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Poly vs Mono vs Amorphous – know the difference

A comparison of solar panel cell technology

 

 

When it comes to solar cell technology for portable solar, there are basically three types you can find in the market:

 

 

Polycrystalline

 

 

Polycrystalline cells are typically found in ridged panels. They are less efficient than monocrystalline cells and require a larger surface area for the same output.

 

Monocrystalline

 

 

Monocrystalline cells are also found in ridged panels. They are more efficient than polycrystalline cells and can be smaller in size for the same output.

 

Crystalline panels need to be as perpendicular to the sun as possible to achieve the best performance. Crystalline panels do not perform as well in partial shading (compared to Amorphous cells) and they do gradually loose a small percentage of output as temperature rises above 25°C.

 

For a more in-depth scientific explanation of the differences between the two, click here.

 

Amorphous

 

They are your most efficient cell in the market today, although they do require twice as much surface area for the same power output as a monocrystalline blanket or panel. However, they are more flexible and can handle higher temperatures better.

 

Amorphous cells are constructed from a fine layer of silicon which enables solar panels to be more flexible and therefore can be light weight.

 

Amorphous cells can withstand higher temperatures without output being affected compared to crystalline cells.

 

Amorphous cells perform better in low light conditions compared to crystalline cells. This is because it can absorb a wider band of the visible light spectrum due to the Uni-solar triple junction cell technology.

 

Head onto our Solar FAQ’s for more details.