The overall power output of your solar panels depends on several factors, including their efficiency.

A solar panel is made up of solar cells, usually in a 6 x 10 formation. Scientifically speaking, the efficiency of a solar cell is worked out by looking at the amount of solar energy the cell is exposed to and how much of this is converted into electrical energy. This is then expressed as a percentage.

The average solar panel efficiency is around 11-15%, which may sound very low, but currently the world record for efficiency is approximately 20%. And even with an efficiency rating of 11-15%, most people can easily create enough power for all their needs using solar panels that take up just a portion of their roof space.

If one type of solar panel has a higher efficiency rating than another type, you probably won’t need to buy as many of them (or use as much surface area) to power your house or business.

No, it isn’t. While solar panel efficiency is an important factor to consider when looking at installing solar panels, other important factors include the:

  • price of the panels
  • available space on your roof

You may find a solar panel that is, say, 1-5% more efficient than another panel but costs almost twice as much. In this case, if you have ample space on your roof for the panels, efficiency is unlikely to be the deciding factor in what solar panels you purchase.

In other words, instead of asking ‘Which solar panels the most efficient?’, you’re better off asking ‘Which panels are the best value for money?

It’s important not to get too caught up in solar panel efficiency, as there are several other factors that affect the overall power output of panels—which, let’s face it, is the main concern for home- and business-owners trying to cover their power usage and minimise their bills.

Most of the factors that affect the overall power output of solar panels have to do with available light. These include:

  • the size of the panels
  • the total number of panels
  • whether there is dust on the panels (this reduces the amount of light)
  • where the panels are placed on your roof (their orientation)
  • the angle of your roof structure (often called the ‘pitch’ or ‘tilt’ of your roof)
  • how hot the panels get (solar panels love sun, but like the rest of us they don’t like too much, and they appreciate a breeze. If they get too hot their efficiency can actually decrease)
  • shade (obviously, shade will decrease power production. In fact, some solar panel systems will shut down if even one panel is in shade—akin to one fairy light in a string not working and causing the rest of the section to fail)

Contact Goodhew Electrical and Solar

For more information about solar panel efficiency, contact us at Goodhew Electrical and Solar. If you already have a system, we’d be happy to talk to you about its efficiency and your options if you wish to change or upgrade. Or, if you are looking to install a solar power system for the first time, we can run you through our superior range of products.

We also offer maintenance packages on all solar power systems, whether they have been installed by us or not. We’ve been servicing solar power systems for years, and we’re known for our expertise and first-class customer service.

If you have any questions about your existing system, are looking to expand or install a new system, call us on (07) 3286 1422 or email us at sales@goodhewsolar.com.au.