With each passing day, more and more people are integrating solar energy for their homes, buildings, apartments and companies. The first thing a person searching for the most efficient solar panels should know, is to compare efficiency metrics for panels from different brands. Solar panel efficiency is the amount of electricity converted from the absorbed sunlight that falls on these panels’ surface. If the same intensity and duration of sunlight are given to two different panels with different efficiencies, then the one with higher efficiency will produce more electricity when compared to the one with lower efficiency. Solar panels are usually able to convert fifteen to twenty percent of solar energy into usable electrical energy. The two main factors that play a major role in solar panel efficiency are the photovoltaic (PV) cell efficiency, based on the cell design and silicon type, and the total panel efficiency, based on the panel size, PV cell layout and configuration. For the best possible home solar solutions, the following criteria must be taken into account while buying a system
Photovoltaics (PV) Cell Efficiency
PV technology is vital for the conversion of photons from the sunlight into consumable energy. Multiple solar cells, responsible for this conversion, are connected together that form panels and are placed on home rooftops. Each of these panels is connected together and wired to the inverter, which regulates the conversion and flow. The different types of panels are monocrystalline silicon panels, polycrystalline silicon panels, building integrated photovoltaic panels and thin-film solar cell technology.
Overall, panel efficiency can be influenced by a variety of factors like cell temperature, irradiance level, cell type, and interconnection of the cells. Moreover, even something as simple as the colour of the panel can affect the overall efficiency. Even though black might look aesthetically pleasing, it absorbs too much sunlight, which can cause high cell temperature and lower the total conversion efficiency.
Other Factors That Would Impact Efficiency
- Panel design and Construction: Most panels have a glass sheet covering the solar cells, hence, the sunlight must first pass through this glass to reach the solar cells, which actually does the conversion. The amount of energy is harnessed depending on the reflectivity of the glass and the angle of passing light reaching the solar cells.
- Positioning And Angle Of Panel Installation: How you position the panel on your rooftops can also play a role in efficiency. Proper installation is rudimentary for capturing the maximum amount of sunlight during the daytime.
- Pitch of the roof: The panels can only be placed at effective angles if the roof’s angle is suitable according to the trajectory of the sun. Large commercial installations can somehow manage themselves according to the earth’s movement through their solar tracking system. However, this equipment is expensive and not generally opted for by residential users.
- Temperature: The general climate and temperature of the location also play a vital role in a solar panel’s efficiency. It can impact the overall functionality and output of solar cells, so some panels are specifically designed for places with warmer temperatures. So, people need to select the right panel for the right temperature and also take into account the different seasons of the year, making a comprehensive home solar solution.
- Shade: Even the tiniest bit of shade can impact the amount of sunlight absorbed by the panels. Panels are often wired together, and depending on the systems, shade can influence the combined efficiency of energy conversion. Some systems are specifically made for functioning under a certain amount of shade, so it would not be too troublesome to get the right solar system. However, the ideal conditions are to find a location or roof with unobstructed sunlight for even the most efficient solar panel.