What Does Solar Panel Efficiency Mean?

If you are investing in a solar system for your home or business, you want to make sure that every dollar you spend is put to good use. There would be nothing worse than shelling out thousands of dollars for a solar system only to find out that it isn’t sufficient enough to power your home or building. This is where solar panel efficiency comes into play. 


What is solar panel efficiency, and why does it matter? This guide will break down everything you need to know about this important metric. 

What Is Solar Panel Efficiency? 


Before taking a closer look at how to plan an efficient solar system, it’s important to know what is being measured with solar panel efficiency. Measuring efficiency might be complex, but understanding how it works doesn’t have to be. Solar panel efficiency is nothing more than a way to measure how much sunlight hits the panels compared to how much of that energy is usable.


When you’re shopping for panels for a new solar system, you are likely to see panels that are marketed as high-efficiency or with certain percentages. This simply means that the panel is able to convert more of your solar energy into tangible electricity that your home can actually use.  


Don’t be fooled by the advertising, though. Some panels will share that they are high-efficiency without sharing their efficiency rating. Always make sure to read the fine print so that you know exactly what you’ll be getting from a particular panel. This can help you determine if your system will be efficient enough to power your entire home or business. 

Efficiency of Your Solar Panels


Most homeowners and business owners who have invested in solar panels are surprised to learn that their panels may not be as efficient as they thought. While most systems can manufacture enough energy to power the home throughout the day and night, they don’t actually produce a 100 percent efficiency rating. Instead, most panels will have an average energy efficiency rating between 15 and 20 percent. 


Research is underway to make solar panels even more energy-efficient than they currently are. A lot of great strides have been made to meet the energy requirements of the standard home or business. In fact, some researchers have been able to produce panels that measure up to 40 percent efficiency. 


Solar panel efficiency is particularly important for those who have more limited space. If your home or business has a smaller roof, you need panels that are going to be as efficient as possible so that you can power your home with fewer panels. More efficient solar panels are often more expensive, but you will need fewer panels to have the same impact. 


On the other hand, homeowners and business owners with large roof spaces may be able to use less efficient panels that are less expensive. They will need to purchase more panels to yield the same results, but it could be more cost-effective to build their system this way. 

Factors That Impact Solar Panel Efficiency


The truth is that not all panels are created equally. Efficiency is often determined by a number of factors, so be sure to do your homework before you invest in a particular set of solar panels. For example, you need to keep in mind the type of solar panel, how it’s constructed, and the outdoor conditions of your home or business. All three of these factors combine to create the efficiency of your solar panels. 


For example, the type of solar cell plays a major role in determining how efficient a panel will be. If you want a high-efficiency panel, then you should consider looking for a monocrystalline panel. These come in several different types, but they all tend to be more efficient than other cells, such as polycrystalline or thin-film. 


Even the wiring of your solar panels will affect how efficiently your panels will be able to convert solar energy into electricity. It is responsible for moving the power from the cells to the solar inverter, and this is how your home ultimately gets powered. The solar inverter is designed to convert DC energy to AC energy that can be used by your home or business. 

Getting the Right Solar Panel Efficiency


Choosing the right solar panels for your home can be a bit tricky. There are a lot of factors that can affect how efficient your system is going to be. Before you make any decisions about what your home needs when it comes to solar in Manitoba, you really should contact the experts over at Powertec Solar. We can help you figure out which panels are the right fit for your energy needs. Give us a call today to learn more!