Monocrystalline versus polycrystalline solar panels

Mono vs polycrystalline solar marine lanterns
25th Nov 2019
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There are some differences between monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels that are important to understand, as it might impact your purchase decision when choosing between monocrystalline and polycrystalline (also called ‘multicrystalline’) solar marine lanterns.

Crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) cells are used in almost all types of solar panels on the market. They represent about 90% of the world’s total PV cell production. When evaluating silicon photovoltaic solar panels, you will encounter 2 main types: monocrystalline solar panels (solar cells are made from a single crystal of the highest grade silicon) and polycrystalline solar panels (solar cells are made from many silicon fragments melted together). Both types of panels produce energy from the sun and turn it into electricity, and are made from silicon. However, there are some key differences between these 2 types to be aware of:

Elements Monocrystalline Polycrystalline
Efficiency More efficient Less efficient
Longevity Higher lifespan Lower lifespan
Heat Tolerance Better performance in high temperatures Worse performance in high temperatures
Low Light Performance Better performance in low light conditions Worse performance in low light conditions
Aesthetics Solar cells have a black hue Solar cells have a blue hue
Cost More expensive Less expensive


It is important to be informed about the advantages and disadvantages of both technologies and choose the solution that fits your specific project requirements the best. Monocrystalline solar marine lanterns, for example, are ideal for regions with higher temperatures such as the Middle East.

Download our technical note for a more detailed overview of the differences between both types of solar panels. Or contact us if you wish to speak to one of our engineers.