Which Is Better: Mono vs. Poly Solar Panels?

Which Is Better: Mono vs. Poly Solar Panels?

As a homeowner in Las Vegas or another solar-friendly location, you want to make the correct decision for your home when it comes to installing solar panels. In many cases, solar panels can add value to your home and decrease energy consumption by reducing your monthly electric bill. However, solar can be a costly upfront investment, and you want to do it right the first time to avoid major problems down the road.

Considering a residential solar panel installation in Las Vegas?
Contact Bell Solar & Electrical Systems today!

What Is the Difference Between Mono and Poly Solar Panels?

Solar panels use solar cells (also known as photovoltaic cells) to capture solar energy and convert it into electricity. Solar cells are composed of raw silicon wafers shaped into a uniform size. 

There are multiple types of solar panels, and each kind performs the same function, which comes down to capturing solar energy and converting it into electricity. The real difference is the composition of the technology used to perform that function: the type of silicon in the solar cell.

Mono Solar Panels (Monocrystalline)

Monocrystalline solar panels are cut from a single silicon source. This means that the composition of the solar cells in mono panels is purer because it’s made from a single piece of silicon. This results in a uniform black look and a higher efficiency.

Poly Solar Panels (Polycrystalline)

The silicon in polycrystalline solar panels comes from multiple sources, which is why poly panels have an uneven blue color. The manufacturing process is much easier and less wasteful, as it utilizes smaller bits of silicon. For this reason, poly solar panels are less expensive to produce (and cost less to buy). The drawback, however, is that the efficiency is lower than single silicon sources. 

Which Is Better: Mono vs Poly Solar Panels?

Both mono and poly solar panels serve the needs of most homeowners, so it really comes down to personal preference when choosing which type to go with.

Monocrystalline Solar Panel Advantages & Disadvantages


  • Oldest and most developed technology.
  • They usually convert at a higher efficiency.
  • They are more space efficient because  of their high conversion rates.
  • They often look more attractive than poly solar panels.
  • They have a long lifespan.
  • Works better in full sun.


  • They come at a higher price point.
  • Not as efficient in the shade.

Polycrystalline Solar Panel Advantages & Disadvantages


  • The pricing is much more affordable. 
  • This is the common choice for the majority of the residential market.
  • Works fine in the shade.


  • They don’t convert as efficiently as mono solar panels. 
  • More variation in the manufacturing process.
  • Lower space efficiency than mono panels.
  • They are not as aesthetically pleasing due to their speckled blue appearance.

Can You Mix Poly and Mono Solar Panels?

Mixing solar panels is possible but not typically recommended due to the different electrical characteristics of the panels. If you have a circumstance in which mixing panels is something you’d wish to pursue, it’s best to consult with an electrician specializing in solar.

If you live in Las Vegas and want to install solar panels for your home, contact Bell Electrical & Solar Systems. We installed one of the first solar systems in Henderson, and all of our electricians are journeymen and hold photovoltaic licenses.

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