A monocrystalline solar panel, also called a mono solar panel is a semiconductor device composed of monocrystalline solar cells. It is a highly popular, advanced type of solar panel.
It is manufactured in a monocrystalline solar panel factory from a cylindrical silicon ingot produced from a singular crystal of high purity silicon.
- The cylindrical ingot is cut into wafers to form cells.
- The circular wafers are wire cut into an octagonal shape to maximise the utility of the cells, giving these cells a distinct appearance.
- The monocrystalline solar cell has a unique colour.
Bear in mind, although monocrystalline solar panels boast a high photoconversion efficiency of 24%, their high production cost and poor performance at high temperatures are major drawbacks.
How does a monocrystalline solar panel work?
Monocrystalline solar panels utilise their space-efficient pure silicon cells to absorb sunlight during the day. An electric field is created by the sunlight that strikes the surface of the monocrystalline solar panel.
This complex physical process generates an electric field that produces electricity. The electricity is produced as a direct current, but the household appliances work on AC. Hence, a Monocrystalline solar panel uses an inverter to convert this DC into AC so it can be used for running home appliances.
These panels have in-built batteries that are responsible for storing the power.
The efficiency of a monocrystalline solar panel
The efficiency of a monocrystalline solar panel is measured by the amount of sunlight falling on its surface, which is then converted into electrical energy.
The efficiency is quite high, generally, around 15%, which is much higher than that of polycrystalline solar panels. This is because the Monocrystalline solar panels are cut from a single silicon crystal, making it easier for electricity to move throughout the panel.
Owing to their higher efficiency, monocrystalline solar panels can generate more electricity for the same area occupied by other solar panels made of different materials.
Types of monocrystalline solar panels
There are two types of monocrystalline solar panels: n-type and p-type. Although n-type and p-type monocrystalline solar panels comprise the same material, they differ in efficiency.
Let’s find out the details!
1. N-type Monocrystalline Solar Panels
Like all monocrystalline solar panels, the n-type solar panel comprises silicon crystal wafers. After the creation of the wafers, a semiconductor junction is created to conduct the current.
- In n-type monocrystalline solar panels, a phosphorus coating is applied on the wafer, which induces the current flow.
- The n-type monocrystalline solar panel does not suffer from light-induced degradation.
- Moreover, these panels experience no efficiency or power output decline over time.
2. P-type Monocrystalline Solar Panels
Unlike the n-type monocrystalline solar panel, the p-type panels have a boron coating. Due to the use of boron, the p-type monocrystalline solar panels often experience a 2-4% decline in efficiency and power output.
Moreover, the p-type monocrystalline solar panels experience light-induced degradation since they use Czochralski-grown cells. Nevertheless, p-type monocrystalline panels are highly preferred for domestic and commercial use.
Pros and cons of monocrystalline solar panels
Pros of monocrystalline solar panels:
- Monocrystalline solar panels are highly efficient and well-known for their high power generating capacity. More specifically, the bifacial variants of the monocrystalline solar panels guarantee the highest levels of efficiency due to their unique and advanced design.
- They need less space for installation. So, monocrystalline solar panels are better if your space is limited and you want to install a solar panel system.
- Owing to the high-quality raw materials they are made from, these solar panels have very high durability, usually with a warranty of up to 25 years.
- They generate power even on cloudy days.
Cons of monocrystalline solar panels:
- They are expensive compared to other types of solar panels.
- Silicon gets wasted due to corner-cutting in the manufacturing process.
Cost of monocrystalline solar panels
The monocrystalline solar panel price is determined by its silicon structure, electrical protection, and wiring.
While producing monocrystalline solar panels, the solidification of monocrystalline silicon needs close attention and care. That is why the monocrystalline panel price is comparatively higher.
Since this is advanced technology and many brands produce these panels, there’s not one price tag that can be put on all monocrystalline panels. You must ask your vendor about the pricing.
Subsidies on monocrystalline solar panels
Although the government of India offer a subsidy for solar panels up to 10 KW, that subsidy is available for polycrystalline solar panels only.
There’s no subsidy scheme for monocrystalline panels since they are not entirely Made-in-India.
Maintenance of a monocrystalline solar panel
- Monocrystalline solar panels need very little maintenance, especially if positioned with a tilt, as rain can wash away any debris.
The only time extensive maintenance might be necessary is during heavy snowfall, as inches of snow can hamper the performance of solar panels.
- Cleaning of monocrystalline solar panels is generally recommended two to four times per year.
- You can use a monitoring app to keep track of the amount of energy your monocrystalline solar panel produces. If you notice that the production is going down, it might need to be cleaned.
- A panel warranty does not cover solar panel maintenance and cleaning. However, manufacturers may cover the cost of your solar panels if damaged.
Solar panel technology has considerably improved over time, and many innovative solar panels have been introduced to the market.
However, it is important to consider certain things when you’re looking to install a monocrystalline solar panel system.
Hopefully, you got answers to all your questions about the monocrystalline solar panel and can safely buy one to be installed for your residential or commercial space.
1. Which is the best solar panel?
Monocrystalline solar panels can be considered the best as they have the highest efficiency, converting more than 20 to 22% of sunlight into electric energy.
2. Are monocrystalline solar panels more expensive than polycrystalline solar panels?
Yes. Compared with the cost of polycrystalline solar panels, monocrystalline solar panels are much more expensive. This is because they need to be produced very carefully under controlled conditions.
3. How are monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels different?
Monocrystalline solar panels are composed of black cells made of single crystals and provide higher efficiency for a higher price.
On the other hand, polycrystalline solar panels are composed of blue cells comprising multiple silicon crystals and provide a lower efficiency at a relatively affordable price.
4. How to identify a monocrystalline solar panel?
Monocrystalline solar panels can be identified with the help of solar cells, which appear as a single flat colour and are made up of a single crystal of silicon.
5. What are the financial benefits of solar energy?
When installing a solar energy plant on your property, you save money on your electricity bills and prevent yourself from facing the rising electricity rates in the future.
How much you save depends on your region’s utility rates and solar policies. However, going solar is a smart investment regardless of your location.
6. Do solar panels generate power in the absence of sunlight?
The production of power by your solar energy system greatly depends on sunlight. Therefore, your solar panel will produce less energy when the weather is cloudy, and there will be no energy production at night.