Why do we need a solar panel system installation? Why is it necessary for property and market growth or any other reason? According to Statistica, we need solar panels, especially with the best quality product, for better green energy and to save lights and electricity. When we talk about solar panels, efficiency is a critical factor. But what is solar efficiency? What is the Importance of the efficiency of products and the installation?
Here are all the details and information about the solar panel system and installation.
Solar panel efficiency
A particular %tag of sunlight that a solar panel directly converts into electricity.
The higher the efficiency, the more energy can be generated from the same amount of sunlight, which helps in the improvements in photovoltaic technology have indeed led to significant advancements in the power output of solar panels.
Mainly, the efficiency is determined by two factors: PV cell (photovoltaic cell) efficiency and, based on cell layout, configuration and panel size, the total panel efficiency. The higher the panel size, the higher the efficiency, which creates a larger surface area to capture sunlight.
It is measured or calculated based on a Small Trade Certificate(STC) and a cell temperature of almost 25°C. IBC cells or Interdigitated back contact with heterojunction (HJT) cells, TOPcon cells, half-cut and multi-busbar monocrystalline PERC cells, shingled cells and finally, 60-cell (4-5 busbar) mono cells. 60-cell poly or multi-crystalline panels are generally the least efficient; equally, the lowest-cost panels are used to make solar panels the most efficient.
Now, when we talk about cell efficiency, which is equally essential for the solar system, likewise panel efficiency.
Solar cells are the fundamental units that convert sunlight into electricity. The efficiency of a solar cell is influenced by factors like its structure and the type of semiconductor material used. P-type and N-type silicon are commonly used semiconductor materials in solar cells. These materials are doped to create the necessary electrical properties for efficient energy conversion.
It is calculated by the Fill Factor (FF). FF Solar cells are the fundamental units that convert sunlight into electricity. The efficiency of a solar cell is influenced by factors like its structure and the type of semiconductor material used. P-type and N-type silicon are commonly used semiconductor materials in solar cells. These materials are doped to create the necessary electrical properties for efficient energy conversion.
It represents the inherent capability of a single cell to convert sunlight into electricity; panel efficiency considers the collective efficiency of all cells within the panel, accounting for factors that reduce the effective energy conversion area.
In panel efficiency, the cell design plays the most crucial role; significant features are silicon type, busbar configuration, junction and passivation type (PERC). Panels are built from Black contact cells (IBC), which are now the most efficient up to 23.8% due to the high purity N-type silicon substrate and no losses from busbar shading. Still, the only thing lacking here is this panel is being made from the latest N-Type TOPcon, and advanced heterojunction (HJT) cells have achieved efficiency levels well above 22%.
Many efficient and effective solar panels will have high performance in 2023.
Every panel has a different, unique feature and makes a difference in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. The solar panel industry has experienced significant advancements in efficiency and technology over the past two years. Various manufacturers have introduced new and improved solar panel designs using different cell technologies to achieve higher module conversion efficiencies. Here’s a breakdown of some of the notable developments:
Aiko Solar’s Black Hole Series:
Aiko Solar stands out with its Black Hole series panels, boasting an impressive 23.6% module conversion efficiency. The panels utilize a unique ABC (Back Contact) cell technology, which likely involves optimizing the electrical contacts on the rear side of the solar cells for enhanced efficiency.
Recom Tech’s Black Tiger Series:
Recom Tech’s Black Tiger series is another entrant in the high-efficiency solar panel market, claiming 23.6% efficiency. These panels use a new TOPcon Back-contact cell architecture, combining advanced cell designs with back-contact technology for improved performance.
LONGi Solar’s Hi-Mo 6 Scientists Series:
LONGi Solar has achieved 22.8% module efficiency with their Hi-Mo 6 Scientists series. These panels feature a hybrid IBC (Interdigitated Back-Contact) cell design known as HPBC, which optimizes the layout of contacts on the solar cell to minimize losses and improve efficiency.
Canadian Solar’s Hi Hero Module:
Canadian Solar’s Hi Hero module, using HJT (Heterojunction) cells, offers efficiency comparable to the renowned SunPower Maxeon series. This suggests that the HJT cell technology is maturing and becoming more competitive in the market.
Other Leading Manufacturers:
Jinko, REC, and Risen are noted for their N-type HJT and TOPcon cell panels, contributing to the industry-wide push for higher efficiency. Additionally, SPIC and Belinus have made advancements using IBC cell technology, helping to close the efficiency gap.
MBB Half-Cut N-type TOPCon Cells:
Manufacturers like JA Solar, Jolywood, and Qcells have incorporated multi-busbar (MBB) half-cut N-type TOPCon cells in their panels. This technology involves splitting solar cells into halves with enhanced electrical connectivity (busbars), reducing resistance and improving efficiency.
Overall, these developments showcase the solar industry’s ongoing efforts to increase the efficiency of solar panels through innovative cell architectures, contact optimization, and advanced materials. As solar technology continues to evolve, these advancements have the potential to make solar energy more accessible and cost-effective, driving further adoption and sustainability.
Importance of the efficiency of solar panels
We have been discussing efficiency for so long, so why does it matter? What is the Importance of the efficiency of panels? Here are all the details that we need to know.
It is an essential factor to consider when selecting solar panels; it’s not the only factor determining the overall quality and performance of the panels. Various other vital considerations play a significant role in determining the suitability/durability of solar panels for specific installations, which are specified below:
The efficiency of a solar panel is typically measured under ideal laboratory conditions. However, Panel performance can be impacted by temperature variation, variations, shading and dust. We should look for demonstrated good-performing panels that survive in any condition.
Reliability and Durability:
Solar panels are a long-term investment, and their durability over time is crucial. Panels should be taken from a reputable manufacturing company with a track record of producing reliable products that can survive/withstand many environmental factors like weather, temperature, UV rays and especially humidity.
Research the manufacturer’s reputation and history in the industry. Established and reputable manufacturers are more likely to produce high-quality panels that meet industry standards.
A strong warranty can provide peace of mind. Pay attention to the warranty duration and its terms and conditions, including product defects, power output degradation, and quality.
Service and Support:
Consider the manufacturer’s level of customer support and after-sales service. It can be necessary at any level, whether one needs some assistance with after-sales support or needs some assistance with maintenance or warranty claim issues.
Certifications and Standards:
Check if relevant industry standards and organizations have certified the solar panels. Certifications can ensure that the panels meet certain quality and safety requirements.
Local Regulations and Incentives:
Different regions might have specific regulations and incentives related to solar panels. Ensure the panels you choose comply with local regulations and are eligible for any available incentives.
The quality of the Solar installation process can significantly affect the overall performance of the solar system. Working with experienced and certified installers is crucial to ensure the panels are installed correctly and optimally.
While high-efficiency panels might offer better performance, the upfront cost should be balanced against the potential energy savings over the lifetime of the system
Environmental benefits of solar panels
What’s the result of these efficient solar panels? The environmental benefits of increased efficiency in solar panels. Let’s break down the key points:
Reduced Payback Time:
As solar panel efficiency increases, they can generate more electricity for the same amount of sunlight. This means that the energy generated by the solar panel will surpass the energy invested in its production (embodied energy) more quickly. As you mentioned, silicon-based solar panels repay the embodied energy within two years in many locations. Still, this payback time can be further reduced to less than 1.5 years with increased efficiency.
Improved Return on Investment (ROI):
When a solar panel system pays back its upfront costs sooner, it enhances the ROI. It is resulting in more significant long-term savings. This is a considerable factor for an individual and businesses looking to invest, especially in solar energy. The sooner you pay, the quicker it generates cost-free, healthy electricity.
More extended Lifetime Benefits:
Higher efficiency solar panels pay back their embodied energy faster and continue to generate more electricity efficiently over their average 20+ year lifespan. This leads to the conclusion that throughout their operational life, they will produce more energy and provide an even better return on initial investment.
Reduced payback times and increased energy generation efficiency also translate into lower environmental impacts. Solar panels are considered a clean energy source, but minimizing the energy required for their manufacture and maximizing the energy they produce over their lifetime helps reduce their overall environmental footprint.