Understanding the importance of solar panels efficiency

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Solar has changed the way homeowners and commercial business owners use power to cater for their energy needs. The sudden shift from fossil-fueled electricity to clean-sourced energy has resulted in almost 5 in 3 Australian households installing and using solar PV panels. However, homeowners thinking of transitioning to solar have one common question - will it be efficient enough to fulfil their everyday energy needs?

This blog answers all your questions related to solar efficiency and factors that may affect the performance of panels. Let’s first understand:

What Does Solar Panel Efficiency ‘Actually’ Mean?

The amount of solar energy converted into electricity by a solar cell through photovoltaics is known as the solar cell's efficiency. The annual energy output of a photovoltaic system is determined by the solar cells' efficiency, latitude, and climate.

On the other hand, efficiency becomes significantly more crucial when fossil fuels are used as energy inputs for power generation. Relying solely on this indicator can be dangerous. Also, solar panels have no operating costs or emissions.

What Influences the Efficiency of Solar Panels?

Most leading solar manufacturers continually invest millions in research and development to enhance their photovoltaic cells. The photovoltaic material, overall wiring, and design of the module affect solar cell’s efficiency. Since monocrystalline cells are made of single, highly pure silicon crystals, they are more effective. Polycrystalline cells, on the other hand, contain multiple crystals, which reduces their effectiveness. This does not imply a lower level of quality for polycrystalline solar panels. Due to the characteristics of their materials, they have a lower conversion efficiency, but both types of solar modules are available in high quality.

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The effectiveness of solar panels is also affected by other factors

To ensure the solar panels are as efficient as possible, certain factors should be cosidered..

  • Temperature
    The intrinsic property of the semiconductor material impact the photovoltaic cell's efficiency concerning temperature. As the voltage between the cells decreases in high temperatures, the efficiency of the solar panels rises when the temperature drops.
  • The efficiency of Energy Conversion
    Depending on the module type, the solar module responds to light in a different spectral range. As a result, the generation of solar energy is affected by changes in spectral irradiance. By lowering the incident light's reflection, the energy conversion of solar panel efficiency is raised.
  • Solar Shadings
    Solar shading has a significant impact on solar PV panels. The ability to deliver energy is significantly impacted by total or partial shading conditions, which could lead to lower output and power losses. To achieve a higher voltage and, consequently, an appropriate energy production, the cells in a solar panel are typically connected in series. However, this structure has some drawbacks under shading. However, the unit that generates the least current determines the current of all the units in the string when a single solar cell is shaded. The entire series will not generate required power when a cell is shaded.
  • The Orientation and the Climate
    To fully utilise solar radiation, certain considerations regarding orientation, inclination, location's latitude, and climatic conditions must be made when installing photovoltaic modules. By being exposed to the strongest solar radiation for the longest time, these variants will produce the most energy if their proper consideration is taken into account.
  • Maintenance
    Solar panels are extremely resilient; the majority of warranties range from 15 to 25 years. Maintaining residential solar panels' efficiency will help them convert as much light as possible into electrical power. Regular physical inspections can improve the solar panel efficiency of light absorption by solar panels.

The Calculation Of Solar Panel Efficiency

To determine the solar panel's maximum efficiency, the ratio of panel power to solar power must be divided by the panel's square metre area, which must then be multiplied by 100 to obtain a percentage. Ensure that all of the values' measurement units are accurate to avoid receiving unexpected results.

Solar Panel Efficiency And Its Significance

Currently, most solar panels have an efficiency of between 15% and 20% with outliers on either end of the spectrum. Similarly, most photovoltaic panels available have an efficiency of no more than 20%, though high-efficiency solar panels can occasionally exceed this (and almost reach 23%). It's important to note that more expensive panels with higher efficiency will help you meet your energy needs, particularly if you have a small roof and little room.

Why is the efficiency of solar panels so low?

A solar cell's surface will reflect some photons that strike the cell. Some of the absorbed photons have their energy converted into heat instead of electric current by internal recombination. These efficiency reductions are unavoidable.

Finding the best commercial solar installer should be your top priority in the end. The best solar panels in the world won't last more than a few years if installed improperly.

At Limitless Energy Group, we show homeowners how switching to solar energy can save them thousands of dollars while preserving the environment. With our residential solar solutions, you can rest assured knowing that your long-term investment will continue to provide reliable energy each year. They are one of the most reliable solar panel installers in Melbourne.

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