Monocrystalline solar cells are cut from a single crystal of silicon. This method makes them the most efficient but also the most expensive type of solar cell. Because the crystal of silicon is rounded, the edges of these cells are also rounded. When placed together, gaps remain between the cells, so the full surface area of the panel is not used. Cells are soldered together and then sealed under glass to make panels that are about one meter squared.
A monocrystalline solar panel has a return electricity rate of 14-18% and works best on a south-facing roof with minimal shade. Nevertheless, a monocrystalline solar cell still performs well in low light conditions. Solar panels tend to work at below-optimum levels once the temperature is too high (see manufacturer’s specifications) but monocrystalline panels are suitable for most settings. While monocrystalline solar cells are usually fitted onto a roof, these cells can also be mounted on poles to be installed in, for example, a backyard.
Cost and Durability
The cost of outfitting a home with monocrystalline panels depends on location and how much electricity one wishes to generate from solar power. Solar panels are priced per watt of electricity produced, with monocrystalline panels as the most expensive. Monocrystalline silicon panels typically have a warranty of 25 years, meaning that the high initial cost is likely to be recouped.
To help determine if monocrystalline are the best solar panels for your home, compare the other types of solar panels.