The 6 Best Ways To Improve Solar Panel Efficiency
1. Buy one of the more efficient solar panel models
Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic cells, and it is these cells that convert solar energy in the form of sunlight into usable electricity. Although it would be awesome, a solar panel cant transform all of the solar energy it receives into electricity.
Therefore, a panels efficiency is the percentage of energy hitting the panels that the photovoltaic cells actually convert into electricity.
Solar cell technology has come a long way in the past five years, and average solar cell efficiency has increased from about 15% to 20%. However, not all solar panels are created equal, and the material and structure of a model determine its efficiency .
Although the initial cost will likely be more expensive, buying one of the more efficient models of commercial solar panels is arguably the most important thing you can do if you want the best results.
In 2020, some of the most efficient commercial solar panel models on offer are produced by LG and Sunpower, with efficiencies of about 22%. Check out Clean Energy Reviews breakdown of the top 10 solar panel models in 2020for more information and to find the model thats right for you and your business.
2. Buy panels with High Concentrated Photovoltaic Cells
However, with great efficiency comes an expensive price tag. CPV panels can cost up to 4x more than traditional PV panels.
3. Avoid installing solar panels in shaded areas
4. Get an expert to install your solar panels
Why Are Solar Panels So Low In Efficiency
The ability of solar cells to generate electricity depends on the ability of the photons to impart enough energy to the electrons so that they jump across the p-n junction.
Almost 23% of the photons are not energetic enough to trigger the flow of electrons in the semiconductor. Another 33% of photons are so energetic that most of the energy is lost as heat energy. About 16% of the energy is lost by the electrons during the process.
In theory or laboratory conditions, monocrystalline cells can reach maximum efficiency of 33%. But in real-world conditions, this is around 22%.
In polycrystalline and thin-film cells, the energy lost is higher and hence the efficiency is lower.
Solar Cells: Costs Challenges And Design
Over the past 20 years, the costs associated with solar cells, the structures capable of converting light energy into electricity, have been steadily decreasing. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a US government lab that studies solar cell technology, estimates contributors to the increasing affordability of solar. They estimate that hard costs, the costs of the physical solar cell hardware, and soft costs, which include labor or costs to obtain required government permits, are about equal . Soft costs have decreased because there are more potential consumers and more installation experts for new solar cells, so companies can produce solar cells in bulk and install them easily. Hard costs are less than half of what they were in the year 2000, mostly due to decreasing material costs and an increased ability of cells to capture light. Engineering more cost-effective and efficient solar cells has required careful consideration of the physics involved in solar capture in addition to innovative design.
Figure 1: Costs associated with solar power.Figure 2: Light energy capture in solar cells.
Currently, the cost of silicon-based solar cells continues to decrease, and, despite predictions to the contrary, the cost of silicon itself continues to decrease. Silicon solar cells are likely to remain popular for the next few years. Alternatives to silicon solar cells have been developed but arent far enough along to be commercially viable.
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Cost Of Solar Panels Over Time: A Tale Of Falling Prices
Over a decade ago, in 2009, the cost of a solar panel installation was $8.50 per watt. The solar industry today looks very different: in addition to solar panel efficiency increasing dramatically, solar panel producers have significantly improved their manufacturing processes. Solar installers, too, can deploy solar PV across the United States more efficiently now than they could ten years ago. The result: the price of solar has fallen dramatically, to just $2.77/watt.
Theres evidence that solar prices are continuing to fall. Prices featured in quotes to homeowners on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace continue to fall:
Solar panel cost over time
The price decreases over the past ten years are a major reason why homeowners are increasingly interested in installing solar panels.
Changes in solar panel cost over time can be explained by Swansons Law, which states that the price of solar PV modules decreases by about 20 percent for every doubling in global solar capacity. The law is named after Richard Swanson, founder of high-efficiency solar panel manufacturer SunPower, and indicate a phenomenon seen across many different technologies: new industries face a major learning curve, and as they improve, prices fall.
How To Increase Efficiency Of Solar Panels
Are you looking for how to increase the efficiency of your solar panels? If so, youre in luck! This blog post will discuss tips that will help you get the most out of your solar panels. By following these simple tips, you can maximize your energy output and reduce your carbon footprint. Lets get started!
Even as we promote solar power as the main arsenal in our fight against climate change, do you know that the solar panel efficiency level is abysmally low?
Yes, its true. The conversion rate of solar panels is at best 22% and sometimes even as low as 11%.
And, when you compare this with the 35-40% average efficiency level of a wind turbine, you will be appalled at how bad it really is.
However, the story doesnt end there. There are ways to increase efficiency of solar panels to as high as 50%. Read on to learn about the efficiency levels of various types of solar panels and how to improve solar panel efficiency.
To understand the efficiency levels of solar panels, we first need to learn more about how solar panels are made and how they work.
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Track Solar Panel Energy Production With An Energy Management System
If you dont monitor the efficiency of your solar system, you wont notice if something goes wrong. Consider hooking your panels up to an energy management software system.
This will help you notice when the total solar power production of your system drops. You can then work on troubleshooting until you fix the issues with your panels.
Installation Cost Of Solar Panels
The installation cost of solar panels varies, depending on the type, size, and function of your solar systems.
It also depends on the energy requirements and size of your home and solar panel system.
There are several factors that can affect the installation cost, including your solar plan, location, and others.
The data states that the cost of installing solar panels is decreasing year by year due to the advancement in technology. In fact, the average solar panel installation cost is $3.05 per watt in 2021.
This makes solar systems much more affordable. It means you can invest in them without breaking your bank.
Every solar panel system is manufactured to deliver optimum results to people keeping certain power needs and purpose in mind.
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Solar Panel Efficiency Over Time
The very first solar cells, invented in the 1800s, were less than one percent efficient, not nearly enough to make them a useful energy source. It wasnt until 1954 that Bell Labs invented the first useful silicon solar panel, which was about six percent efficient.
Since then, solar PV technology has evolved at a rapid pace. Manufacturers have been able to create prototype solar panels that are over 30 percent efficient, and homeowners on the EnergySage Marketplace regularly receive quotes featuring solar panels with 20 to 22 percent efficiency from solar installers. These high-efficiency panels can produce 25 percent more electricity than the lower-tier economy panels that made up the majority of the market in past years.
The technology exists to increase solar panel efficiency even further. Researchers have managed to achieve 47.1 percent efficiency using advanced cell structures. However, super high-efficiency panels are typically made of more expensive materials not used in rooftop solar panels, and as a result, they arent currently cost-effective.
New Larger Cells And High Power 600w+ Panels
To decrease manufacturing costs, gain efficiency and powerful solar panels, manufacturers have started moving away from the standard 156mm square cell wafer size in favour of larger wafer sizes. While there are a variety of various cell sizes under development with the most popular being 166mm, 182mm and 210mm. The larger cells combined with new larger panel formats have enabled manufacturers to develop extremely powerful solar panels with ratings up to 670W. Larger cell sizes have a greater surface area and when combined with the latest cell technologies such as multi-busbar , PERC and tiling ribbon, can boost panel efficiency up to 22%.
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What Is Solar Panel Efficiency
Solar panel efficiency is a measurement of a solar panels ability to convert sunlight into usable electricity. For example, if the sun shines on a high efficiency solar panel with a 20 percent rating, then 20 percent of the suns energy will be converted to solar energy. Read this article to learn more about the most efficient solar panels on the market today.
Right Angle And No Shades
Angle and pitch are the keys to getting more sunlight to maximize solar panel efficiency. Its not simply just like keeping a solar panel under the sun.
A solar panel can produce sufficient energy when it gets plenty of sunlight. You can not provide sunlight all day long without a perfect pitch and corner.
Pitch indicates the solar panels slope that helps it remove dust, leap, and rain from the surface.
The south-facing solar panel will get sunlight all day long, and it can receive sunlight for 6 to 8 hours a day. It is the standard time to receive sunlight for maximum production.
On the contrary, shade is the enemy of solar panels. Your system will be unable to produce the minimum energy under the shed.
Be conscious while selecting the space for your solar panels. The shed will stop sunlight and reduce productivity due to low heat.
So, install a solar panel at the south-facing and in a place where sunlight is available.
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Install A Solar Power Concentrator
Solar power concentrators allow you to maximize the power of your solar panels by concentrating solar light. These concentrators use mirrors or lenses to concentrate a large amount of sunlight onto a receiver. Using a tracking system, the concentrated light is captured, so that it falls on the solar panel for optimum efficiency. Ensuring that all available sunlight is used to generate electricity, it can save you additional money. An extra advantage of a solar power concentrator is it can efficiently store energy during the night.
Create A Sense Of Urgency
Creating a sense of urgency is an age-old marketing technique and a proven one. Things like limited time offer and end of discount often persuade prospects to make a quick buying decision.
Many prospective customers respond positively to time-sensitive incentive offers. For example, you can offer a discount on the installation cost, free shipping, or provide some other financial incentive to persuade customers to purchase a solar system.
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Keep Solar Panels Clean
Cleaning your solar panels will ensure that no dust or dirt accumulates, which will hinder the solar panels functionality.
Solar panels are made with glass materials, so cleaning them should not be hard, wipe the dust off and get maximum solar energy.
During snowy days, always ensure that you remove the snowflakes from your panel every day to enable it to get direct sunlight.
Sun rays need to reach directly on the photovoltaic cells so that they can be able to convert solar energy into electricity.
You do not need to clean your solar panels every day. Cleaning them once or twice a year is never a bad idea.
A recent survey has shown that cleaning your solar panel once a year will enable 21% efficiency and ensure investment return.
Cleaning a solar panel will improve the durability of your panel and improve its efficiency.
Solar Energy: The 8 Ideas That Will Make Panels More Efficient And Cheaper
It’s not all about flat silicon panels.
Think solar energy is just about rows of flat silicon panels, sitting in a field collecting energy? Think again.
A new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency released this week explains how the sun looks set to shine on solar energy systems over the coming decades, with a wealth of advancements and dropping prices that could boost adoption.
The paper makes for optimistic reading. Solar deployment alone could lead to a 21 percent reduction in total carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. The energy source could account for 25 percent of the worldâs electricity needs by that point, second only to wind power, with 8,519 gigawatts of total installed capacity. This, combined with other efficiencies in buildings and transport, could lead to a 70 percent reduction in emissions from 2020 levels. Thatâs assuming society takes on a radical decarbonization plan, attuned to meeting targets outlined in the Paris Agreement and one that mixes clean energy with efficiency savings.
But itâs not just flat panels harvesting light that could lead the way. Hereâs some of the other ideas outlined in the report that could play a role.
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How To Maximize Solar Panel Efficiency
Your solar panels are installed, and youre enjoying lower utility bills. But, you may be wondering if there are opportunities to maximize solar panel efficiency? The answer is yes. The following are just a few of the ways that you can get more out of your home solar investment.
Is The Switchboard On
Your switchboard needs to be on for your solar electricity to export to the grid. If your house is being renovated or youve recently had some electrical work done, the electrician may have turned off your switchboard.
Go to your switchboard and check that the Solar Supply Main Switch is ON. If not, you may want to speak to your solar installer or electrician as to why it may be off .
If youre at all unsure, please contact a licensed electrician.
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On What Does The Efficiency Of A Solar Panel Depend
The efficiency of solar panels on the market depends mainly on two:
The efficiency of the photovoltaic cell: the efficiency of the cell is based on its design and the type of silicon that can be of high purity or not. Monocrystalline silicon has the highest efficiency. Its system efficiency is around 27% in the standard test conditions.
The total efficiency of the panel. It depends on the design of the solar cell and the configuration and size of each type of photovoltaic panel. These values ââcan be obtained from the technical sheet of the solar panel.
Author: Oriol Planas – Industrial Technical Engineer, specialty in mechanics Contents
Most Efficient Solar Cells
The most efficient solar panels on the market generally use either N-type monocrystalline silicon cells or the another highly efficient N-type variation, heterojunction cells. Most other manufacturers currently use the more common P-type mono-PERC cells however, several large volume manufacturers, including JinkoSolar, Longi Solar and Trina, are now starting to shift to the more efficient N-type cells.
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Back Contact Solar Panels
Together with partners in science and industry, we are working on back contact silicon solar cells and modules. In this type of cell and module, the electrical interconnection of the cells takes place on the back, as a result of which the metal covering at the front is largely or even entirely absent and the metal patterns are hardly visible, if at all. Because the electrical connections are all on the back, there are no shading losses and resistance losses can be minimised. With industrial partners that include manufacturers of materials, equipment, cells and modules, we are working to further optimise this technology and the resulting products for building integration and cars, for example.
Use Customer Testimonials And Trust Signals
Using social proof is a tried and tested technique that works in marketing, including digital marketing. Particularly, in todays social media environment, customer feedback has become even more important.
Your satisfied customers can provide you with the social proof and trust signal to the prospects through testimonials and can help convert the leads.
In fact, satisfied customers are always more influential than even the best sales copy. Publish the testimonials on your landing pages, pricing page, or even on your homepage.
Also, if your business has any professional accreditation like the Better Business Bureau , it will give a strong trust signal and provide assurance to your prospects.
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Get The Pulse Of Customers In The Local Market
Many solar companies jump straight into direct mailing and promoting via their websites even before understanding what they should be talking about and what customers think about solar energy.
Customers in different local markets have different beliefs about solar energy.
To understand what customers think, conduct focus group surveys. These survey results can vary from one market to another. In one market, the prospects may think solar as expensive, and in another, it may appear complex to them.
When it comes to cost, for example, prospects may like the idea of solar but did not want to invest an average of $25,000-30,000 on it.
In such a scenario, you can educate customers that they actually do not have to purchase the solar system as various lease options are available.
Understanding the prospects needs and desires is a necessary first step towards creating your key message.
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