The term solar panel is used colloquially for a photovoltaic (PV) module. A PV module is an assembly of photovoltaic cells mounted in a framework for installation. Photo-voltaic cells use sunlight as a source of energy and generate direct current electricity. A collection of PV modules makes an Array. Arrays of a photovoltaic system supply solar electricity to electrical equipment.
The main difference between mono-crystalline and poly-crystalline panels is the purity of the silicon. Mono-crystalline cells go through a higher filtration process producing a purer form of silicon.This is why mono-crystalline cells can conduct higher amounts of electricity within the same area, therefore be more space-efficient than poly-crystalline panels, and also offer higher peak efficiency.
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The solar cells in mono-crystalline panels are slices cut from pure drawn crystalline silicon bars. The entire cell is aligned in one direction, which means when the panels are in direct sunlight at the correct angle, they are extremely efficient.
Poly-crystalline cells, on the other hand, are made up of silicon off-cuts, moulded to form blocks and create a solar cell made up of several pieces of pure crystal. As the crystals are not perfectly aligned there are losses at the joints between them, resulting in lower efficiency. However, this misalignment can assist in some cases, as the cells work better from light at all angles, for example in low light conditions. Aesthetically mono-crystalline panels are favoured by customers for their black appearance as opposed to the poly-crystalline panels which are bluer in colour due to light reflection.
At Super Solar Energy, we don’t import solar panels directly from overseas, only sourcing panels from manufacturers who have a significant presence in Australia.