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Can monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels be mixed?

AND There are different kinds of solar panels that offer different benefits. Depending on several aspects, such as the energy consumption that we estimate that we are going to make, the location of the property, etc., we must select one solar panel or another and we can consider mixing monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels .

Can monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels be mixed?

The typology of the different solar panels is therefore based on the use that we are going to give them: produce electricity, heat water or both. Based on this, solar panels are divided into:

  • Photovoltaic solar panels: Monocrystalline and polycrystalline.
  • Thermal solar panels.
  • Hybrid solar panels: Photovoltaic + thermal.

It should be noted that once we have installed a certain type of solar panels it will be difficult to change to another , for this reason it is a decision that must be thought through and made with the help of specialized professionals in the sector who advise us based on our needs. .

Let’s see below and in detail the differences between the two types of photovoltaic solar panels, their characteristics, and thus find out if it is possible to mix both types of solar panels in the same installation.

Photovoltaic solar panels, what they are and types

Through this type of panels, the energy from the sun is transformed into electricity . They are the best clean and renewable energy option to generate the electricity we need.

Photovoltaic solar panels are made up of silicon photovoltaic cells that transform energy from sunlight into electrical energy. This process occurs when photons (particles present in sunlight) hit the silicon atoms of the solar panel, causing the electrons to break and some of them to be released, which are the ones that generate the electric current.

Photovoltaic solar panels are classified based on how the photovoltaic cells are composed :

  • Monocrystalline Panels: Very useful for places where there is little sun exposure during the day because they offer very good performance in low light conditions.
  • Polycrystalline Panels: Although they are less efficient than monocrystalline panels, they are the most widespread in the residential field. They offer great speed in the heating process.

The basic difference between a monocrystalline and a polycrystalline solar cell is the composition of the silicon crystal . Monocrystalline cells are made up of a single type of silicon crystal, that is, when the crystal was manufactured, its growth was controlled so that it only formed in one direction, achieving a fairly perfect alignment of all the crystal components. On the contrary, in polycrystalline cells the growth of the silicon crystal is not controlled, that is, the crystal grows in all directions creating a set of different crystals linked together.

Very similar yields are currently achieved with both technologies , monocrystalline and polycrystalline. We can always check the percentage of performance in the technical sheets of each of the photovoltaic modules.

Monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels in the same installation

If we have a photovoltaic installation and we want to expand it, we can always wonder if I have to place the same type of panels in it or if, on the contrary, I can use panels of another class , more modern and efficient compared to the ones I had installed. for years.

The answer is clear, yes, monocrystalline and polycrystalline photovoltaic solar panels can be mixed and offer different powers. Therefore, it will not be necessary to look for solar panels equal to the ones we already have and that could even be discontinued, since it is not necessary.

The only two conditions that we have to meet in order to associate two groups of different panels on the same circuit are the following:

  • Panels or series of panels of different voltages must not be combined in parallel . Each branch in parallel must have a similar voltage and be of the same number and type of cells.
  • The panels that make up a series or string must all be identical .

If these two requirements are not met, we will not be able to associate two groups of different panels on the same circuit, but they can be included in the same installation.

If we want to include panels of different power and/or voltage in our installation, we have a wide range of possibilities:

– We have 12V solar panels but with a much lower power compared to the new ones purchased. In this case, nothing should be modified in the installation, it will only be necessary to acquire a regulator according to the panels that we have purchased.

– We have 24V solar panels but with a much lower power compared to the new ones purchased. In this case, we do not have to modify anything in the installation, we just have to acquire a regulator according to the panels that we have bought.

– We have a 12V installation and we have acquired 24V solar panels or disconnection from the grid and we want to connect them to the installation that we already have in the most economical way possible. In this case we only need an MPPT regulator that will regulate the output voltage to 12V directly connected to batteries, providing the maximum possible performance to the new boards.

– We have a 24V installation and we have acquired 12V or network connection panels and we want to connect them to the installation that we already have in the most economical way possible. We will need an MPPT regulator that will regulate the output voltage to 24V directly connected to batteries and will provide the maximum possible performance to the new panels.

– We have a 12V installation and we want to replace it with an installation with a voltage greater than 24V, keeping the panels we have. In this case we only need an MPPT charge regulator that will regulate the output voltage to 24V directly connected to batteries and will provide the maximum possible performance in the new panels.

– We have a 12V installation and we want to replace it with an installation with a voltage greater than 48V, keeping the panels we have. We need an MPPT charge regulator that will regulate the output voltage to 48V directly connected to batteries and will provide maximum performance to the new panels.

– We have a 24V installation and we want to replace it with an installation with a voltage greater than 48V, keeping the panels we have. We need an MPPT regulator to regulate the output voltage to 48V directly connected to batteries, providing the maximum possible performance in the new panels.

Through these cases , a large part of the situations that can occur when purchasing new solar panels for our installation or when needing to expand an existing installation are collected.