What is Solar Panel Efficiency?

solar panel efficiency

Solar panel efficiency refers to the percentage of sunlight converted into electrical energy by solar panels. Also called the “conversion rate,” solar panel efficiency is among the key things to think about when buying solar panels, as this could indicate how much solar energy, you’ll be getting out of your solar energy system. High Solar panel efficiency will generate extra energy than those with lower efficiency ratings and give you maximum solar panel savings in long run. A high-efficiency panel also means you’ll require much less roof space for your solar panel installation compared to lower efficiency panels, making it best for those with limited roof space availability.

Conversion rates can differ depending on the quality of manufacturing, techniques and materials used. The average solar panel efficiency rating comes between 19% – 24%.

What Factors Affect Solar Panel Efficiency?

Several factors may affect a solar panel efficiency rating. Weather conditions, such as mainly cloudy days, can lower the power your solar panels generation as there is relatively less sunlight hitting the surface of the panels. Other relative factors include:

  • Solar Panel Type

The material utilized in manufacturing solar panels affect their efficiency ratings. Thin-film solar panels, though the cheapest types, are also the least efficient in converting sunlight into energy. Ideally, silicon-based solar panels, such as polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panels, have higher conversion rates and produce extra energy.

  • Placement on roof

Your roof’s relative steepness and orientation can also be a determiner of how efficient your solar panels can be in generating energy. In Australia, the best direction for your panels to produce the most power is north, with a roof angle of 20 to 23 degrees. East and west-facing solar panels will also yield a good quantity of energy if north isn’t an option and still ensure enough solar panel efficiency ratings.

  • Dirt

 Most probably, the only maintenance solar panels need is keeping them clean and dust-free. Dust and dirt can decrease solar panel efficiency, lowering their efficiency rating by around 5%.

  • Temperature

 Contrary to most people’s assumptions, lower temperatures are better on your solar panels’ efficiency rating. Intense increases in temperature can harm solar cells and materials, thus lowering your solar panels’ lifespan. At high temperatures, the semiconductor properties in solar panels shift – which means a mild spike in current but a heavier decrease in voltage.

Solar Panel EfficiencyImportance

Nowadays, solar panels are getting more affordable and accessible to everybody. However, it’s necessary to make sure you’re buying a high-quality solar panel for your solar panel installation rather than choosing the cheapest solar energy system. Solar panel Efficiency is an important quality to look for when buying solar panels. A high-efficiency panel is usually made with good-quality materials and follows comprehensive manufacturing techniques. In the current market, there are few brands with a high-efficiency rating.  

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