How efficient are solar panels (from the cheapest to the more efficient)

How efficient are solar panelsSolar panels function on the principle of converting received energy, which reaches its surface into electricity. Most of the solar panels are converting less than 14% of the energy into electricity. Even if the number seems small, it is fairly a good percent of converted energy. There is also a possibility to obtain solar panels, which are more efficient than that with percents of around 40 or 50, but the price rises accordingly.

The question how efficient solar panels are also depends on the angle of sunrays. From the basic physics it is possible to conclude that sunrays, which fall perpendicularly to the surface of the solar panel will pass more energy to it and thus more electricity will be generated. Rays, which are not direct and only partially fall onto the surface of the panel will give less energy to the solar panel, and so less electricity will be produced.

However, if you as a house owner are concerned with the amount of solar panels needed to produce electricity for the building, there is no need to look for the technical explanation of how efficient are solar panels. All you need is simple mathematics. First of all, everything depends on the panels, which you will choose. Solar panels vary greatly in their output and it depends on types of solar cell. If for example, some of them can produce only 100 watt under the best conditions, other panels can be even twice as efficient. You only need to determine how much electricity you need to produce and then consider possible costs of different options.

At the same time, efficiency of the solar panel depends also on the material it is made of. There are three main types: polycrystalline, monocrystalline and thin film. The most efficient out of these three is monocrystalline type of panels. They not only take up less space, but also produce more electricity and this is very valuable in portable solar cells. Though such panels are also the most expensive ones. Therefore, it is important to know the amount of electricity you need, because buying the most efficient ones is not always necessary. It should also be taken into consideration that the most efficient and most expensive panels also need to be taken care of. Panels should be cleaned regularly, otherwise, they will start to produce less electricity. It may be surprising to some people, that the state of the panel also influences the effectiveness.

So, how efficient can solar panels be in future? Technology is moving forward and thus solar panels become more and more efficient each day. Developing nanotechnologies are believed to produce a solar panel, which will have 80% effectiveness. However, they are built on the idea of catching infra-red radiation, this means, that the panel will work well even in the cloudy weather and at night. This is a completely different approach than that used in standard solar panels - photovoltaic approach. This is simply an example to show to people, who still think that solar panels are the least cost-effective mean of preventing a climate change and are going to take dozens of years to break even with the costs inquired – that they should rethink their position.

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