Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Find Out About The Importance Of Solar Panel Efficiency

June 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Affiliate Marketing

Solar panel efficiency is a percentage of the solar energy that is converted into electrical power by a module. In other words, it is the rate at which a panel can utilize the amount of energy that it receives from the sun by transforming it into voltage.

Basically, the modules that are currently in the market have efficiency levels of between 6% and a little over 20%. What that means is that the one that is marked 9% for example gives an output of 9 watts for every 100 watts that shines upon the unit.

Incidentally, the choice between the highest or the lowest energy conversion ratio is not that simple. The cost of those modules that are more productive is always higher than those with lower conversion rates. The cheap inefficient ones however may have the benefit of having a lower cost per watt as compared to the more efficient ones.

It is difficult for the manufacturers to close the gap the reason being that the cost of manufacturing solar-grade cells is high. Crystalline silicone has a lot of photovoltaic potential and it is often used but since it is expensive some manufacturers cut thin slices of it to make thin-filmed modules regardless of the fact that it reduces efficiency.

Such a sheet of thinly assembled cells can be widened to expose a larger surface area to the sun and harness more energy and counter the energy efficiency problem. However, this has a disadvantage because space is a limited resource. Where every inch counts on the roof one may opt to buy the more compact alternatives regardless of the cost especially if one really needs the power.

Sometimes the problem is not that clear cut for more factors may be at play when choosing which way to go. An area where there is an abundance of sunlight solar energy is more productive even with modules that have lower energy conversion rates. Where other sources of energy are available it is good to compare the cost per watt and establish how many years it will take to recover the cost of installation.

In remote areas where there is no hope of getting connected to the power grid, solar energy becomes a necessity not a luxury. In such places it is not a bad idea to invest in high performance modules for the cost will be spread over decades and this will even negate the cost per watt making the decision worthwhile. This is now possible since the technology exists to push the lifespan of a module up to 30 years.

The trick has always been to come up with cheap and easy to produce PV cells that exhibit conversion ratios of up to 80% or thereabouts. Nanotechnology is being used for these purposes and it is said to be working in test cases. There is also the question of transfer and conversion of the captured energy to prevent voltage loss before usage. Micro-inverters have been applied to convert DC into AC right at the modules.

Scientists are scratching their heads in many laboratories across the world and every now and again you will hear that this or that facility has come up with a novel idea to beat these problems. What now remains to be done is for an efficient concept to be commercialized at a cost that achieves parity with other energy sources such as nuclear.

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