What is the difference between monocrystalline, multicrystalline (or polycrystalline) and thin film solar modules?

Monocrystalline solar panels are made up of single crystal wafer cells.  These require a smaller surface area which is great when you have limited space. 

Multicrystalline solar panels are made from multifaceted silicon crystal.  These usually require a larger surface area as they are less efficient when converting the sun’s rays.  New technology is diminishing the performance gap between monocrystalline and multicrystalline solar panels.

Thin film solar panels are created by applying a thin layer of material with photoelectric properties directly onto flexible materials. This process requires much less silicon.  Thin film panels are less efficient than crystalline solar panels and therefore require a large surface area. The thin film also degrades faster over time than crystalline panels.  Thin film technology is marketed as having the ability to perform better in cloudy conditions, but they aren’t proven to generate more kWh’s in a year than crystalline panels.

All Common Questions

How much will a solar electricity system cost me?

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I want to go completely off the grid, can I do that?

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How do I choose which solar electricity system is best for me?

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How long will my solar electricity system last for?

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How long does it take to get a PowerSmart solar electricity system installed after I order it?

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Who buys back excess electricity?

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What is the difference between grid-tied and off-grid solar electricity systems.

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What is a hybrid solar electricity system?

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Do solar electricity systems require council consent?

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Do solar electricity systems require maintenance?

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Are there Government subsidies?

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How much extra load do the solar panels put on the roof?

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Where are the solar panels and inverters manufactured?

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Will my roof orientation and roof slope affect my solar electricity system performance?

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What is the difference between monocrystalline, multicrystalline (or polycrystalline) and thin film solar modules?

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What is the difference between kW and kWh?

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Can I still use all of my electrical appliances at all times?

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Will I still have power if there is a grid power outage?

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Is a grid connected solar electricity system environmentally friendly?

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Can solar panels resist salt, sulphur, strong winds & hail?

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Do you install on all types of roofs?

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How can I reduce the amount of power used in my home?

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I have three phase supply to my house, do I need to get a single phase inverter or a three phase inverter?

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Can I keep my current electricity retailer?

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Does the mounting system allow airflow under the panels to help cool them?

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What will my electricity bill / rebate look like?

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Can I see how much electricity my system is producing?

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Can a system be up-scaled later on?

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What is internalised power usage?

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Testimonials

"We have never had a project go so smoothly, they finished two weeks ahead of schedule."

Dan Udy - Director: Udy Group

"We deal with a great number of contractors and would rate PowerSmart's delivery onsite as amongst the very best"

 

Jason Happy - National Facilities Manager at Kiwi Property

We are delighted to be supplementing our existing renewable energy supply, which already incorporates solar water heating, wind and biological initiatives with solar PV electricity. This will certainly assist us achieve our ultimate goal of self-sufficiency.”

Peter Yealands founder Yealands Estate Wines.