November 11, 2020

How Efficient Are Solar Panels?

Solar Energy

Table of Contents:

One of the many considerations for homeowners who are thinking about installing a solar panel system on their home is the efficiency of each panel. Some dismiss the idea outright citing low solar panel efficiency. Therefore, they believe the investment isn’t worth it and move on.

However, this is misleading.

While it is generally true that modern solar panel efficiencies range between 15%-20% depending on the brand, this is more than enough to power your home. In fact, you will generate extra power that you’ll be able to sell back to your electric utility. Does that sound inefficient to you?

Think of it this way: If you had a rich relative with $1 million dollars and they were going to leave you between 15%-20% of their fortune as an inheritance, would you refuse to take it?  That would be between $150,000 and $200,000. I doubt many of us would turn our nose up at that.

The same principal applies to solar panel efficiency. Although it may appear to be inefficient, it really isn’t, and provides more than enough power to make the investment worth it.

So what does solar panel efficiency really mean and how is it determined?

Solar panel efficiency is determined by measuring how much electricity can be generated from the total amount of sunlight hitting the panel. There are three main factors that affect this measurement: the types of silicon or other materials used, the wiring/electrical schematics, and how much light the panel reflects instead of absorbs.

Every manufacturer takes a different approach when designing their solar panels and has different goals. As with any product, they try to strike the right balance between efficiency and affordability while providing the best overall performance. That’s why efficiencies vary.

solar panel efficiency

There are some solar panels on the market that boast a 22.8% efficiency rating and Popular Mechanics magazine reports there are some solar panels being tested that achieve a 40%-50% efficiency, but these are still in the experimental stage. Just remember, with added efficiency comes added cost, and homeowners will have to determine whether or not the higher price is worth it. In most cases, the answer is no.

At Shine, we only install Tier 1 solar panels that have an efficiency rating of 18.5%-19.6%. This provides our customers with the best balance between affordability and performance.  

Future Technological Improvements

Given that modern home solar panels can produce more than enough power for the purpose they serve, what do future solar panel developments hold in the years ahead?

Of course, greater efficiency and that means less space. The more efficient solar technology becomes, the less space it will require to provide the same amount of energy for your home. Having more space means home solar panel systems can be better positioned more discreetly and homes that were previously considered too shady or didn’t have good roof space will now be able to consider solar as an option.

Second, it will make home solar panel systems cheaper. This is because you won’t need as many panels to produce the same amount of power. And, because of its lower cost, even more homeowners will able to consider solar as an option.

Third, solar panels will become much thinner, allowing them to be seamlessly integrated into a building’s architecture or even into clothing without it being obvious they are present. For those who have held off installing solar for aesthetic reasons, this will no longer be an issue.

The future is bright for solar. We are already at a point where it makes solid financial sense to install a solar panel system on your home and it’s affordable. So, why wait? Call Shine today at 844-80-SHINE and let us show you how easy it is to virtually eliminate your electric bill and become energy independent.

Is solar a good fit for your home?

Find out now!

If you are considering going solar, the first step is to get a solar savings report to determine if solar is right for you and your home. Click the button below to get your solar savings report now!

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Nick Gorden

Nick Gorden is the Co-founder and CEO of Shine Solar. Nick’s energy, enthusiasm, and leadership is contagious and has contributed to attracting a talented and successful executive team. His time is focused on strategic growth, maintaining profitability and creating the optimal customer experience. Nick has started, managed and sold companies within the communications, mortgage lending, insurance and real estate industries resulting in tens of millions of dollars of market value to investors.

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