Looking for a solar panel on the Gold Coast is much like looking for your first car – you need to do a lot of research and make a ton of enquiries before you make the final choice. In some ways, getting a solar panel is even more complicated than buying a car since it is a relatively new technology that only a few know about. Fortunately, there are guides like this article that can shed a light on things that you absolutely should know before purchasing a solar panel system.
Here, we will guide you through everything about solar panel efficiency. So, feel free to read on to learn more.
What is solar panel efficiency?
In a nutshell, solar panel efficiency is the measure of how much of the irradiation that falls on the surfaces of the panels gets converted into electricity. When you are in the market for a good solar panel system, make sure to consider the efficiency rates to maximise your system’s full potential. The modern average panel conversion efficiency rate is now pegged at 20%. But this rate is not universal for every household or facility that has solar panel systems.
There are two key factors that can affect solar panel efficiency namely, the photovoltaic (PV) cell efficiency and the total panel efficiency.
The solar panel’s cell structure and base silicon material determine the system’s overall photovoltaic cell efficiency. The cell efficiency is calculated through the fill factor (FF) or the maximum conversion efficiency of a PV cell at the optimum operating voltage and current. The base silicon material can come in P- or N-types. In today’s standards, N-type silicon cell bases report to have no losses from busbar/finger shading and runs at a very high-efficiency rate of 20-22%.
Panel efficiency, on the other hand, is measured through standard test conditions, including a cell temperature of 25°C, solar irradiance of 1000W.m2, and an air mass of 1.5. Aside from these conditions, other factors that can influence panel efficiency include cell type and cell interconnectivity. Even the colour of the panel’s protective back sheet can have an effect on its efficiency. Black back sheets, for instance, do not have as much total conversion efficiency as white back sheets do.
As far as back sheets are concerned, panels with interdigitated back contact (IBC cells) are found to have the highest solar panel efficiency levels in the market today. The heterojunction (HJT) cells come in second place when it comes to solar panel efficiency. The list is followed by half-cut and multi-busbar monocrystalline PERC cells, shingled cells, and 60-cell (4-5 busbar) mono cells.
All these specifications might sound very technical to you, especially if you are not familiar with the jargons relating to solar panels. Don’t worry. Here, we list some of the most efficient solar panels on the Gold Coast so you will have them as a reference.
1. SunPower Maxeon 3
SunPower panels are known for their efficiency and durability. The Maxeon 3, in particular, is a high-performing monocrystalline beast that runs at 400 Watts. Its high efficiency can be attributed to the 104 monocrystalline PERC cells that are integrated into the system, allowing it to generate more energy throughout the course of the system’s lifetime.
Several tests have shown that SunPower Maxeon 3 systems can cap at 22.6% efficiency during the first few years, but over time, it is said to produce up to 55% more. At a little over $500, you can now have a solar panel that is powerful, durable, and most importantly, efficient.
2. LG Neon R
This specific model from LG makes the perfect starting panel for residential use. It is a powerful, high-performing solar module that can eliminate electrodes on the front. This feature is designed to decrease shading, further increasing the potential for light absorption. LG Neon R models boast a 22% efficiency level which remains consistent all throughout the system’s lifespan.
3. FuturaSun FU M Zebra
FuturaSun’s FU M Zebra model is another high-efficiency contender that is chock-full of amazing features. One of the greatest features that this model has is its monocrystalline photovoltaic cells that are supported with IBC (interdigitated back contact) technology. This model screams high-end with its 120 laminated and framed IBC half-cut cells.
The electrical contacts are attached on the back which means that no ribbons are covering the cell, no shading at all. So, you get maximum light which in turn generates extremely high-efficiency rates levels at 21.3%. It might come at a high price point, but do consider that you are already getting IBC technology under a trusted FuturaSun brand.
4. Jinko Solar Tiger Pro 6RI3
The thing that cuts Jinko Solar’s Tiger Pro models from the rest of the panels that are mentioned thus far is that they utilise half-cell technology instead of going for the full-cell ones. Half-cell improves the panels’ shading tolerance; fewer shading means getting the full blast of sunlight, more sunlight means a higher potential for energy conversion.
It also features a multi-busbar technology that decreases the resistance lost over time. With the following factors in mind, it comes as no surprise that Jinko Solar’s Tiger Pro 6RI3 can reach up to 20.7% efficiency levels.
Have you decided on which solar panel is perfect for you? If you still haven’t, feel free to talk to the experts over at Key Solar.
Key Solar is one of the leading providers of solar panels on the Gold Coast. Working with us means that you have a team of specialists who can assess your needs and come up with a custom solution that fit your requirements. From consultation to solar panel installation, you can always count on us. For more information, contact Key Solar today.