Monocrystalline vs. Polycrystalline Solar Panels

Interested in going solar? Solar power is more commonly used today than ever, and it’s just going to increase in popularity and usefulness as the years go by. Because one thing we can rely on is the sun.

If you’re looking into purchasing solar panels, then you’ll know that there are several options out there to choose from: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film. For the purposes of this article, we’ll be addressing key pros and cons of monocrystalline vs. polycrystalline panels.

So what do monocrystalline and polycrystalline even mean in the context of solar panels? The main differences between the two panels are how they are produced and the cost associated with that production.

Monocrystalline Solar Panels

These black, wafer-shaped panels have been around longer than the poly panels. To make a mono panel, a solid silicon seed crystal is rotated. While it is rotated, a pool of molten silicon is slowly extracted. The resulting block of silicon is made of just one crystal, giving it the prefix mono for one. The block is then cut into a square shape.  The square then gets cut up further into identical wafer shapes and assembled into the traditional monocrystalline solar panel.

The main pros for monocrystalline solar panels include:

  • Higher efficiency rate
  • Space-efficient
  • Long lifespan (25 + years)
  • More efficient in warmer/hot weather


There is really only one con associated with mono panels: they are a bit pricy.

Polycrystalline Solar Panels

These solar panels are cut from silicon that was melted and recrystallized. Polycrystalline solar panels are blue and cut into squares. They are cheaper to produce, and subsequently, the market for solar panels has seen a surge in popularity of polycrystalline rather than monocrystalline.

Other polycrystalline panel pros include:

  • Less wasted silicon during production
  • Long lifespan (25 + years)


The main cons of poly panels are:

  • Less efficient
  • Lower space-efficiency


Which Is Right for You?

Figuring out which solar panel to choose is going to depend entirely on your needs.

  • Do you have lots of roof space or just a little?
  • How much efficiency are you looking for?
  • What’s your budget?


The debate between monocrystalline vs. polycrystalline solar panels is one only you can resolve. Regardless of what you decide, the fact that you’re choosing solar energy is the best choice you could make.

At TinyHouseEssentials.com, we offer solar kits equipped with everything you need to save power. Contact us with any questions today!

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