Solar Panels are becoming increasingly popular. Many homeowners are considering going solar because of the promise of a solar system’s efficacy and a good, long-term investment. But how efficient are solar panels? In this article, we will try to answer this question as well as what can make solar panels more or less productive.
What Is Solar Panel Efficiency?
Solar panel efficiency is the panel’s ability to turn sunlight into usable energy. Most solar systems are between 15% and 20% efficient, meaning they can turn 15-20% of sunlight into electricity. However, some high-quality systems can even go over 22%. The rest of the sunlight just warms the panel’s surface.
What Can Affect a Solar Panel’s Efficiency?
Many factors can affect your solar system’s efficiency. Roughly said, we can sort them into two groups: internal and external factors. We are going to mention just a couple of them.
Solar System’s Age
Modern technology allows us to make better and better solar panels over the years. So, new solar panels will have better performance than the older models.
Also, panels lose their efficiency with each passing year, just like any other appliance. Meaning, your ten-year-old system will still generate energy, but it won’t be as good at it as a new one.
Your Solar Panel’s Exact Type and Material
There are two different types of solar panels as well as three different materials they can be made of. Before choosing one for your home, you should do the research and discover which type and material will be the most efficient for your home and area.
Other factors that can influence the panel’s performance are:
Solar System Design
Design is essential because if your panels are not set up properly, they will not produce enough electricity. That’s why you should always consult an expert before installing a solar system in your home.
Some houses just get more sun than others. Maybe a tree or a tall building is blocking the sunlight. Perhaps it’s the shape of your roof or the direction your house is facing. Or you live in an area that’s not very sunny. Whatever the reason, the amount of sun exposure will influence your panel’s performance.
Is Your Home Energy-efficient?
You can make some changes around your home to make sure you are using the energy more efficiently. For example, older appliances tend to use more power to work. Try upgrading them from time to time.
What Else Can You Do To Boost Your Solar Panel’s Efficiency?
You can change the way you treat your solar panels to help them generate more energy.
Clean Your Panels From Time to Time
Once a year, you can clean your panels to remove leaves, broken branches, and garbage. Those can create shade and affect the panel’s performance.
Maintain Your Panels Regularly
To make sure your panels are working correctly, inform yourself on what kind of maintenance they need and do it regularly.
How Efficient Are Solar Panels — Cost Vs. Value
More efficient solar systems, of course, cost more than less efficient ones. Although they might look too expensive at first glance, more efficient panels mean you can save more on your electricity bill and even sell the surplus. For example, if you have limited roof space, it would be wiser to choose more efficient systems to make up for the lost size.
All in all, how efficient are solar panels? Average solar systems have 15-20% efficiency. However, many factors can increase or decrease your solar system’s performance. That’s why you should be wise when choosing the type of solar system for your home and inform yourself on how to expand its life expectancy and efficiency over time.