Solar energy is an abundant form of sustainable, renewable power on Earth. But how effective are solar panels that we use in residential power homes?
Most figures say that solar panels can be anywhere between 15% and 18%, meaning they convert only between 15% and 18% of sunlight into electricity while absorbing the rest like it would be anything else. That being said, there is a huge variety of factors that change your specific efficiency for a particular system- whether you’re in an area where it’s cloudy regularly or if your house faces south instead of north when possible.
Factors That Affect Solar Panel Efficiency
There are a lot of different factors that will affect how efficient your panels are. Some of them, like the angle of the sun in relation to Earth and cloud coverage, can be accounted for by adjusting certain parts of your solar energy system, while others (such as temperature) depend entirely on external forces outside of our control.
Here are a few of the internal factors which will affect your panels
Solar panel age
Solar energy technology has a long history that reaches back to the 19th century. The countless innovations in this industry have helped make solar panels more efficient. They’ve grown exponentially recently for people who want clean power options and those looking for ways to save money on their monthly bills.
The new solar panels are not only more efficient than old ones due to these technological innovations, but they’re also better than used ones because solar panels lose a little bit of efficiency every year that they’re used. Your panel will probably still work great as it gets older, but you won’t be quite as efficient which when you first bought them.
Type of solar panels
There are two types of solar panels. One is used to heat hot water; the other powers your home through electricity generated from sunlight. Photovoltaic (PV) panels to capture and separate electrons with sunlight energy, while thermal panels use the sun’s rays for direct heating power in warmer climates.
The three materials that solar panels can be made of are monocrystalline silicon, polycrystalline silicon, and multi-junction cells. Of these two types of material,, the most common is Monocrystalline Silicon which has a higher efficiency than Polycrytallene Silicone or Multi-Junction Cells.