Mono-crystalline Solar Panels
To make solar cells for mono-crystalline solar panels, silicon is formed into bars and cut into wafers. These types of panels are called “mono-crystalline” to indicate that the silicon used is single-crystal silicon. Because the cell is composed of a single crystal, the electrons that generate a flow of electricity have more room to move. As a result, mono-crystalline panels are more efficient than their poly-crystalline counterparts.
WHAT ARE MONOCRYSTALLINE MODULES?
This is the technology that started the photo-voltaic revolution. Originated in the 1950s, mono-crystalline solar panels are the oldest and most developed system to date. As the name suggests, they are made from a single crystal of pure silicon. Manufacturers use the Czochralski method to slowly pull a single silicon crystal seed out of melted mono-crystalline silicon and form an ingot. A crystal seed is a small piece of silicone which is used as a base for the molten molecules. By providing the right infrastructure, the molten molecules can connect to form an ingot. While the seed is being drawn up, the temperature is lowered gradually to help form a cylindrical shape. Mono-crystalline modules can be recognized by their uniform coloring and look, which indicate the high purity of silicon.
✓ Mono-crystalline modules are the most expensive.
✓ If they are covered with dirt or snow, the entire system is affected.
Polystalline Solar Images
Poly-crystalline solar panels are also made from silicon. However, instead of using a single crystal of silicon, manufacturers melt many fragments of silicon together to form the wafers for the panel. Poly-crystalline solar panels are also referred to as “multi-crystalline,” or many-crystal silicon. Because there are many crystals in each cell, there is to less freedom for the electrons to move. As a result, poly-crystalline solar panels have lower efficiency ratings than mono-crystalline panels.
WHAT ARE POLYCRYSTALLINE MODULES?
Poly-crystalline solar panels are made up of multiple crystals. Instead of going through the slow and very expensive process of creating a single crystal, manufacturers simply put a crystal seed in a cast of molten silicon and allow it to cool. Due to this casting method, the crystal surrounding the seed isn’t uniform and grows into multiple small crystals.
✓ The process used to manufacture poly solar panels is simpler and, thus, less pricey.
✓ They usually have a lower heat tolerance than mono-crystalline modules.