Using monocrystalline silicon has considerably improved performance in the photovoltaic solar power industry, which is why new installations choose monocrystalline over polycrystalline panels. Monocrystalline silicon PV modules consist of single-crystal silicon cells. These types of modules are designed for aesthetics and energy efficiency.
How Are Monocrystalline Solar Panels Made?
Every solar sale is made from a single silicon ingot. You melt silicon rock at extremely high temperatures and use seed crystals to produce the ingots. Some waste is associated with shaping the ingots to fit the desired squared shape of a solar panel. However, you may notice some solar panels have rounded corners to minimize the overall silicon waste.
How Do They Work?
While silicon is a semiconductor material, it won’t produce electricity without being modified. Another positive chemical, such as boron, is added during the melting process. This gives the silicon ingot a positive potential. After cooling, one side is coated with a negative element like phosphorus to create the positive and negative junction. This is where the photovoltaic effect occurs, which provides a way to harness the sun’s energy and use it to power your home.
Maintenance of Monocrystalline Solar Panels
Solar panels are subjected to the elements on your roof. While they can withstand a lot of wind and pressure, they also accumulate dirt. When the solar panels get too dirty, it reduces their energy production. Fortunately, they’re easy to clean.
To prevent damaging the surface of the panels, you must avoid pressure washing and using strong detergents. Ideally, you’ll just apply water to soften the debris stuck to the panels and sponge off the dirt as it loosens. Also, remember that climbing onto the roof to clean your solar panels is risky. Proceed with caution or hire an expert to do it for you.
Monocrystalline vs. Polycrystalline Solar Panels
Polycrystalline solar cells don’t convert as much of the sun’s energy into electricity as monocrystalline cells. The reason is that the cell arrangement inside the monocrystalline panels enables the electrons to move faster. Even a few percentage points make a big difference in your solar energy production, reducing your electric bill and providing you with the energy you need.
Technical improvements have made the monocrystalline silicon PV module the leading technology for solar panels. They’re more efficient and more visually appealing. Time will tell if polycrystalline solar panel sales decline as people discover the newer monocrystalline technology.