Solar panels are great ways to lower your carbon footprint and really make the most out of our wonderful planet’s natural resources. They’re even better when you maximize the efficiency of solar panels… but how do you do that?
Research solar panel models for optimal performance
Solar panels are made by a whole range of solar companies and manufacturers. As a result, different models of solar panels have different solar panel efficiency levels and solar panel performance levels.
Solar panels are made of things called photovoltaic cells that are designed to convert solar energy input (the sun’s energy) into electricity output. Unfortunately, though, solar panels are unable to transform 100% of the solar energy that they absorb into electricity output. The more efficient solar panels, however, are those which get as close to 100% as possible. A solar panel’s efficiency and how much money you can save depends on what percentage of the energy they receive is transferred into electrical energy.
The most common solar panel efficiency is 15% to 20%. The more expensive solar panels, with more modern solar cells, are likely to have higher solar panel efficiency – but they’ll also have a hefty price tag.
As of 2020, the most efficient solar panels were manufactured by LG and Sunpower, and these solar panels reached a wonderful efficiency of 22%.
Use an energy management software with your solar panels says Skylamp Solar
According to Skylamp Solar once you’ve installed solar panels, you can actually monitor what it is that they’re doing. Energy management software will show you your solar panel energy generation levels and monitor your solar panel efficiency.
This will help you to keep your energy independence by allowing you to check when there are any issues or errors within your solar panels. You’ll be able to deduce whether they need cleaning, whether they’re faulty or anything else simply by looking at your solar energy system analytics.
Opt for solar panels with high concentrated photovoltaic cells
While ordinary solar panels have a peak efficiency of around 22%, solar panels that have CPV (high concentrated photovoltaic cells) in them have a peak efficiency of 46%. That’s double the solar panel efficiency!
These cells focus the sun’s energy onto extremely high quality and high efficiency solar cells, allowing the solar panel to access more of the solar power. A solar panel with more solar power is a more effective one!
Unfortunately, because of the technology required in these efficient solar panels, they are not cheap. These sorts of solar panels can actually cost up to quadruple the price of your average solar panel.
Make sure you regularly clean your solar panels
Solar panels rely on being able to absorb the solar energy in order to process it. When they’re covered in rain water, dirt, leaves, bird poo (pigeon proofing recommended) – they can’t do this. As a result, you end up with solar energy systems that simply aren’t working anywhere near the peak efficiency of solar panels.
To clean your solar panels, you should use a soft rag or biodegradable soap, and a very long mop or soft brush! Cleaning, on average, should be done at least once a year. You can always hire a solar panel expert to help if you’re unsure.
Try to avoid installing solar panels out of direct sunlight
Solar panels work best when they are in direct sunlight and able to generate electricity output from the solar power. And yet, far too many people are installing solar panels in the shade. Where on your property is the best place for installing solar panels depends on what foliage is nearby, what buildings stand beside your home, and the way in which they provide shade. Shaded cells are much less likely to reach the peak solar panel efficiency.
This might also mean that you need to cut away trees or foliage in order to improve your solar panel efficiency, but only if there’s no other location for your solar panel to sit. Some people recommend PV solar panel installation in the summer so that you can see exactly where the shade from nearby trees sits in relation to your property. Plus, then you’ll get the best benefits out of your solar panel straight away! Both things to consider when looking into a solar system.
Make sure your solar panels are installed properly
Solar panels are complicated pieces of technology, and as a result, a solar panel installation can be quite difficult. It’s therefore always a good idea to get your solar panels installed properly and by a professional. By paying someone to install solar panels for you, you’re less likely to have to worry about breaking them, or about them being installed poorly. Generally, if your solar panel system has been installed professionally, at the proper angle, you won’t need to do much to improve solar panel efficiency.
A renewable energy expert will be able to determine where on your property is the best place to put your new solar panel system to best improve solar panel efficiency and to develop as much renewable energy as possible and hopefully gain your energy independence.
Use solar panels with grade A monocrystalline cells
Monocrystalline solar panels are the highest quality solar panels out there, typically. They will, of course, cost more, but they are more efficient. They will produce more electricity from solar power, and provide you with more renewable energy, purely because they are cut from a single source of silicon cells. Alternatively, cheaper solar panels (polycrystalline panels) tend to be cut from multiple silicon sources and are thus less efficient.
Apply anti-reflection coatings on solar panels
Anti-reflection solar panels are a very good way to get your solar panels to absorb more rays. This should be done prior to solar panel installation. Without the coating, more than 30% of light that reaches solar panels tends to be reflected away.
In high quality solar panels, the photovoltaic cells already have this coating. You can provide your own solar panels with this level of efficiency by adding it after the fact.
Install batteries to store solar energy from your solar panels
If you want to be energy independent, it’s worth installing backup batteries to store the spare energy as and when it arrives. If there’s a sunny week in the summer and you’ve hardly been in, why leave that energy to waste? Store it and use it later!
This will help to make your solar panel installation more cost effective without necessarily altering your solar panel output or solar panel’s efficiency.