Monocrystalline vs Polycrystalline Solar Panels: Busting Myths

One of the most common comments that the Solar Choice Energy Brokering team hear from our customers relates to the issue of monocrystalline vs polycrystalline (or ‘multicrystalline’) solar panels. Although monocrystalline solar panels had the initial advantage of being seen as the superior technology in the Australian market, as time goes on and both technologies improve, it becomes increasingly apparent that the quality and reliability of the manufacturer is far more important than which of the two technologies is chosen.

What’s the difference? Monocrystalline vs Polycrystalline solar panels

Sun-Earth Solar Panels 175W-80W-185w-190w

Sun-Earth Solar Panels using monocrystalline cells

The typical monocrystalline solar cell is a dark black colour, and the corners of cells are usually missing as a result of the production process and the physical nature of monocrystalline silicon. Polycrystalline, on the other hand, is identifiable by its signature light or dark blue colour, but not uniformly so: some patches are lighter than others. The differences in appearance come about as a result of the manufacturing process. (Read more: The manufacturing and science behind solar cells.)

Tindo solar panels Adelaide first installation 2

Tindo Solar Panels using polycrystalline cells

When solar PV first boomed in Australia in 2009-2010, monocrystalline solar panels were thought to be superior to polycrystalline solar panels. There were several reasons for this thinking. Monocrystalline solar cells have historically had a higher peak efficiency and were more readily available than polysilicon solar cells. The blanket statement that monocrystalline panels are better than polycrystalline cells, however, is not accurate. Each panel and its manufacturer should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Some comparisons and examples

It is not difficult to find examples that illustrate the above points. The below comparisons are not intended to imply that one-panel brand is of higher quality than another, but simply to show that some polycrystalline solar modules are more efficient than monocrystalline ones.

First, to compare mid-range products of comparable quality and price, GermanSolar brand 60-cell monocrystalline Premium Line panels have a maximum efficiency of about 15.47%, whereas Conergy’s polycrystalline PowerPlus modules have a maximum efficiency of 14.13%. This is not far off from the 14.9% that Sun-Earth’s 190W monocrystalline module boasts.

It is possible to see the same trend in high-end modules as well. For example, premium US manufacturer Sunpower’s monocrystalline panels see peak module efficiencies of up to 20.7% (22.8% efficiency for individual cells), a few percentage points ahead of Suntech’s polycrystalline Pluto technology–certain cells of which were recently confirmed as having hit 20.3% in lab conditions. Although commercially produced modules using Suntech’s Pluto technology will inevitably have lower peak efficiencies than this impressive rate, it still serves to demonstrate that monocrystalline is not an intrinsically better choice than poly.

A note about solar panel efficiency: How important is it for your system?

Remember that, especially for buildings with ample roof space, a panel’s peak efficiency is not the primary consideration for most solar system owners-to-be. Unless there are no budgetary constraints, it is more important to consider the system as a whole, balancing price with quality. In some cases, a high peak efficiency can act as a sales point, and proof that the product is ‘high-tech’ or cutting edge and therefore deserving of a higher price tag. For the budget-conscious, however, the number to look at would be the dollar per watt for the entire installed system.

In the end, the cost and performance of your system will depend not only on the panels you use, but also on your solar inverter, your installer’s labour costs, and the orientation of your home’s roof and the tilt angle of your panels.

Looking beyond the module and its efficiency: The importance of the company behind the product

Although quality technology is important in the selection of solar panels, it is also critical to keep in mind that both monocrystalline and polycrystalline silicon solar cells are proven technologies, and one should not automatically be considered better than the other. Manufacturing equipment for silicon wafers is now more readily available than it ever has been in the past, however, so panels are relatively easy for companies to manufacture. A key differentiating factor between the quality manufacturers and the bottom-line ones is whether the company in question invests in research and development (R&D). R&D investment by a manufacturer is usually indicative of the company’s commitment to creating innovative and quality products, but it also shows that the company is planning to be in the game for the long term, and is not a fly-by-night operator.

For most households, balancing affordability with reliability is key. Solar power systems are ordinarily expected to continue operating for 30+ years; solar panel warranties generally cover products for up to 25 years. Warranties will only continue to be serviceable if the manufacturer behind them remains a solvent company. Although it is impossible to know for sure what will happen a quarter century in the future, when selecting a panel, it is still advisable to try to imagine whether the product’s manufacturer is likely to be around then, just in case something goes wrong in the meantime. Otherwise, if the panels need repairing, the cost could end up being greater than an initial investment in the more reputable product would have been.

(Read more: Questions to ask your solar panel manufacturer.)

James Martin II


  1. Dear
    I live in a country whose maximum temperature in summers is 40-45℃ and minimum temperature in winters is 4-7 ℃ . So which panels suits me more.

  2. Dear,

    In KSA what could be better the mono or polycrystalline considering the hotter climate reaching 50 C in summer ?

    1. Hi Abdelkader,

      In heat of 50 Degrees C+, no panel is going to be ideal, however there would be no real difference whether you decided to go with Mono or Poly, despite what some installers will tell you.

  3. We want to install 28MWp solar power plant in Bangladesh. My question, which type of panel is better for us Polycrystalline silicon or Monocrystalline silicon? My plant site climate data here as below.

    Max temp and Avg temp: 39 & 23.
    max wind speed: 260Km/h
    Humidity max and Avg: 99&78
    Daily max intensity of rain: 205mm/day
    yearly Avg intensity of rainfall: 47000mm/year

    1. Hi Mizan,

      We operate only in Australia, so I recommend you try getting in touch with someone locally with your query. Different panels will be rated differently for humidity, heat, etc – I’d recommend looking at the specifications and certifications of different panel brands & models as opposed to simply comparing mono vs poly panels.

      Best of luck.

  4. Hi, I write in from Port Moresby , Papua New Guinea.
    I need technical advise on Water pumps?
    Which water pumps are efficient? Is it 240 volt pumps run on solar powered inventers or DC water pumps? If DC then, is it 12 volt or 24 Volt pumps are better?

    Advise much appreciated.

    1. Hi Peter. We are not really in a position to offer technical advice of this sort – we deal mainly in rooftop solar and operate only in Australia. We wish you the best of luck with your project, though.

    1. Hi Isaac,

      You can install a combination of panels as long as you group them on separate strings (e.g. 10x mono panels on one maximum power point tracker input and 12x poly panels on a different input). In most cases, however, it makes the most sense to ensure that all the panels used are the same make & model and have the same specifications. Alternatively, if you have microinverters or power optimisers you should be able to mix and match panels (although it probably wouldn’t look fantastic).

      Best to speak to a solar installer about anything more technical than this, though.

  5. I Live in Multan, Pakistan and my city temerature touches 50 C in summer, what should I do? What should I prefer?
    I want to buid a 45 Killo watt power from solar and want to use in for pump used for irrigation.

    Best Regards

    1. Hi Ali,

      It’s best to check the individual specifications of the panels that you are considering. As noted in the article above, monocrystalline panels generally perform better in heat than poly panels do, but the actual performance will depend on the manufacturer more – some poly panels may actual perform better in heat than some mono panels.

      Good luck with your system.

  6. Dear
    I have a requiremnet of around 3000 Watts of power of 220volt with inverter, batteries, solar panels and charge controller etc for this system.
    Please quote the prices and specificatons.


  7. for the mono crystalline plates , is it possible to give a shape of parabolic type reflector, so that we can use it reflecting property as a reflector,

    hoping need full reply from you

    1. Hi Raju,

      Crystalline silicon is not flexible like some other photovoltaic materials, so it would not likely be possible to create the sort of parabolic reflector with them as you’ve mentioned.

  8. I have a Conergy 2.75 KW system installed. Eleven panels and a 3KW Inverter.
    The panels are Monocrystalline, and I would like to add another panel to make it up to 3KW.
    Would the new panel have to be Monocrystalline like the others or can I add a Polycrystalline into the existing system.
    I can pick up a Polycrystalline panel easy, but Monocrystalline is a bit harder to find.
    Hope you can help.

    1. Hi Keith,

      Generally speaking, when adding a new solar panel to a system with a centralised string inverter, you’ll want to make sure that the additional panel is an exact match with the others – this means brand, panel type type and panel size. So yes, you’d need a monocrystalline panel of the same brand and the same size and capacity – probably not easy to come buy and buy individually. This is why we generally advise against upgrading panel arrays after the initial installation.

      If, however, your inverter has a second, unused MPPT input, that may be the best place to plug in the new panels as it will then treat them as part of a new ‘string’ and performance will not be impacted negatively, even if they are a different brand and type (and provided they meet the inverter’s minimum input voltage requirements). Alternatively, if your system uses microinverters (such as Enphase), then upgrading will be relatively easy.

      Hope this helps.

  9. hi. i live in mt embu, around the centre of kenya in east africa. ther is plenty of sunshine everyday and temparatures go as high as 30degrees on hot day. i am confused which brand of panel to buy in nairobi. available are kyocera panels that r damn expensive but of 140watts and monocrystaline. and a brand caled sunshine just labeled ”cells made in germany” of which i believe its chinese brand but of 160Watts and it is polycrystalline.the 140w kyocera is costing usd 300 whereas the 160sunshine is costing 200usd. please advise which one i better of the two

    1. Hi Macharia, we are from india we do lot of wonders in solar systems , we can do the best solar system, and we are also having the office in sudan, if you are interested with us, u just mail to us, I will explain you everything about the solar and pricing, I think cost of solar panel very very high. we will give the better solar solution and also a business establishment opportunity too. you can mail us also

  10. Hi
    I’m in my final year in the university studying electrical/electronics engineering and i want to build a solar panel from scratch preferable a 40 watts solar panel but i’m new at this and i dont have the faintest idea of how to start

    1. Hi Josh,

      Explaining that is a bit beyond the scope of what we do! We’d recommend doing a Google search for ‘how to build a solar panel from scratch‘ and checking out the results – there’s lots of information out there.

      In any case, you’ll probably want to start with some pre-fabricated silicon wafers in order to avoid doing all the mining and initial fabrication yourself. These days you should be able to get your hands on some easily enough looking around online.

      Best of luck!

  11. Hi,
    I live in Mumbai India, it was good to read the discussion here on the page. informative, I must say,

    I have a consumption of 500 kwh per month. Can you help me install the Solar PV for my house?

    1. Hi Asutosh,

      Thanks for commenting. At the moment, we operate only in Australia so unfortunately are unable to help you at this time.

      Best of luck with going solar!

  12. We are considering a Stabimatic inverter. That was auto-correct. It’s monocrystalline panels. The set up is on grid & will be used about 12-15 hours daily. Public power at other times – also 12-15 hours, so say 50/50 usage. Thanks again

  13. We r looking to install a 5kv inverter, solar, battery backed up hybrid system. It is for a 6 bedroom duplex & will also power about 5 LED street lights. We r in Sango-Ota, Nigeria where on the average there is about 6 – 7hours of sunlight daily.
    We are considering 140w Yingli solar panels (12 units) maybe 6 poly & 6 monosodium to get the best of both worlds, 6 Qantas 200ah batteries, &a 60A MPPT solar control charger. What do u advice on this set up? Ve we factored in enough panels? Thanks for your expected response!

  14. Hi
    I’m living in the South Pacific, Solomon Islands.. my country is a hot and sunny home. I’m want to buy a solar panel of 260W, Renesola product. My first question is which type should i purchased Mono or Poly solar panel? Secondly, is the Mono solar panel functions best during the sunny hot days?? If yes or no then why?? Thirdly, which of the two types of solar from Renesola company can last for many years? Finally, during lightning strikes which of the two Renesola type withstand the lightning or won’t damage??
    Looking forward to hear from u ..


  15. I am trying to install a solar power generator for my home, i live in nigeria where the weather is hot even a part of the night too. What type should i use, poly or mono?

    1. Hi Timilehin,

      Either one should be fine – just make sure you look at the specifications of the individual products that you’re comparing.

  16. Hi there,

    Really interested in reading all comments about solar power recommendation. I just starting filling in the comparison quote form , but notice I won’t be able to as I’m from the south Pacific country ( Nauru island). Where I’m hoping to install my solar power for my house. I’m an electrician by trade and currently studying in Taiwan on renewable energy as well.

    My country is located near the equator and weather temperature is between 30-35*C during the day time with humidity around 70%. 12 hrs of warm sunny day. I’m able to install my own solar power. Once I’ve installed and tested the quality of the solar power over time, I’ll then start ordering more and selling to customers on my country as I own an electrical contracting company in my country. Can advice on how overseas customers can fill in the comparison quotes so I’ll be able to meet my type of solar power requirements suited for my country.


    1. Hi Maruan,

      Thanks for commenting. Unfortunately, at this point we’re only able to help people who are in Australia (or maybe the UK). We do wish you the best of luck in getting a system.

      I can recommend getting in touch with GSES, an Australia-based company know do a lot of work on Pacific Islands.

      Best of luck! Sounds like you’re in a good place to take advantage of the sun!

  17. Hi, when I spoke to a travelling salesman a few months ago, he was offering German-made polycrystalline units cost $11,973 for a 8panel 2kW set up. Installation costs would be $4-6K even though the a crew would be tackling 20 jobs in our local area at once.
    I have run some basic economic calculations. I took into account increased premium for hail damage of $200 per year. I assumed a useful 8hrs of conversion per day on the basis of what the salesman told me. I assumed that power charges would rise linearly from 30-60c/kWh over 25 years. The payback period for a 10% discount rate turns out to be 12 years – pretty unreasonable, I could double glaze my house and it would be more effective!

    Does polycrystalline really have a huge advantage over monocristalline in it’s claimed 17% conversion regardless of weather conditions, or angle to the sun? The panels I’m talking about are GY250P-60.

    cheers, Dean

    1. Dean,

      First of all, paying almost $12k for a 2kW system in Australia these days is absurd. We regularly publish solar system prices from around the country and we haven’t seen figures like that since well before 2010! These days, the the upper limit should be around $6-7k or maybe $8k at most for a very high-quality system. We work with a number of installers from across the country, and since we are a broker (not selling systems ourselves) we are ideally positioned to give sound advice. Of course we don’t know the exact details, but our gut feeling is that the reason the payback periods you’ve calculated are so unattractive is that you’re probably being sold some kind of dodgy deal.

      I would recommend getting a Solar Quote Comparison from us (fill out the form to the right of this page) to get a better of idea of what the range of prices is in the market in your area. You can also play with our solar ROI calculator using the prices you get from our system.

      To address your second point: As per our article above, the ‘monocrystalline’ vs ‘polycrystalline’ debate is basically over–there are all ranges of quality among both types (not to mention amorphous silicon). You should judge each panel by its own merits.

      Hope this helps!

  18. I live in South East Queensland and I am considering solar panels. I have a north facing roof with no shade or trees nearby. Could you please tell me what your opinion is on Phono Solar Panels. I am worried that I may be ripped off.

    1. Hi Danielle.

      We’ve definitely heard of Phono Solar before and have at least one installer in our network that deals in their products.

      If you’re concerned about being ‘ripped off’, the main thing you would need to be careful of is how much they’re offering the system for. Shop around for comparable products on offer and the prices associated with systems. To keep solar customers informed, we here at Solar Choice publish monthly articles about the going rates for solar PV systems in all of Australia’s capital cities. You can check out the articles here.

      And of course, you could always get a customised quote specific to your area by filling out the Quote Comparison Request form to the right of this page.

  19. Hi There,

    I live in the south of France and want to convert my house to solar power. I am not great at internet searching and was wondering if you could advise me on the process? I believe I consume about 32kwh per day.
    What do I need with respect to battery bank, panels and installation? Also, can you recommend anyone in this area for installation?

    1. Hi Robster,

      Unfortunately we don’t know anyone who does solar in France, although we do have an office in the UK, where we operate under the name of Solar Selections.

      Just a couple of notes for you: Most solar systems these days are grid-connect systems, which means that they don’t have or need battery packs. If you’re in a remote area, you might indeed be looking for a system with a battery bank, but these sorts of ‘off-grid’ systems are relatively uncommon–and more expensive.

      France does have a solar feed-in tariff (which pays grid connected solar system owners for all or a portion of the power that their systems produce), but I am not across the details. What I do know is that this incentive, combined with falling solar installation prices, has resulted in rapid uptake of grid-connect solar systems there. This has also been the case in Australia and pretty much everywhere else on the globe over the past 3 years or so.

      Best of luck! Sorry we can’t help more.

    1. Hi Hamza,

      All the solar panels discussed in this article convert sunlight into electricity. Heat actually diminishes their potential output.

  20. I have enjoyed reading all of the Q & A regarding PV installations and as I live in Ireland where conditions are very different to those in Aus.I
    wonder if you could reccomend the most suitable equipment for this location Joe

    1. Hi Joe,

      Solar panels have seen massive success in the UK, where weather conditions are largely similar to those of Ireland, as I’ve been led to believe. Most standard crystalline silicon solar panel technologies should work just fine, although thin-film panels are said to be better in diffuse lighting conditions (e.g. where it’s cloudy a lot of the time).

      A local installer there would have a better idea of what would be most appropriate. Have you contacted any?

  21. Hi there, ive been doing quiet a bit of reading on solar panels and although more enlightened i now fear I am also more confused. as you have said in previous posts it seems to come down to the value for money scenario. I have now narrowed it down to an aurora inverter but cant decide between panels which are suntech and perlight both are for the same price. I was leaning toward suntech as you hear about them a lot but then perlight have been around for 30 years so they must be doing something right. Which do you favour ?please please…thanks…Russ

    1. Hi Russell.

      Thanks for the comment. I see that you’ve come onto our website and requested a quote comparison as well. One of our brokers would be happy to speak with you to about the pros and cons of each of the manufacturers you’ve mentioned.

      Suntech’s recent troubles are indeed worrying, and although the technology is generally considered to be of good quality, the servicing of warranties on their products into the future could prove to be a deterrent for those considering using their products.

  22. Any comments and advice comparing Sharp to Sunpower and Motech.

    The panels I am considering are

    Sharp ND240QCJ, Sunpower SPR-225E-Blk-d, and Motech Americas IM60-250.

    I have several bid proposals using these panels with Endphase 215 inverters, and am very confused about what direction to go in.

    1. Hi Don,

      Thanks for the comment.

      Sunpower and Sharp are generally considered ‘premium’ products with strong brands, while Motech is more generic.

      We’re happy to speak to you more and clarify for you the differences between inverter options–Enphase makes microinverters, which are different from conventional inverters in that they’re installed on a 1 or 2-per panel basis as opposed to having just 1 central inverter.

      Feel free to get in touch with us by filling out the form to the right of this page or calling us on 1300 78 72 73. Our services are completely free to our customers.

  23. Hi, i am looking into getting solar panels on my roof, I am supplied by AGL and they have given me a quote using mono panels 6 x 250 watt panels (EE250Rand a 1 x Eko Energy 1500S inverter, I have also talked to another company who have told me the trina delta honey panels are the best as I live in the blue mountains where the weather can be extreme , very cold in winter, cloudy and some days we get fog/mist that can last all day, so he said the mono is not good for my area as mono only revieves the suns rays from one direction and the trina delta accepts the rays from many directiona making it much more efficient. he also said they install a cheaper brand called Jinko. I really would like to get the job done by AGL as they have been around for 125 years and also supply my slectricity and gas. Can yo tell me which way I should go. i think i will need a 2.5kW system so as it almost makes me energy self sufficient.

    1. Hi Peter,

      The Trina Delta Honey panels are indeed a quality product, but it’s important to make sure that you’re getting the best deal possible on the whole system.

      We can show you a wider array of options available in your area than the 2 you’ve mentioned–in a format that is easy to understand and facilitates making straightforward comparisons. There’s even a chance that one of the installers that we work with can beat the price you’ve been quoted with comparable or the same components.

      I don’t know what sort of prices you’re looking at, but by filling out the Quote Comparison Form to the right of this page you will receive an instant comparison of up to 7 installers, with prices and components clearly laid out for you. One of our staff will be happy to follow up and answer any questions that you have about your project. If you go through Solar Choice you’re guaranteed a better price than going to that installer directly.

      You can also call us up directly on 1300 78 72 73.

      Looking forward to hearing from you!

  24. Hi

    I have Been quoted on a 3kw Eversolar 3000TL
    With 12 Polycrystalline, multi diode panels. Meant to be brand new tech and is verified by there german parent company M+W GROUP. off true value solar For $3500 AUD

    The panels are going to be either from SERAPHIM SOLAR SYSTEM Co.
    Or renesola. A few people have said that if these panels where mono
    It would be the deal of the year. Is the price to good to be true ?? I live in Perth Western Australia


    1. Hi Simon,

      Thanks for the comment.

      $3500 for a 3KW solar system is indeed a good deal if it’s for real. Make sure that the warranties all check out all right, though.

      Eversolar, Renesola and Seraphim make regular appearances on our Solar Quote Comparisons–they are popular, cost-effective options. Have you shopped around much? If you haven’t done so already, it might be a good idea to put your details into the form to the right of this page so we can send you a free comparison of the installer offerings Solar Choice has for your area of Perth. Having a chat with our staff is also cost- and obligation-free.

  25. Hi
    I live in SE Qld and I’m looking at installing a 5kW system with an SMA 5000TL inverter. I’m having difficulty choosing between LG 280 W, REC 250 W and Bosch 240 W panels. The cost difference is not an issue. Can you help me choose please?

    1. Hi David,

      I’m afraid I can’t tell you want to do! They are all great panels you won’t go wrong with an of them. Sometimes when you have a situation like this either cost or the reputation of the installer is sometimes the best option. Alternatively you might want to check what country the product warranty is held in, if something does go wrong you may want to talk to someone within Australia rather than abroad.

      Hope that helps you make a choice.

  26. I want to installed 2 x 200 W solar panels in Coimbatore, India, where the summer temperatures can be as high as 38 to 42 degrees Centigrade. One supplier says I should go for monocrystalline panels, as 400 W monocrystalline is equivalent to 480 W polycrystalline, and that mono will start generating power even from diffuse light.
    The seller of polycrystalline says, monocrystalline is meant for cold countries like germany, and in hot countries, polycrystalline is better.
    Monocrystalline is costlier in India, as the suppliers claim, it is being imported from Germany. Polycrystalline is assembled in India.
    Can you help me out of this confusion, especiallly, the suitability of monocrystalline in hot climate. I have noticed that mono charges the battery even before full sunlight falls on the panel (around 7 am) whereas poly starts after full sunlight
    Please help me choose.

    1. Hi,

      A good quality panel should be able to stand up to high temperatures whether it’s monocrystalline or polycrystalline.The mono panels may start charging the battery sooner as they are slightly better are capturing the light due to the way the cells are produced. Today’s polycrystalline panels are very efficient, and the difference in performance between mono and poly is small, although mono does perform slightly better. As long as you’re going with a reputable manufacturer then you should have no problems and both sets of panels will do the job.

      The decision should be based on getting the best system for you money, use a reputable manufacturer for both the panels and inverter. At the moment European made inverters are the most reliable option, there is one Chinese manufacturer whose inverter does seem to rival the European models but has not been around long enough to really prove itself.

      Hope this helps you make a choice!

  27. which one is better polycrystalline or monocrystalline panels for average quality(economical) solar systems ? which is prefferd in southern India (KERALA) having an average sunlight?????

    1. Hi Romy,

      There is no significant difference between monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels. Cost wise mono is slightly more expensive, but they do perform slightly better, with regards to location, again the technology makes no real difference it’s the manufacturer you need to look at. If you want a system that will last and can cope with the elements, one of the Premium manufacturers would be a better option for you, as they tend to spend more testing their panels to the extreme, they also have a history you can look at. Inverter wise, we have yet to be fully convinced by any Chinese designed and manufactured component. There is one that has performed well in the short term but it hasn’t been around long enough to fully prove itself.

      Hope this helps

  28. Hi There,
    Could you pls give me some perspective between choosing a 3KW SMA inverter vs. 3 KW Sunteams inverter? I am un-sure on investing another AUD$1500 for SMA over Sunteams in the current rebate scenario- which will take multiple more years for me to get the payback with my usage. Thanks Asif

    1. Hi Asif,

      This is exactly the kind of question our Solar Brokers can help answer. When you complete a FREE, Solar Quote Comparison you are allocated a solar broker who will help you make an informed decision based on the quote comparison sent out.

      You can complete the Quote Comparison form online, it’s located to the right of the screen, or call us on 1300 78 72 73 to speak with a Broker directly.

      We look forward to helping you soon.

  29. Hi there,

    Can anyone pls give me bit of idea about CSUN 250- 60Polcy an Mono panels + CSUN inverter? Are these good and should I go for Poly or Mono. I leave in NSW and I have north facing roof without any shade. Thanks

    1. Hi Asif,

      We haven’t come across this manufacturers products as they are not offered by any of the installers on our network. If you want to get some alternative options you can complete our Solar Quote Comparison to the right of the page, that way you’ll know if you’re getting a good deal and can see what other panels are available on the market.

      We hope to help you soon

  30. Can you give some temperature ranges for efficiency conditions? What is considered hot for solar panels. I’m not sure what constitutes hot or cool conditions?

    1. Hi Tom,

      The optimum operating temperature for solar panels is around 25 degrees, the ideal conditional a cool bright days as solar becomes less productive as they heat up. Good quality solar panels should be able to cope with a range of temperatures, indeed companies like Suntech expose their panels to quality tests to simulate extreme changes in temperature over a 25 year period and can offer customers a minimum performance warranty over this time.

      You can take a look at the information produced by Desert Knowledge, they have information on how selected panels perform and are based near Alice Springs.

      Hope this helps.

  31. Hello
    I have a 3.08kw solar system made up of 8 x 190w Suntech monocrystalline panels (initially installed) and then an additional 8 x 195w Suntech monocrystalline panels (added 12 months later). The inverter is a Xantrex GT 2.8 AU with a recommended PV array power of 3.07kw with input for 2 parallel strings. When the installer added the second set of panels he used the original cable (6.0 mm2) for both sets of panels. Was this good practice?
    The following are the system performance measurements
    Max daily recorded generation 18.7kwh
    Average daily generation Oct 2012 15.37kwh, Nov 2012 15.25kwh, Dec 2012 16.06kwh
    Best instantaneous power recorded 2853kw
    Installation is in QLD just south of Brisbane.
    Given these figures, is the generation being acheived acceptable?
    What is the best parameter to record to ascertain if there is any fall off in performance or component failure in the system?
    Is there any other parameters I shouls be measuring?

    1. Hi Chris,

      What I believe you’re asking is whether they should have used a bigger cable for the 195 watt panels? For such a small increase it’s fine for you’re installer to have used the same sized cable. I would have expected each set of panels to be placed on a separate string to optimise their output as systems will be only perform as well as the worst panel.

      The best you can expect to get from your system is about 90% efficiency, as I mentioned the performance of your panels will decrease over time which will lead to decreased generation. I’m not sure about the older Suntech panels but the new once come with a 25 year performance guarantee so you can expect a certain level of performance over the first 25 years of your systems life. The figures look good to me, but I would advise that you clean the panels every few months and get the system serviced regularly to ensure it’s performing at it’s optimum level.

      Hope this helps

  32. Hello,

    I was quoted a Growatt 5000MTL inverter with 22 x ECSOLAR 230 watt mono panels and the installer has since said he can’t do the same instal date unless he uses anothe panel. He is offering BYD panels which are 215watt polys x 24. Just wondering if BYD are OK and will there be any real difference between the ECSOLAR and BYD panels. BYD X 34 = 5.16KW and ECSOLAR X 22 = 5.06 KW.
    PS I plan on splitting the panels evenly on the East and West side of the roof. No north facing roof.

    1. Hi Ray,

      I’m not familiar with BYD panels and wouldn’t like to comment. We undertake the due diligence on behalf of our customers but still advise doing the research before you sign with an installer. There are a lot of manufacturers and installers who have only recently entered the industry, with such a large investment it pays to make sure both the installer and manufacturer are likely to be around a few years down the line.

      If you type in the details of the panel and ‘review’ into your search engine you should be able to get further information. As your comment was left after 1 January 2013 you will not receive additional discount from the Solar Credit Scheme (unless you signed with the installer before 16 November 2012 or they are honouring last years price), it may be worth your while waiting for the original stock to arrive and proceeding then.

      Sorry we can’t be of more help!

  33. can you tell me why monocrystalline solar cells are used in more number than polycrystalline though it is costly than polycrystalline….and why monocrystalline works better in cool condition and polycrystalline in hot….???

    1. Hi there,

      In Australia monocrystalline panels are much more popular because, when the solar industry took off, new manufacturers advertised monocrystalline cells as ‘new’ technology and said any manufacturer using multi(poly)crystalline cells were using old out of date technology. In reality there is very little in terms of performance.

      When it comes to temperature, all PV cells operate best at cooler temperatures with bright sunshine (so first thing on a sunny day before the panels have heated up). If you live in the NT or FNQ (or somewhere with equally harsh climes) it’s worth investing in one of the Premium panels which tend to go through a longer development period and more stringent check to ensure they will last and perform at minimum standards for far longer the a cheaper panel. Some of the Premium manufacturers even offer a performance guarantee in their warrantees.

      If you want to get a Quote for a Solar PV System please complete the information in the green box to the right of the screen, alternatively you can call us directly on 1330 78 72 73.

  34. G’day, I have just signed up for a solar system with Q cell polychrystaline panels rather than the Mono. I have chosen an SMA SunnyBoy inverter to cap them off. Have I made a wise decision. I am north facing –30 degree roof pitch in hot Qld conditions. Cheers, Hully.

    1. Hi Hully,

      Q Cells are one of the best PV manufacturers in the world and the Sunny Boy also has good reviews. The Polycrystalline vs Monocrystalline debate has been raging for some time but there is no real difference in the performance, the real reason one is now preferred over the other was actually a marketing tactic by some of the newer players on the market.

      If you want a second opinion on your quote you can fill in the Solar Quote Comparison for free, you’ll get information for a range of installer who operate in your local area. All the installers on our network have Clean Energy Council certification and use products from trusted manufacturers, if you get out quote and it matches what you’ve been offered you know you have a good deal if not there should be a cool off period where you can cancel or go back and negotiate the price further.

      We look forward to helping you soon.

    1. Hi Gowtham,

      As the article states there are different efficiencies between different manufacturers as well as between polycrystalline and monocrystalline. If you are looking for a solar PV we would recommend filling in our Solar Quote Comparison, you’ll get a free instant quote for up to 7 installers who operate in your local area, you’ll also have your own dedicated Solar Broker who will be able to impartially walk through the quote with you helping you select the best installer and technology for you needs. If you’d rather talk to us directly please call 1300 78 72 73.

      We look forward to hearing from you.

  35. Hi, I would like to see some comparisons of solar arrays on houses and mobile units (RV’s). However, the most important thing for mobile units is how you face the sun! Is this your take on it or should mobile units even be concerned with this? I know that we need a certain a amount or “alignment” to obtain enough Solar Charge.

    Is there a panel type that out performs on a mobile location?


    1. Hi Paul,

      The information we provide relates to residential and commercial properties due to the different set up requirements for mobile units. I believe there are panels designed specifically for RV’s which are able to stand up to the stress of the movement and vibration associated with being attached to a moving vehicle. Unfortunately I don’t have any details of where you may be able to get a hold of this type of panel but an internet search should help you find a manufacturer who should be able to answer your question better than myself.

      Generally speaking we advise that panels face north and are free from shade is it drastically reduces the effectiveness of the whole panel.

      We hope this help.

      1. Renogy makes a flexible flat panel that is like 2mm It can be attached with industrial Velcro. Walked on and doesn’t get damaged by vibration. Cool technology. A little more expensive though. Low profile is better for aerodynamics. No weight either. Nobody can see them if you put on a van, they are so thin.

  36. I have some questions. I live in South East Queensland, so it is warm but I have quite a lot of winter shade on my roof owing to my nearby gum trees. My question is whether solar panels will be effective in these conditions for a regular supply of electricity, and what size unit is the most effective way to go? Also what type of solar panels and who is a reliable supplier and fitter on the south east coast?
    Thank you for any help you can offer.

    1. Hi Michael,

      I think our article ‘Why even partial shading is bad for solar power systems‘ might answer your question relating to shade, essentially any shade will significantly reduce the output of your solar panels so it’s best to avoid. There are solar panels that can deal with this but they are significantly more expensive than the industry standard.

      What we’d recommend to answer the rest of your questions is filling in our Solar Quote Comparison located to the right of the page, this will generate a FREE quote for up to 7 installers who operate in your local area. You will also be located a personal Solar Broker who will contact you to talk you through the quote and help you make a decision on the best option for you. Alternatively you can us directly on 1300 78 72 73.

      We look forward to helping you with your solar project.

  37. Thank you for sharing this post with us, especially for those who are willing to install solar panels in their homes and offices. I think, whichever solar panel you choose or buy, get it from a reputed company. Products of leading solar module manufacturers are always safe and last long. You should only invest in a product when you seem to be satisfied with its features, user-friendly interface and price.

  38. Would u be able to tell me what panels r better on a north facing home for a 5kw system in Victoria. I’m looking at Renesolar 250 watt mono crystalline,250 watt perlight monocrystalline & 235 watt Avim polycrystalline solar panels & Fronius or SMA inverters. Not sure wether the mono is better than the poly!! Thanks

    1. Hi Julie,

      Generally speaking, polycrystalline silicon technology is better in the heat (e.g. midday sun), but you would have to check the individual specs of the products at hand. As far as Fronius or SMA are concerned, they are both reputable companies that offer quality products.

  39. Hi guys,
    If I have understood it correctly monocrystalline is more for a moderate climate and poly is more for hotter climate where the sun shines fearsly.
    I have mono panels and on a very hot day their efficiency runs back.
    But on cooler days with sun I get full power.
    I live in The Netherlands.
    Please correct me if I have ik wrong.
    See you Dolf.

    1. Hi Dolf,

      That’s a good point. Generally speaking, polycrystalline silicon panels do perform better in hot conditions, but the differences will depend on the actual manufacturer and product in question–check the specs! That being said, all electronics like cooler conditions, and solar panels are no exception.

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