BP Solar polycrystalline silicon array, fixed ground mount
Polycrystalline panels are installed widely in Australia. Their performance efficiency is slightly lower than monocrystalline panels so slightly more panels are required for a given amount of electricity – however the cost of these installations will often be lower.
Polycrystalline panels have a simpler manufacturing process than monocrystalline. Smaller silicon crystals are grown in a cluster, which is sawn into solar cell wafers.
The different silicon crystals that make up polycrystalline cells can be seen on their surface as a mosaic-like pattern. The boundaries between crystals can trap electrons, reducing the efficiency with which the panel produces electricity.
BP Solar is a global business that designs, manufactures and markets solar electricity systems.
|Electricity produced (annual):||8.03 MWh|
|System size:||4.95 kW|
|Array area:||37.75 m²|
|Number of panels:||30|
|Panel efficiency:||13.11 %|
|Panel type:||BP 3165N|
|Panel rated output:||165 W|
|Inverter size, type:||6 kW, SMA SMC 6000A|
|Array orientation:||True north, at 20º tilt|
|Installation completed:||11 November 2008|
*This figure is based on an assumption of 1.622 MWh annually, per kWp of installed solar panels. This may prove to be a conservative estimate for Alice Springs.