Which Type of Photovoltaic Panels Should You Choose?

Crystalline photovoltaic panels are used in most residential and commercial solar installations. There are two main types — monocrystalline and polycrystalline. What’s the difference? And which is the better choice for your solar array?

type photovoltaic panels

Pros and Cons of Monocrystalline Photovoltaic Panels

Monocrystalline solar modules, made from a single, high-grade, crystal structure, are prized for their efficiency. These photovoltaic panels do a better job of generating solar electricity than their counterparts.

Since they have the highest solar power output per square foot, you will need fewer monocrystalline PV panels — which makes more efficient use of your rooftop space.

The downside to monocrystalline modules is price. Monocrystalline solar panels cost more to produce, and that translates to a slightly higher price tag.

Pros and Cons of Polycrystalline Photovoltaic Panels

Polycrystalline solar panels are created with multiple crystals of silicon. The manufacturing process is much easier and results in less waste. For that reason, these photovoltaic modules come at a lower price.

On the downside, the lower silicon purity means that polycrystalline PV modules generate less solar electricity, so they aren’t as efficient as monocrystalline modules.

Because of polycrystalline modules’ reduced solar power output, you need more to meet your power needs — and that requires more roof space.

Weighing Your Options for Photovoltaic Panels

Ultimately, which type of modules should you choose for your residential or commercial PV installation? To answer that question, consider the specific goals of your photovoltaic project.

If keeping the initial investment costs low is your top priority, polycrystalline PV panels may be the better option — assuming you have the necessary roof space. On the other hand, if you want to generate the most power with the least equipment — or if your available roof space is limited — highly efficient monocrystalline modules may be preferable.

Choosing Your Photovoltaic Panels

Every PV installation is different, so cost and efficiency aren’t the only important factors to consider when making your decision.

Photovoltaic modules typically come with 25-year warranties, but you still want panels that will provide you with decades of trouble-free operation. To that end, make sure to purchase a reputable brand. Manufacturer reliability and credibility is essential if you want solar panels that will stand the test of time. It will also help ensure that the manufacturer is still around in 20 years if you need to file a warranty claim.

Finally, because several models of both types of crystalline solar panels are available, you’ll need to consider factors like power output and power tolerance ratings. Your professional PV contractor can help you understand the module specifications and compare your options so you can make the best choice.

The professional team at Intermountain Wind & Solar is committed to providing first-rate solar PV installations to homeowners and businesses throughout Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming and Colorado. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation to discuss the best photovoltaic panels to meet your needs.