One of the biggest factors you should consider when buying solar panels is efficiency. It measures the amount of sunlight a solar panel can convert into electricity. More efficiency means more power.
How do various brands differ in efficiency?
The efficiency of every solar cell in the panel, also known as a photovoltaic cell (PV cell), differentiates the solar panel’s effectiveness among brands.
Light is made of photons, and when it reaches the PV cells on the solar panel, some of those photons bounce off while others get absorbed. Not all absorbed light has enough energy to separate the electrons from the atoms to produce electricity.
What factors affect solar panel efficiency?
Wavelength and frequency
Since solar panels cannot absorb all photons, they have to capture a wide range of light wavelengths and frequencies to increase their energy output. A highly efficient solar panel should be able to capture visible light, UV light, and infrared light.
Manufacturers mind the material used because it affects the solar panel’s ability to convert sunlight into electricity. The most common materials used are monocrystalline and polycrystalline silicon and cadmium telluride.
Reflection causes light to bounce off, decreasing efficiency. That’s why choosing the suitable glass layer on top of every panel is crucial.
Positioning of the solar panels
Manufacturing is only half of the battle. The installation process can reduce efficiency if not done properly. Solar panels should be at a position and angle that allows them to capture as much sunlight as possible. So, based on your location, consider where the panels should be placed and where they should face. Avoid the shade, of course.
Also, consider the usual temperatures in your area. High temperatures can reduce efficiency, but some solar panels are designed for warmer places.
What are the top 5 solar panel brands in 2022 based on efficiency?
- SunPower- uses monocrystalline cell technology and has a 22.8% efficiency
- LG- uses monocrystalline cell technology and has a 22.0% efficiency
- REC Solar- uses monocrystalline cell technology and has a 21.7% efficiency
- CSUN- uses monocrystalline cell technology and has a 21.2% efficiency
- Panasonic- uses monocrystalline and amorphous silicon cells and has a 21.2% efficiency