How efficient are solar panels available to the common buyer?
When you start looking for ways to provide solar power to your home, and are trying to figure out how many solar panels you need, you may find yourself asking ‘How efficient are solar panels?‘ The efficiency of solar panels is determined by a number of elements, starting with the specific model of panel you buy. Even then, there are two separate ways to look at the efficiency of a given panel, you can either base it on the overall efficiency of the panel, or on the efficiency of any given solar cell in the panel. The solar cells are the individual elements that are placed side by side on a backsheet to create a single cohesive solar panel and then covered with glass.
How to determine the efficiency of Solar Panels
When determining the efficiency of solar power, you’re going to take into account the solar panel as a whole since, overall, the panel is less efficient than the combined efficiency of its cells. The reasons for this are very straightforward, as elements such as the glass and spacing between cells results in a loss of efficiency for the panel.
Importance of Solar Panel Efficiency
- More efficient solar panels will produce greater electricity with fewer panels.
- Higher efficiency solar panels require less rooftop space for the same output.
- Less time and maintenance required and a reduction in mounting material cost.
- An overall increase in long-term savings.
How efficient are solar panels?
Every solar panel is different and the increase in efficiency, advances of solar technology and cell development, and an overall better understanding of how solar power works has led to every new generation being more efficient than the last. Some of the most efficient solar panels in existence are capable of recovering in excess of 40% of the solar energy received as electric output. These are specialty built solar panels intended to be used in industrial or municipal level solar power generation and collection.
One way of answering the question ‘How efficient are solar panels?’ is to look at it as a unit of measurement known as ‘energy density’. Energy density measures how many watts per square foot a given solar panel is able to produce, letting you know how many square feet of panel you will eventually need to meet your needs. One of the least efficient residential grade solar panels is the Kyocera 250W panel, putting out 13.6 W/ft2. One of the best models available on the market is the SolarWorld 280W, capable of capturing and producing 16.15 W/Ft2 under peak conditions.
In determining the efficiency of solar panels, check the specifications of the solar panels you’re considering for your solar power system. Their typical overall efficiency for residential units runs ~15%, but even a few watts more per square foot can greatly reduce the overall amount you need to meet your electrical needs. Start checking brands, models, and reviews to make sure that the information they provide is accurate. That’s one good way of securing your solar power efficiency.
To know more about how efficient solar panels are, contact us today and we’d be happy to discuss with you how you can benefit from these solar panels.