Efficiency of solar panels – An outline

Considering the increasing costs of electricity and the shortage thereof, many people are considering solar. This is even more so in countries like South Africa with electricity shortages. Additionally, solar power is good for the environment. Therefore, understanding the efficiency of solar panels is key. Do your research. Know the facts.

This article gives a explains the efficiency of solar panels briefly. Also, it will help you know what to look out for.

How is solar efficiency measured?

Solar panel efficiency indicates a solar panel’s ability to convert sunlight into usable electricity. The same amount of sunlight can shine for the same amount of time on two solar panels . Yet, they could have different efficiency ratings. Hence, the more efficient panel will produce more electricity than the less efficient one. Solar panel efficiency is determined by the production of electricity by solar cells. This is in turn influenced by the cells’ composition, electrical configuration, surrounding components, and more.

How Efficient are Solar Panels?

Most solar panels are between 15% and 20% efficient. Of course, there are outliers on either side of the range. High-quality solar panels can exceed 22% efficiency in some cases. Some may even reach 23%! However, the majority of photovoltaic panels don’t reach more than 20% efficiency.

What Types of Solar Panels Are Most Efficient?

Of all panel types, monocrystalline typically have the highest efficiencies and power capacity. Monocrystalline solar panels can reach efficiencies higher than 20 percent, However, polycrystalline solar panels usually reach efficiencies between 15 to 17 percent.

Which Factors Determine Solar Panel Efficiency?

Many factors affect the efficiency of solar panels. In short, solar efficiency is measured by how much incoming sunlight the panel can convert into usable electricity.

Factors that impact the efficiency of solar panels include:

  • Material – the type of material it is made of impacts how light converts to electricity. For example, Monocrystalline Silicon, Polycrystalline Silicon, Cadmium Telluride, etc
  • Wiring and busing – The way that the wires and “busbars” on a solar panel are organized affects how it will capture and transfer electricity impacts efficiency
  • Reflection – if light is reflected away from a solar panel, it’s efficiency may decrease. Thence, the glass layer on top of silicon solar cells is important.
  • Being able to absorb light on both sides of a cell. For example, bifacial solar panels. being able to absorb variable wavelengths of light, such as multijunction solar panels.

Solar Efficiency on Your Rooftop

Using solar panels, you can generate your own solar power on your rooftop. There are a few ways to increase the efficiency of solar panels on your roof. Choose high quality panels. Select the perfect spot. Find the right orientation. Keep the panels clean. Professional installers are usually good at working out these factors. Hence, take time to find the right one.

Advantages of high efficiency solar panels

The efficiency of solar panels explains the ability of the panel to convert energy at a low cost and high supply rate. Thus, the theory goes that more efficient panels will be more cost effective.

Many people  consider the efficiency of solar panels to be the most important criteria when assessing a solar panel’s quality. While it is an important, it’s not the only thing to consider.