durability||25 to 30 Years||25 to 30 Years|
|Efficiency||Between 15% to 20%||Between 13% to 18%|
How to choose the panel for your client
In comparison with the monocrystalline panel, the installation cost of the polycrystalline panel tends to be more attractive in most projects. It may have a longer useful life (around 30 years) and better performance in situations of low insolation, such as cloudy days.
In general, polycrystalline panels are more suitable for installations in large areas and for customers who intend to reduce their initial investment.
Conversely, monocrystalline is ideal for roofs with reduced area or smaller properties because, as the technology is more efficient, generating the same amount of energy in a smaller space is possible.
Furthermore, suppose the location where the panel will be installed does not have a high incidence of light. In that case, these modules can deliver a better result, capturing a more significant amount of radiation.
It is essential to highlight that no ready-made solution exists for each client. On the contrary, the project needs to be carefully studied and analyzed to verify which technologies are most adequate and have the best cost-benefit ratio.
As a solar panel installer, you must know your client’s needs and offer them the most appropriate solution. Don’t forget to address different alternatives so that he is fully aware of the situation.