The first solar panels based on polycrystalline
silicon, which also is known as polysilicon (p-Si) and
multi-crystalline silicon (mc-Si), were introduced to the
market in 1981. Unlike monocrystalline-based solar panels,
polycrystalline solar panels do not require the Czochralski
process. Raw silicon is melted and poured into a square mold, which
is cooled and cut into perfectly square wafers.
The process used to make polycrystalline silicon
is simpler and cost less. The amount of waste silicon is less
compared to monocrystalline.
Polycrystalline solar panels tend to have
slightly lower heat tolerance than monocrystalline solar
panels. This technically means that they perform slightly
worse than monocrystalline solar panels in high temperatures. Heat
can affect the performance of solar panels and shorten their life
spans. However, this effect is minor, and most homeowners do not
need to take it into account.
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