Everything You Need to Know About Solar Panels
Updated: Jun 24, 2020
Types of PV modules: Mono & Poly
There are 3 types of PV modules that are currently existing: monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin-film PV modules. However, the 2 most common types that dominate the market today are the monocrystalline and polycrystalline types, so these 2 will be the only focus of this article.
Method of Construction
The semiconductor material used in making monocrystalline PV modules are made by growing a single silicon crystal (hence, the name mono + crystalline). This means that the silicon has one crystal structure all throughout. Polycrystalline PV modules, on the other hand, are made by pouring molten silicon into a cast. This makes the crystal structure imperfect, having varying crystal structures all throughout the material. The difference in the crystal structures of the two are shown below:
Since polycrystalline silicon has many crystal boundaries within the material, monocrystalline is theoretically more efficient because these boundaries impede the flow of electric current through it.
Which is Better, Monocrystalline or Polycrystalline?
Monocrystalline PV modules have the highest efficiency rates because they are made from the highest-grade silicon.