How Efficient Are Solar Systems/Panels?

By Daley Raffin

If you have thought about making the switch to solar energy for your home or business, now is the time. Due to significant advances in photovoltaic technology, solar panels are more cost and energy-efficient than ever before.

What is a Solar System and How Does it Work?

A solar system consists of photovoltaic (PV) devices, which turn sunlight into electricity to power your home or office. Solar panels are mounted on the exterior of a structure (normally the roof). These panels use semiconductors that interact with sunlight and collect energy from the rays. Only some light within the spectrum can be absorbed. Infrared light is just too weak to be absorbed. Ultraviolet light creates heat and not electricity, and some other light just gets reflected

Therefore, solar panels need to be high efficiency in collecting the specific light frequency, which contains energy to convert it to usable electricity.

Is a Solar System Expensive?

Solar panels used to be very expensive to manufacture, and now that the process has been perfected, solar systems are much more affordable. Cheaper, more plentiful materials are now used to create the panels which helps to cut costs a lot. Installation is also much more affordable as experienced installers can do the job more efficiently in less time.

How Efficient are Solar Systems?

Typically, solar panels can process between 15%-22% of sunlight into usable energy. These figures are dependent upon factors like weather conditions, placement, orientation, and solar panel materials. However, the performance rating of a single cell/panel does not indicate the efficiency of an entire solar system. Lab tests show that solar panels with a performance rating of 15%-22%, can produce much higher efficiency ratings, some reaching as high as 42% overall.

There are different types of solar cells, and each has advantages and disadvantages. The three popular types are Monocrystalline, Polycrystalline, and Thin Film solar panels. Each is manufactured using slightly different materials. Monocrystalline is considered the highest efficiency panel, but all three have their own ideal applications.

As the price of solar panels drops and the technology continues to evolve, solar systems will become even more cost-effective while helping to reduce our carbon footprint through an eco-friendly alternative to traditional energy sources.

If you are curious about how energy efficient your home or business could be with a high-end solar system, contact Raffin Electrical Contractors today for a free quote.