Monocrystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels

One aspect to consider when investing in solar PV is what type of panels to go for. Of course, there are many different brands out there, but there are also 2 types of solar panels. These are monocrystalline solar panels and polycrystalline solar panels. Both panels have their advantages. Let’s explore the 2:


The first noticeable difference between the two types of panels is their respective appearances. Polycrystalline solar panels are typically blue with uneven colouring due to the manufacturing process. Monocrystalline solar panels, on the other hand, typically come in uniform black. Which is the better looking of the two is purely a matter of personal taste.


Aesthetics is all fine and well, but what about the differences in performance? Polycrystalline solar panels cost less to make than monocrystalline solar panels and it would be correct to assume that, by and large, mono panels have a higher peak efficiency rating; of 19% compared to 18% from a poly panel. There we go then, decision made. Or is it?


You see, the black colouring of mono solar panels means that in hot conditions more heat is absorbed by the panels making them less efficient than poly solar panels, whose lighter colouring enables them to absorb less heat and therefore work to a higher level.

It would seem that a major consideration when choosing between monocrystalline solar panels and polycrystalline solar panels is the climate where they will be installed. In hot countries, a polycrystalline solar panel will perform better and as it’s cheaper, systems using poly panels will pay back faster. On the other hand, in more moderate climates, the extra cost of mono solar PV panels is easily justified due to their superior efficiency rating.


In all truth, with the unpredictable weather and climate of the United Kingdom, both types of panels will be the “better” panels at varying times. The decision will probably come down to personal preference.

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