Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline Solar Panels

During any solar panel installation process, deciding upon the feasibility of the installation is an important consideration. When installing solar panels, several variables can determine the feasibility of the installation, with financial feasibility typically being the critical consideration. With energy bills being at an all-time high, there has never been a better time to purchase solar panels as the payback period to recoup the initial investment has never been lower, in a lot of cases in 10 years or less.

What are Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline Solar Panels?

The two most common types of solar panels in the UK are monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels. Both types of solar panels are constructed from the same silicon material; the key difference between the two panels occurs during the manufacturing process.

  • Monocrystalline solar panels: Each cell with the solar PV system is made of one silicon crystal. Monocrystalline solar panels are typically characterised by their black hue colour. Monocrystalline solar panels are typically more efficient but are more expensive than polycrystalline solar panels due to the more complex manufacturing process.


  • Polycrystalline solar panels: Each cell with the solar PV system is made up of several silicon crystal fragments that are melded together during the manufacturing of the panels. Polycrystalline solar panels are typically characterised by their blue hue colour. Polycrystalline solar panels are typically cheaper than monocrystalline solar panels due to a more straightforward manufacturing process, however, typically they’re less efficient and higher levels of heat reduce their efficiency further.

Key Differences Between Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline Solar Panels

There are several key differences between monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels which can typically determine the most appropriate type for any given installation. Below are the key differences that are typically determining factors when deciding the most appropriate type of panels to install.


 Monocrystalline Solar PanelsPolycrystalline Solar Panels
CostMore expensiveLess expensive
Colour/AppearanceBlack or black huesBlue or blue hues
EfficiencyMore efficientLess efficient
Lifespan25-40 years20-35 years

Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline Solar Panels Costs

The price of monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels can add thousands to the cost and installation of solar panels on your house. Due to the longer and more complex manufacturing process involved in the production of monocrystalline panels, these panels are more expensive but do provide the benefit of higher efficiency levels and a longer lifespan.

In most cases installing monocrystalline solar panels provides greater returns in the long run. With several financing types available for solar panels, often borrowing more to purchase higher efficiency panels will offset the borrowing amount, however, this may vary on a case-by-case basis.


What type of solar panels are best for you?

  • Colour/Appearance

The colour of solar panels can sometimes determine the type of panels that a homeowner wishes to get installed. Solar panels can often be quite visible, especially when fitted to the front of a house, so ensuring the panels are not a visual eyesore is a consideration. Solar panels are available in several different colours, however, they typically come in black or blue. There is also the option to have built-in panels, so they are built into the roof space however these are typically a more expensive installation as more work is required.

  • Space

Space available may determine the number of solar panels required but also the level of efficiency required to meet your energy requirements. If roof space is limited, ensuring that the panels installed are highly efficient and generate the most amount of energy from the space. Alternatively, if there is an abundance of space available, installing panels that are slightly less efficient but cheaper to purchase initially may be beneficial.

  • Budget

For those looking to install solar panels but are limited on budget, installing panels with a smaller initial cost may bring the installation within the budget. More efficient panels are typically more expensive, so compromising on a slightly lower efficiency level will come at a reduced cost.

  • Lifespan

When installing solar panels and calculating the cost savings from installing solar panels, the lifespan of the panels and the equipment can determine how much money can be saved from the installation as well as whether the installation is even feasible. Typically, solar panels can last anywhere between 25-50 years, so ensuring that the type of panels installed has a long lifespan can further increase payback from the installation.

Other types of solar panel

Monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels are the most common type of solar panels installed in the UK, but there are other types of solar panels available. The other type of panel that can be found in the UK is thin-film solar panels, also known as lumina solar panels, which are thin, and flexible so are suited for areas that require smaller quantities of electricity. These lumina solar panels are often a lot less efficient and therefore aren’t able to generate the amount of electricity required to power a house, but are a lot more flexible and can often be seen installed as a canopy.

Solar Panel Installation at SolarTherm UK

At SolarTherm UK, our team of technical advisors will evaluate each solar panel installation to ensure that all installations meet the needs of the home/business owner. With several different installations and products available, our team will ensure we guide you to install the optimum set-up for each property and usage type.

For more information about solar panels or to get a free no-obligation quote, contact us today.

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