Solar Secrets: 9 Factors Influencing Solar Panel Efficiency
Solar energy – have you been won over yet? Chances are, no you haven’t – because out of Australia’s 10 million households, less than 3 million of them are making use of the remarkable innovation. That’s not a lot – yet. Once you are hooked up, there’s boundless free energy from the shining sun to harvest – a truly clean, renewable, sustainable source of energy to save the world and stop those skyrocketing power bills that are killing your bank balance. But as you make the switch, there’s something you’ll need to consider: a little topic that’s all about solar panel efficiency.
Solar panel efficiency Australia: Maximising power output
Ever asked someone ‘How efficient are solar panels?’ and been told that they’re not very efficient at all? Well, they’re not exactly wrong. So how efficient is solar energy, exactly?
Of all the endless sunlight they’re blasted with, only about 15-22% or so of the rays captured by your panels is actually converted into usable energy at your powerpoint. But hang on: isn’t solar energy efficiency the entire point? Yes, it is.
So don’t you want to know how to ramp up the energy efficiency of solar panels for your installation? Yes, you do. And here’s how:
Efficiency of solar panels – What you need to know
So, with the average efficiency of solar panels just a measly 15-22%, what makes the difference – and can you get it even higher than 22%? Yes, you can. It’s about brand, type, model and price – but what else? How do you really unlock the maximum energy-producing potential of a solar panel system, so that you’re squeezing every drop of power out of your investment?:
1. Module efficiency
A high-efficiency panel enjoying advanced cell technology and superior light management means it converts more of that free sunlight into electricity you can use at the powerpoint.
FREE TIP: Ask about module efficiency ratings when you’re on the market to ensure you’re getting the most energy production per square metre possible.
2. Solar cell type
You have a choice: monocrystalline cells or polycrystalline cells. Polycrystalline are cheaper, but that’s because the single crystal of silicon in monocrystalline cells are harder to make but they’re much better when it’s darker.
FREE TIP: Go mono!
3. Solar cell technologies
Let’s go a bit deeper into those solar cells. PERC technology (Passivated Emitter & Rear Cell) enables those cells to capture more light.
FREE TIP: Also look out for bifacial or half-cut cell technology, which further boosts performance.
4. Sun hours
It’s pretty simple, really – the more sun there is, the higher the energy production.
FREE TIP: Install those panels where they’ll get as much sunlight throughout the day as possible.
5. Working temperature
You’d think that maximum sun means maximum temperature, but there’s a balance to be struck. Too hot = reduced efficiency.
FREE TIP: Make sure there’s plenty of space around the installation to enhance ventilation and enable the panels to dissipate heat.
Even a tiny bit of shade can really hurt energy production in a big way.
FREE TIP: Ask about high-efficiency panels that are better at mitigating the impact of shading. But also remove the obstructions that are causing the problem!
7. Angle & orientation
Your panels need to be optimally angled and oriented to capture the sunlight in just the right way.
FREE TIP: Pick an installer who knows all about it, because there are calculations to do here based on where you are.
8. Age & degradation
Like anything human-made, solar panels simply lose efficiency over time – and there’s nothing you can do about that.
FREE TIP: But the better quality ones you buy up front, the slower they’ll degrade – because those better manufacturing standards really do pay off, also in terms of reliability.
9. Maintenance & repairs
Get those solar panels regularly maintained and checked for repairs by a professional, which means catching and repairing issues early and routinely dealing with shading, orientation, damage and dirt, and you’ll get more juice out of your panels for longer.
FREE TIP: Schedule regular maintenance checks and solar panel cleaning.
Solar cells efficiency: The road ahead?
The best free tip of all? Check out Solar Repair Sydney – the best solar repair & maintenance services in the entire region and beyond. They’ll test, fault-diagnose, clean, service, check your inverter, repair – and more! Don’t forget: maximising your renewable energy investment means maximising the efficiency of your solar panel system – so are you ready to optimise your solar energy production? Harness the full power of the sun by reaching out to Solar Repair Sydney today.