There are a variety of solar panels available today. If you are in the market to purchase solar panels for your home or business, one major thing you should consider is the solar panel efficiency. Typically, the most efficient solar panels are able to process from 12% to 22% of solar energy into energy that can be used for electricity. The amount of sunlight that solar panels are able to convert into electricity is called performance. As a result, that performance is what determines the efficiency of the solar panel.
The efficiency of a solar panel is a measure of the amount of sunlight (irradiation) that falls on the surface of a solar panel and is converted into electricity.
Recently, there has been a surge in manufacturers releasing more efficient solar panels. China and India leading this surge with affordable and high efficient solar panels. For the first time, the efficiency of the top 10 panels is now above 21%. Let’s take a look at the 2021 rankings for the most efficient solar panels from the market’s leading solar manufacturers.
Axitec Solar USA
Factors affecting efficiency
It is important to know that the higher the efficiency rating, the more electricity the solar panel is able to produce from the amount of sunlight that shines on your roof. That is to say if a solar panel has a 17% efficiency rating, then 17% of the solar energy within the sunlight that hits the solar panel will be converted into electricity.
On the other hand, efficiency in solar panels doesn’t always equate to a better quality panel. You can consider efficiency to be the most important criteria when selecting a solar panel, but what should matter most is the manufacturing quality which is related to real world performance, reliability, manufacturers’ service, and warranty conditions.
Efficiency in the real world
Despite the solar panel ratings and efficiency tests done by the manufacturers, in real-world use, solar panel operating efficiency is dependent on many external factors. Depending on the local environmental conditions these various factors can reduce panel efficiency and overall system performance. To illustrate, the main factors which affect solar panel efficiency are listed below:
- Irradiance (W/m2)
- Panel orientation
- Location (latitude)
- Time of year
- Dust and dirt
In fact the factors which have the most significant impact on panel efficiency in real-world use are irradiance, shading, orientation and temperature.
In conclusion, most of the top solar panel manufacturers offer many models of high efficiency solar panels. As a result, these premium panels tend to be their most expensive offerings. But you can also ask about the brand’s standard-efficiency solar panel models, if you have adequate roof space.