You want to maximize your solar energy system when you go solar. How can you do this? Understanding solar panel efficiency is key.
Solar panels come in different sizes and finishes. There are many options for sizes and finishes. Efficiency is perhaps the most important aspect. The measure of the performance of solar panels is efficiency.
The more efficient your solar panels, the less you will need to power your home. This is particularly useful for homeowners with smaller roofs.
Are you still unsure? We have answers to your most common questions regarding solar panel efficiency.
What is solar panel efficiency?
Which factors impact efficiency?
What is the efficiency of a typical solar panel?
Consider the maximum amount of sunlight your roof receives.
What can you do for your solar panels to be more efficient?
Are solar panels becoming less efficient with time?
Which solar panels are the most efficient?
Let’s take a look at it.
- What is Solar Panel Efficiency?
How much sunlight a panel converts to usable electric current is a measure of solar panel efficiency. For example, a panel with a 20% efficiency rating converts 20% sun energy into electricity. Even if the panels receive equal amounts of sunlight, a panel with 20% efficiency will produce more power than one with 15% efficiency.
is always more efficient.
- How do solar panels perform?
Solar panel efficiency measures how much electricity solar cells produce from the sun. Why are some panels more efficient then others? A few factors can make a model more efficient than the other. Let’s take an in-depth look.
Composition – Photovoltaic (PV), cells are made of silicon. This material absorbs sunlight and is able to reflect it. The sun’s rays strike the silicon electrons and give them energy. This causes the electrons to move.
Electrical configuration A PV cell is designed to allow electrons to travel in the same direction , creating an electrical current. The current, together with the voltage generated by the cell’s built in electric fields, determines the wattage of the solar cell.
The surrounding components — Because silicon is a reflective material an anti-reflective layer is necessary to increase the amount of sunlight that the cell absorbs. After covering each cell with a protective glass plate, manufacturers of solar panels connect the individual cells to create effective current and voltage levels.
- How efficient is an average solar panel?
The most efficient solar panels currently on the market are at approximately 23% efficiency. You might check underneath your car’s hood if that seems low.
Fueleconomy.gov states that the average efficiency of a gasoline-powered car ranges from 12% to 30%. You have to pay for the fuel. You don’t have to pay anything for the sunlight that hits your solar array.
- What should you do to account for your roof’s peak amount of sunshine?
Peak sunlight is the amount of sunlight your roof receives each day. There are many factors that affect peak sunlight. It varies from one home to the next. Peak sunlight is affected by these factors:
The U.S. Geographical Location
The direction that the roof faces
Shade from trees and other structures
You can find the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s resource to get a better idea about how much sunlight your roof receives.
The more sunlight your home gets, the more efficient your panels will be. This is especially true for small roofs.
One of our Solar Energy Specialists will be happy to help you calculate your home’s peak sun hours.
- How can you improve the efficiency of your solar panels?
Although it may not be a significant improvement right away, there are steps you can take to improve the conversion of sunlight into usable electricity. These small steps can add up and make a huge difference in the long-term.
These actions can increase the efficiency of your solar panel.
Professional cleaning of your panels
The solar cells are less exposed to sunlight as dust and dirt build up on your panels. A lower amount of sunlight equals less output. You might have to clean your windows less often if you get a lot rain.
Removing overhanging branches
When solar panels are exposed to direct sunlight , they perform at their best. You might not want to chop down trees to improve solar efficiency. We all love trees. However, removing any branches that block the sunlight could provide a huge energy boost.
Looking for a solar battery?
You can store the excess solar energy generated by your array for later use. Although a solar battery does not make your solar panels more efficient technically, it can help you store excess solar energy that your array generates at night, during days with little sunlight, or during power outages to make your system more efficient.
- Do Solar Panels Become Less Efficient Over Time?
They are not exactly slowing down, but they do lose some of their functionality as they age. As this happens, solar panels will produce less power. Keep in mind, however, that the average rate of solar panel degradation is only 0.5% per annum. While some panels will decay more slowly than others, others will be less affected.
As an example, let’s take a 6 Kilowatt (kW), solar power system that is located at a Massachusetts home. This system could generate 7,771 kilowatt hours (kWh) within the first year. The system will produce around 7,736 kWh if the panels are degraded at 0.5% per annum. It will produce between 30 and 40 kWh more each year than it did the previous year. The system will produce 6,890 kilowatt hours per year after the 25-year warranty ends.
- Which solar panels are the most efficient?
The vast majority of residential solar panel on the market today falls into one of these three categories.
Monocrystalline — The highest efficiency ratings at 17% to 222%
Polycrystalline — Midrange efficiency ratings at 15% to 17%
Thin film Lowest efficiency at 10%-13%
When it comes to solar panels, efficiency is a key property. However, efficiency alone is not enough to make a decision. You should also consider other factors such as durability, aesthetics, and cost.
Are You Still Uncertain about Solar Panel Efficiency?
Don’t worry if you have any questions about the efficiency of solar panels. One of our Solar Energy Specialists is happy to assist! We can help you find the right array for your home .
Red Solar will provide you with the best solar power system. We have more than 147 years experience and help customers protect their homes with home security solutions.
We’ll do everything to ensure that your solar array is as efficient as possible, from the placement of solar panels on your roof to the quality and performance of the panels.
Red Solar provides the highest quality warranties and guarantees in the industry as part of its unwavering commitment to customer service. Our high-quality arrays are built to last for many decades.
This post was written by a professional at Red Solar. Red Solar was started with the mindset of renewable energy being the future. We at Red Solar want everyone to travel through this transition. We can all agree that solar is the best way to reduce your carbon footprint, but it’s not the only way. During a Red Solar energy evaluation, all energy commons in your home will be analyzed for results. Our expert technicians will guide you through the process for better understanding and reassurance. Click here for more information today!