Polycrystalline solar panels
Polycrystalline solar panels have blue photovoltaic cells with straight edges. Compared with monocrystalline cells, their efficiency is lower, which means you need more panels to achieve the same power output. However, the price of polycrystalline panels is also lower because their manufacturing process is simpler.
Polycrystalline panels are very durable, but their service life is often slightly shorter than that of monocrystalline panels. They are also more susceptible to high temperatures, which reduces their productivity in the hottest days.
Polycrystalline solar panels: Each photovoltaic cell is made of multiple silicon crystal fragments, which are fused together during the manufacturing process. You may see that they are called “polycrystalline panels” or “polycrystalline panels”. The efficiency of polycrystalline solar panels is usually lower than that of monocrystalline cell options, but they have the advantage of lower prices. In addition, polycrystalline solar panels tend to have a blue hue instead of the black hue of monocrystalline solar panels.
Polycrystalline solar panels are also made of silicon. However, instead of using single crystal silicon, the manufacturer melts many pieces of silicon together to form a wafer for the panel. Polycrystalline solar cells are also called “polycrystalline” or polycrystalline silicon.
Features of polycrystalline solar panels
- Polycrystalline solar panels are more environmentally friendly than monocrystalline solar panels because they do not need to shape and place each crystal individually, and most of the silicon is used in the production process. Therefore, very little waste is generated.
- The highest acceptable temperature for polycrystalline solar panels is 85°C, and the lowest acceptable temperature is -40°C.
- The heat resistance of polycrystalline solar panels is lower than that of monocrystalline solar panels. Therefore, at higher temperatures, the efficiency of these solar panels is lower than other solar panels.
- Polycrystalline solar panels have a higher temperature coefficient than monocrystalline solar panels.
- These panels have high power density.
- They come with their own structural frame, making installation cheaper and simpler.
How do polycrystalline solar panels work?
These solar panels are composed of multiple photovoltaic cells. Each cell contains silicon crystals, which makes it function as a semiconductor device. When a photon from sunlight falls on a PN junction (junction between N-type and P-type materials), it transfers energy to the electrons so that they can flow as current. Here, P-type materials lack electrons, while N-type materials have abundant electrons. The two electrodes are connected to the photovoltaic cell. The electrode on the top surface contains thin wires, while the electrode on the bottom is a foil conductor.
Application of polycrystalline solar panels
- Polycrystalline panels are suitable for roof-mounted arrays.
- They are used in large solar farms to use solar energy and supply electricity to nearby areas.
- They are used for independent or self-powered equipment, such as traffic lights in remote areas, off-grid homes, etc.