Most homeowners and businesses are considering renewable energy for the power supply in their homes. That is motivated by both the environmental and economic benefits that come with it. It is also a strategy to reduce dependence on one source of energy.
If you are looking to transition to renewable energy, it is vital to consider the solar panel’s efficiency rating. This will greatly determine how much solar power will be running in your home.
Solar panel efficiency refers to the amount of sunlight that hits the surface that is converted to electricity. The higher the efficiency rate, the more solar energy the solar panel can convert into usable electricity.
How efficient are solar panels?
While solar panels vary inefficiency, most of them range between 15% and 20%. There are more efficient solar panels with a rating of up to 22%.
Worth noting also is that the price tag is higher when the panels have higher efficiency. The same may apply to the cost of installation.
Things that determine solar panel efficiency
The efficiency of a solar panel may be affected by several factors. One of the factors is environmental. For instance, if it is sunny, then more energy will be converted into electricity. When there is less sun, less of it will be produced.
The other factor that affects the efficiency of a solar panel is how it has been manufactured.
Debris and dust
Electricity is produced when electricity reaches the solar cells. When there is a layer of dust and debris like leaves, sunlight will be blocked and less energy converted.
If you want to maintain solar panel high efficiency, regularly clean it to clear debris and allow sunlight to reach the solar cells.
Contrary to what most people may think, solar panels operate more optimally when it is cold.
When it is hot, the solar panels consequently get hotter, the current increases, and the voltage goes down. Although they usually get less sunlight during winter, at this time, they are more efficient in converting solar energy into electricity.
Solar cell type
The types of cells a panel has will impact its efficiency. The solar technology used for the panel should inform your choice. Monocrystalline panels exhibit higher efficiency compared to their polycrystalline counterparts.
High-efficiency panels are made with monocrystalline silicon solar cells. This is because they have single crystal silicon, allowing electrons to travel faster and easily, hence making the panel more efficient.
On the other hand, the polycrystalline cells have multiple crystals. This makes the electrons travel slower, making them less efficient. There is also another type of solar panel worth knowing about, that is the amorphous silicon panels. For them to have the same electrical output as the monocrystalline panel, the panel’s surface has to be twice as large. The good thing about them is they perform even with low light intensity.
The panels are usually flexible and lightweight but very inefficient. For this reason, they are rarely used in the residential industry.
Wiring and busbars
Wiring and busbars also determine how effective a panel will be. The role of the wires and busbars is wiring the solar cells together. They allow electricity to pass through the panel. High-efficiency solar panels have many busbars. The more they are, the more electrons that can pass through. This can increase the efficiency of the panel.
Worth noting also is that having too many busbars can sometimes reduce the efficiency of the panel. Some companies have started manufacturing panels with no busbars.
The backing color refers to the color behind the solar panel. While it might not be so obvious, it has an impact on the efficiency of your solar panel. You have probably come across panels with either black or white backing.
Black backing can lower the efficiency of a solar panel as the black backing makes the panel absorb more heat and retain it. This increases the current and reduces the voltage. On the other hand, the white backing does not absorb and retain as much heat. A cooler panel has higher efficiency.
Why you should get a high-efficiency solar panel
High-efficiency solar panels may be expensive, but they are worth it. They produce more electricity and energy per square foot compared to the low-efficiency panels. Here is why you should always choose high-efficiency solar panels.
They consume less space
If you have limited space, then this is a good option. Note that since they produce a lot of electricity per square meter, you may not need to have many of them or large panels to meet your energy requirements.
They maintain the aesthetics of your home
The roof contributes to the aesthetic appeal of a home. Unless you want your roof to be covered by solar panels, the high-efficiency option will be ideal. Larger and many panels can be visually intrusive and may block you from seeing your beautiful tiles.
They can handle extreme environments better
Due to their high efficiency, the panels will work optimally, even in the harshest conditions. Be it during winter or when it is too hot. You want a panel that you can rely on, and this is it.
They are ideal if you have high electricity usage
You do not want a panel that converts only a small portion of energy into electricity. With such a panel, you are likely to run out of electricity fast when you use certain appliances. The high-efficiency panels produce more electricity that will power your household for as long as you want.
If you have a limited roof area, you have high electricity usage, and you experience harsh climatic conditions from time to time, then you will need these panels. The information above will go a long way in helping you point out whether a solar panel is efficient or has low efficiency.
They are costly but of decent quality and reliable. Ensure that you get a high-quality high-efficiency solar panel from a trusted manufacturer.