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Determine Your Solar Panels Efficiency

Ean GoodguyAugust 24, 20189690

Determine Your Solar Panels Efficiency

Solar panel efficiency, or exchange rate, refers to how much of the incoming solar energy is transformed into electrical power. Typically, the ability of commercial solar panels operates in the range 11-15%.

What remains the most efficient solar panels? The most efficient solar cell to this date is based on a multi-junction concentrator and transforms 44.0% of incoming solar energy into electricity. The highest performing solar panels on the U.S. market now is SunPower SPR-327NE-WHT-D including a module efficiency of 20.1%.


Solar Panel Type

Monocrystalline solar panels are based on the highest-purity silicon possible. This gives them the most active solar panel type available for homeowners. Solar panels based on polycrystalline silicon are normally not quite as efficient as monocrystalline, but there is not that much of a variety. Today`s thin-film solar panels are comparatively inefficient, but they also cost less. Thin-film solar panels take up a lot more area than mono- or polycrystalline solar panels, which is why they are unsuited for most households. The efficiency of individual solar cells (not complete solar panels/modules) is typically higher. For a comprehensive overview of the development of the various types of solar panels over the years check out Best Research-Cell Efficiencies (NREL).


Shade

Shade will affect the output of solar panels. Depending on your setup, a little shadow can even bring down an entire solar system. Micro-inverters offer a potential solution to shading issues. Licensed solar panel installers will do a thorough analysis of shading in your specific circumstances.


Orientation

For best efficiency, solar panels should be located to maximize the input of sunlight. This suggests that solar panels should be faced south in the U.S.

Solar trackers were developed to adjust the orientation of solar panels to follow the sun`s trajectory throughout the day. For most homeowners, solar trackers do not transfer a cost-benefit analysis, and they are too costly.

The pitch of your roof can be fixed with racks. In many cases, this will allow your solar panels to stay longer in the sun.
 

Lifetime

The effectiveness of solar panels does degrade a little bit over time. The general rule of thumb is that the energy output drops by 0.5% every year. Solar panel manufacturers often offer a warranty that guarantees the power output lingers above 80% after 25 years.


Maintenance

A solar system frequently requires very little maintenance, especially if the method is grid-tied. However, washing the solar panels on a regular basis is recommended. Dust and dirt will affect the effectiveness of solar panels if not taken care of.

In most areas, wiping off the dust with soapy water is sufficient. In some places, the rain will do the job for you. Use washing services if you`re too anxious to get up on the roof.

How often should I wash my solar panels? Unfortunately, there is no single answer to this question. Best practices would be to watch the power output of the solar panels to get an idea of how often washing them is necessary.

Curious about solar hard costs vs. soft costs near you, and how that might affect your own solar panel pricing? We here at HahaSmart you will have a look at what we can offer you on the cost of solar panels and cost of solar installations. We will strive to find you the best prices available. Follow the solar experts. Try our price checker tool. It tells you how much solar power you need and how much you can save on your energy bills each month. Please visit our solar blog to find out more about the benefits of going solar.

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