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Who Has The Most Efficient Solar Panels?

Solar panels are the most essential component of a solar power system. There are other components that make up the system; however, the solar panel dictates the efficiency of the entire solar power system. The sun has enough energy to provide the electricity that we need. But the sun has always been there with this potential yet it did not automatically provide uses for electricity. There is a need to develop a system to tap from the sun’s energy. Not until recently, this fit seemed far-fetched. Research in this line that gave us solar panels which is the main source of tapping solar energy. The solar panel is the component that is designed to capture the UV (Ultraviolet) rays that are generated by the sun. This is then converted into an electron that generates the direct current (DC). The direct current (DC) is then converted into an alternating current (AC) using an inverter. The AC current is the electricity that is consumable. However, not all the sunlight will be converted to electricity by the solar panel; some will be left unconverted, which means, there is still some potential energy been unused. In other words, a signal panel is limited in the amount of solar energy it can convert to electricity. If you, therefore, need to produce electricity in a large quantity, you will have to combine solar panels so that one can make up for the other. This is where the question of panel efficiency comes in.

Solar panel efficiency: what you need to know

solar panel efficiency

When we talk about the efficiency of a solar panel we refer to its ability to convert sun ultraviolet rays into electricity. All things being equal, when the same amount of sunlight shines on two solar panels, for the same time duration, the better efficient one will produce more electricity than the less efficient one. What this means is that if there are two panels A and B of the same size, subjected to the same condition of sunlight and it is found that panel A has an efficiency of about 21% while panel B has efficiency of 14% then panel A will produce 50% more electricity in kilowatt per hours than panel B which has a 14%. A higher efficiency rate means the panel has the ability to use or convert more solar energy. The more solar energy a panel can convert the less the number you will need to power your building.

Solar panel development has gone through many stages. The first set of panels produced were of little efficiency which means they could scarcely be used to produce electricity. They were not only of little efficiency, but they were also very expensive. This added to the difficulty of them having substantial commercial value. Many in the solar industry associate the efficiency of the solar panel to be the most important factor to assess a solar panel. As much as this is true, it is not the only factor. There is a need to consider the ability of the panel to convert at a low cost and supply at a high rate.

Most efficient solar panels:

With the realization of this fact, manufacturers have invested time and resources into doing proper research in order to increase the efficiency of the solar panels produced by them. As it stands this year, 2019, the solar panel with the highest efficiency rate is at 22.2%. Let’s see some of them and what rate of efficiency they have to offer:

  • SunPower (22.2%)
  • LG (21.1%)
  • Panasonic (20.3%)
  • Solartech Universal (20.2%)
  • Silfab (20.0%)

The majority of the solar panel manufacturers out there offer an efficiency rate that is less than that of the top five. They offer between 15% to 17% efficiency rate solar panels. The top five solar panel manufacturers led by SunPower offer within the rage of 20% to 22% and this is the latest development. The challenge with the solar panels offered by the top five manufacturers is that they come with a higher price tag than that of the majority manufacturers. These top five will often be the favorite of anyone more concerned about efficiency over cost. The truth is that no matter the cost you moderately spend on the installation of a reliable solar system, you will eventually break even. And this will be in the early years of the life span of the solar system especially if you stay in an area where the cost of electricity is high and keeps rising.

Companies produce solar panels in large quantities. There will, therefore, be a disparity in the efficiency of the panels across the board. Most solar manufacturers produce solar panels in several models which will cause ranging in the efficiency of the solar panel. It is important to know that there is a difference between what we call the maximum efficiency rating of solar panel manufacturers and consistently maintaining the record across boards, meaning across the solar panels that were produced in mass. You need to know that for every manufacturer, there is the maximum efficiency record as well as the minimum efficiency record, and we have the average efficiency record which is the efficiency rating that the manufacturer consistently maintains over time. For example, LG has a maximum efficiency rating of 21.1%, however, the minimum efficiency rating for LG is 16.80%. From these two ratings, we have an average rating of 18.78% which is still a leading efficiency rating among other manufacturers, excluding SunPower which has an average rating of 19.96%. 

How Much Does Solar Cost?

Go solar:

There are so many reasons why you should go solar. From environmental, financial and then to personal reasons, there seem to be numerous justifiable reasons why you need to go solar. To go solar means to tap from the solar energy generated by the sun to provide electricity. Besides the fact that solar energy is environmentally friendly, it has a direct effect on your finances. Whether you are a homeowner of you own a business of your own, the cost of electricity has a way of affecting your finances. Since solar energy can be used for both individual and commercial purposes and investment in a solar system for electricity generation is a once in decades investment, this has an influence on electricity bills. Going solar can help eliminate the bill you pay on electricity completely. Using solar power alongside the public provided electricity will help reduce the amount you pay on the electricity bill.

Also, you tend to save a lot when you go solar. This is because savings is equal to the amount of money you avoid paying as a result of going solar. You save more as the electricity rate in your area gets higher and this will continuously happen throughout the 25-plus-year lifespan of the solar facility. As a business person or a homeowner, it makes your budget planning really easy to do. This is because the rate of electricity is unpredictable. It might, therefore, be difficult to do a forecast of your expenses for managerial purposes. The benefit of going solar cannot be overemphasized. There seems to be little or no disadvantage to the choice of going solar. It is the modern day idea and it seems totally welcomed. Now that we know the benefits of going solar, an important aspect is to know how much it costs to come on board. How expensive or affordable is the cost of solar system installation?

Cost of solar system Installation:

solar system cost

The cost of solar panels is the major determinant of the overall cost of a solar system. Solar panels do not work alone; they work alongside some other components. These components are not as expensive as the total cost of solar panels that you will need. Most times, you will need more than one solar panel to fully power your facility. It is also important to note that, no matter the cost you incur as a result of going solar, you will break even within its lifespan and begin to earn or save money over the rest of its life span. The lifespan on a solar system is expected to be over 25 years. Those who take the solar panel financing scheme usually finish paying their loan within about 5 to 6 years. The rest of the years are used as a time for savings on the electricity bill. In summary, a solar system is a fixed asset that eventually puts money into your pocket in the long run

Cost determinant for a solar system:

Now, to determine the cost of the solar system you will need, the size of the facility you are trying to power with solar is paramount. This will determine the quantity of electricity you will need to generate, which will determine the number of solar panels you will need and the cost of the solar system installation. The more electricity you need to generate the bigger the number of solar panels you will need and the number of labor that will be needed to install the system. All these amount to the cost of installing the system.

ystem you will need, the size of the facility you are trying to power with solar is paramount. This will determine the quantity of electricity you will need to generate, which will determine the number of solar panels you will need and the cost of the solar system installation. The more electricity you need to generate the bigger the number of solar panels you will need and the number of labor that will be needed to install the system. All these amount to the cost of installing the system.

It is also important to note that the number of solar panels needed varies across geographical locations. This is because some places experience more intense sunlight than others. Some places are cloudier and experience lesser days of sunshine. The number of solar panels needed in places like these will be more. California has no problem in this respect. However, if you do a quick research about sunshine in California, you’ll find that sunlight differs according to places in California. For example, the record has it that Redding, California, experiences 88% sunshine yearly, while Sacramento, California, experiences about 78% sunshine yearly. This show a disparity in the amount of sunshine that is experienced in places across California. However, this would not have much effect in that the two places experience quite a high amount of sunshine, therefore, there might not be much difference. In places with a substantially low quantity of sunlight, this does not mean they cannot install a solar system. It only means they will need more solar panels to compensate for this. One very wise way to do it is to know how much a complete solar system will cost in your area is to compare the price of quotes from homeowners if you intend powering your house with it. If you intend powering your business with it, you compare quotes for commercial buildings.

Another great determinate of solar system cost is the solar panel manufacturer brand. Some brands are more expensive than the other. Some brands attach quality of the product brand to price. But this is not always the case.

Cost of DIY installation Vs. Solar company installation

Some people who will like to take the solar system installation as a personal project would want to know how much a single panel cost.s The simple way to answer will be that, it depends on how much leverage you have as a buyer, the type of the panel you are trying to buy and the size of the system you need. However, because solar companies have a direct relationship with those who sell the solar panels and they buy in bulk, they have the opportunity to buy the panels at a much lower price than an average customer. They also know where to purchase quality solar system components. This is why you need solar companies to handle your solar system installation. Get as many solar quotes from companies and compare your choices. This way, you will be sure to get the best solar system installation cost.