Monocrystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Monocrystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels: Which Is Best?

Solar energy, the best environment-friendly alternative to electricity, is rapidly proliferating and has seen wide adoption globally, especially in India. You will be surprised to know that out of 3 million solar panels installed in the country, one-third were just installed in the last few years, with more and more people searching for the best solar panels.

While installing a solar panel seems cost-effective, it’s not that easy when it comes to choosing between monocrystalline vs polycrystalline solar panels. Both types of panels have different efficiency levels, costs, and durability.

If you are also considering setting up a solar panel for your premise but are confused between Monocrystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels, consider reading this detailed comparison cum guide to the best solar panel.

What Is Monocrystalline Solar Panel?

Monocrystalline solar panels are composed of monocrystalline solar cells, which are thin slices of pure silicon crystals. These crystals are specially grown in the lab for making solar panels.

The crystals are shaped into long cylinders called ingots and then cut into thin circular discs. The edges of each disc are trimmed to make them octagonal.

The octagonal solar cells are arranged on the solar panel in a way that minimizes the gaps between them. This is similar to how octagonal cookies can fit more closely on a baking sheet than round cookies, which leave empty spaces around them.

Monocrystalline solar panels are easy to recognize by their black color. They usually have an efficiency of 15% to 20%, which means they can convert that much of the sunlight into electricity. Some new experimental models can even achieve up to 50% efficiency.

Pros and Cons of Monocrystalline Solar Panel 

Pros Cons
High efficiency Expensive
Requires less space Less sustainable
Attractive black panels
Better heat tolerance

Best Applications for Monocrystalline Solar Panels

If you have limited space, monocrystalline solar panels are the best option for you. They generate more electricity per unit area than poly panels. They also work well in low-light conditions, extracting the most energy possible. They are more suitable for situations where efficiency is the priority over cost.

Monocrystalline solar panels are all bulky, but their dark color makes them less noticeable than poly panels. They blend in better with the surroundings.

Monocrystalline solar panels can withstand higher temperatures than polycrystalline panels. They are a good choice for hot climates, such as deserts.

What Is a Polycrystalline Solar Panel?

Polycrystalline solar cells are the building blocks of polycrystalline solar panels. They are similar to monocrystalline solar cells in that they are both made of silicon crystals. However, the polycrystalline solar cells are not formed from a single pure ingot of silicon, but from many pieces of silicon that break apart as they cool down.

These pieces are then heated in a furnace and shaped into cubes that are sliced into thin wafers. This results in a mixture of different crystals, unlike monocrystalline solar cells that have only one crystal. This process is less precise than the one for monocrystalline cells, but it also makes it possible to produce more solar cells in a shorter time and at a lower cost.

The polycrystalline cells have a blue color and a square shape. They are arranged closely together, leaving no gaps between them. Polycrystalline solar panels have a lower efficiency than monocrystalline panels because the multiple crystals in the polycrystalline cells reduce the space for the electrons to move freely.

Polycrystalline panels typically have an efficiency rating of 13% to 16%. This is only a few percentage points lower than monocrystalline panels, but it can make a big difference when multiplied by many solar panels.

Pros and Cons of Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Pros Cons
Less expensive Requires more space
Long life than monocrystalline panels Less efficient
Less heat resistance

Best Applications for Polycrystalline Solar Panels

If you want to save money on your solar panels, polycrystalline ones are a good choice. They are cheaper than monocrystalline ones, which cost about $0.05 more per watt. However, you need to make sure you have enough room for them because they are bigger and less efficient.

Polycrystalline solar panels are more suitable for places that get a lot of sun because they produce less power than other types of panels.

Some people may not like the look of the polycrystalline panels, which have a blue color and a grainy texture. They may not fit well in residential areas where there are many of them. But they are best for rural areas or for urban areas where they can be hidden, such as on the roof or behind a building.

Monocrystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels: Detailed Comparison

Monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels are two popular types of photovoltaic panels that capture solar energy and transform it into electricity. Both types of solar panels have the same function, but they have different features in terms of appearance, efficiency, durability, etc.


Monocrystalline solar panels have a black color and a uniform look, which gives them a more modern and sleek appeal. They are made from single-crystal silicon, which gives them a smooth surface.

Polycrystalline solar panels have a blue color and a less uniform look, which makes them less aesthetically pleasing. They are made from multiple silicon crystals, which gives them a grainy surface.


Monocrystalline solar panels are usually more costly than polycrystalline panels because of their manufacturing process and higher efficiency. However, the price difference has been shrinking over time, and both types are now more affordable and competitive, with only slight cost variations.

The average monocrystalline solar panel price is between $1 and $1.50 per watt. Therefore, installing a 6kW solar panel system would cost around $6,000 to $9,000. Polycrystalline solar panels are cheaper and cost between $0.75 and $1 per watt.

Therefore, installing a 6kW solar panel system with polycrystalline panels would cost around $4,500 to $6,000, making it a more economical option.

Efficiency Rating

Monocrystalline solar panels are usually more efficient than polycrystalline panels because of their higher conversion rates of sunlight into electricity due to their single-crystal structure.

Polycrystalline solar panels are less efficient because of the presence of multiple crystals, which can interfere with the smooth flow of electrons, making them less effective.

Life Span

Both monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels have a long-lasting performance. They can work efficiently for 25 to 30 years or more if they are well-maintained and cared for.

The rate of power loss over time is generally low for both kinds, and most manufacturers offer guarantees that ensure a certain level of power production after a certain time.

Temperature Coefficient

The temperature coefficient indicates how much the solar panel’s efficiency drops as the temperature goes up. A lower temperature coefficient is preferable because it means your panel can handle hot conditions better.

Monocrystalline solar panels usually have a slightly lower temperature coefficient than polycrystalline panels, which gives them a slight edge in high-temperature settings.


Both monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels are built to last, so you can rely on your solar energy system to withstand the weather.

However, monocrystalline panels may have a slight benefit over polycrystalline panels because of their single-crystal structure. This improved structural strength makes them a desirable option for those looking for more dependability and durability in their solar energy systems.


Choosing between monocrystalline vs polycrystalline solar panels is not simple, as both options have their pros and cons. You need to think about what your expectations and budget are for a solar panel system.

Monocrystalline panels have higher efficiency and require less space than polycrystalline panels, so they can generate more power with fewer panels. This is a great advantage if your roof area is limited or you want to optimize your energy production.

By using fewer monocrystalline panels, you can also save money in the long term compared to using more polycrystalline panels.

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