Solar Panel Efficiency

The cost of solar systems installation in Arizona continues to fall. The federal government has stimulated the growth of solar power through multiple commercial and residential solar tax incentives.

As a homeowner, the installation of solar panels to power your home offers an array of benefits. You’ll enjoy cheaper, reliable and cleaner energy.  Your residential solar system frees you from dependence on the expensive grid power.

When designing and installing your solar power system, you need to consult an experienced solar installer to get the best equipment. Solar panel efficiency is one of the major factors to consider during the installation. 

At Total Solutions, our team of solar installation experts is at hand to explain every detail of the project and ensure you get high-efficiency modules to maximize the benefits of solar power.

What Is Solar Panel Efficiency And Why Does It Matter?

Solar panel efficiency is best understood as the ratio of energy output from the solar cell to input energy from the sun. It is a measure of the amount of the sun’s energy a particular solar panel can convert into usable electricity.

Manufacturers calculate this by measuring the electrical current generated once sun’s rays hit a solar cell. This is the current then transferred through the wiring and busbars where conversion into AC (alternating current) energy occurs. At your home’s Main Panel, you’ll receive electricity in AC.

When buying a solar panel, you’ll find the efficiency levels provided for every product. For instance, a solar module with 20% efficiency means it can convert 20 percent of the sunshine hitting it into electricity. Before these products go to market, they have to undergo efficiency testing at Standard Test Conditions (STC). This standard seeks to determine a solar panel’s open-circuit voltage, temperature coefficient, and maximum power output. The tests fall under the IEC 61215 solar panel performance metrics testing.

Some factors that can affect a solar panel’s efficiency include:

  1. Reflection: Reflection of light away from a solar panel reduces efficiency
  2. Temperatures: Higher temperatures can reduce output and lower solar panels’ efficiency
  3. Proper positioning and angle of installation
  4. Panel design and construction (The cell’s composition, electrical configuration, surrounding components)
  5. Pitch of the roof: The slope of the roof impacts the amount of sunlight hitting the solar panel.
  6. Shade: Any shaded area on a solar panel impacts the output of the module.

Choosing High-Efficiency Solar Panels

Over the past decade, the efficiency of residential solar panels has continued to rise consistently. Today, most solar panels range between 15% and 20% efficient. Higher efficiency solar panels can exceed 22% efficiency, which translates to more power for your home and increased savings on electricity.

The most efficient solar panels on the market today are:

  • Monocrystalline solar panels
  • Polycrystalline solar panels
  • Thin-film solar panels

Monocrystalline solar panels have efficiency levels of above 20%. Polycrystalline solar panels, on the other hand, come in at above 15% efficiency and thin-film solar panels at 7-10%. While monocrystalline solar panels boast higher efficiency and lifespan, they are more costly. Some solar panels like the Concentrated PV Cell (CVP and HCVP) have efficiency levels of above 40%, but these are expensive systems that are not yet ready for the mass market.

Are you planning to install solar panels for your home in Arizona? Contact us today for professional consultations and a free quote. Our team at Total Solutions is highly experienced in all solar modules on the market, and we shall help you make the best choice for your


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