As of 2016, the highest efficiency achieved for monocrystalline solar panels in real life is about 24%. This was announced by the premium solar panel maker, SunPower. In 2015, SunPower and Panasonic had been vying with each other to race to the top of the solar panel efficiency mountain, with each announcing efficiency nearing 23%.
Let us say that, as of mid-2016, SunPower appears to be the (temporary) leader in the efficiency of monocrystalline solar panels used on a commercial scale.
For polycrystalline solar panels, the highest efficiency achieved is about 17%.
That’s an ocean of a difference – 17% to 24%.
But that’s the way things are in the solar panel world.
Solar panel efficiencies, for both monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels, have been on the increase in the past few years, though not at the rate at which we would have liked them to increase.
The increase in efficiency for monocrystalline panels on average have been faster than that for polycrystalline panels. Given that monocrystalline solar panels are for the premium market, give the manufacturers a more handsome margin than that given by polycrystalline modules, and given also that monocrystalline solar panels are bought mainly for their high efficiency, all seem to contribute to much faster increases in efficiencies for monocrystalline solar panels than for polycrystalline solar panels.
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