Solar Panel Efficiency
How Is Solar Panel Efficiency Defined?
Solar panel efficiency refers to the quantity of captured sunlight that solar panels are able to transform into usable electricity, expressed as a percentage. The greater the efficiency of your solar panels, the more money you’ll be able to save on your future power bills. Solar panel efficiency varies significantly between brands and solar panel types, with cheaper panels delivering around 14% while with better ones, consumers can expect an efficiency of around 22% or greater, depending on the factors listed below.
What Factors Impact Solar Panel Efficiency?
Needless to say, it’s important that your solar panels are not shrouded by any large, overhanging tree branches or other obstructions that will affect their ability to receive sunlight. It has to be noted that with some solar setups, shade on a particular panel can have a detrimental effect on the efficiency of all linked panels as well, lowering the performance of the entire system. Speak to your solar expert about how a micro inverter can help to eliminate this problem for you.
The Angle of Your Roof (Pitch)
The angle of your house’s roof can affect the amount of sunlight that your panels are exposed to on a daily basis. If your roof has a particularly sharp slope, this issue can be rectified by installing your panels on mounted racks. Your solar panel installer will note this upon carrying out their initial inspection of your property.
The direction that your solar panels face, play an important role in determining how much sunlight they can capture. This direction varies, depending on your location around the globe. The orientation of your solar panels will be decided by consultant.
Like any technological device, the efficiency of your solar panels will slowly degrade over time. This generally occurs at a rate of around .5% each year. Many solar panel brands offer substantial guarantees that ensure their products deliver at least eighty percent efficiency throughout the duration of the warranty.
It’s a good idea to ensure that your solar panels remain clean to help deliver optimal performance. Excess grime and debris can affect panel efficiency. Additionally, it’s strongly recommended that you have your entire solar system setup serviced by a Clean Energy Accredited (CEC) specialist on an annual basis.
Which Solar Panel Types Offer the Highest Level of Efficiency?
There are three major types of solar panels:
- Thin Film Solar Panels
Each type delivers a different level of efficiency and is priced accordingly.
Solar panels that consist of monocrystalline solar cells are composed of high-grade silicon and provide efficiency levels that sit between twenty and twenty-two percent. Solar panels that utilise monocrystalline cells provide superior performance to Polycrystalline and Thin Film Solar Panels but they are also the most expensive. These cells contain rounded edges which gives them their signature appearance. The advanced manufacturing process also lends these cells to a longer shelf life and ensures that they occupy the least amount of space out of other alternative panel types.
Polycrystalline solar cells are less efficient than monocrystalline due to the process in which they are created. Unlike monocrystalline cells which comprise a single, solitary silicone cell, polycrystalline cells are made from a cluster of crystals. These clusters are then fashioned into silicon wafers. These cells typically deliver around fourteen to sixteen percent efficiency and are found on many mid-range panels.
Thin Film Solar Panels
As the name suggests, this style of panel consists of a thin film of silicone applied to a bed of flat material. A simple process is used to develop Thin Film panels, resulting in cheaper prices but diminished performance, typically in the vicinity of around 50% of what a monocrystalline-based panel can deliver. Additionally, thin film panels also take up a large amount of space and degrade faster than monocrystalline and polycrystalline.
Speak with A Certified Solar Installations Expert
Get in touch with a certified solar system installations expert to discuss which setup will deliver the highest levels of solar panel efficiency for you. Have a qualified consultant come and inspect your property and speak to you about which system is best suited to your power requirements and your budget.