Solar panels can help you save money on your energy costs while also producing clean, ecologically friendly electricity. What makes them efficient, though? The quality of photovoltaic (PV) cells determines the efficiency of photovoltaic solar panels.
The percentage of solar energy shining on a solar panel that is converted into usable power is the conversion efficiency of a PV cell. The more effective a solar panel is, the more energy it can produce per unit of light striking the cell, which means it can meet your energy needs with less surface area.
The photovoltaic cells that make up a solar panel’s efficiency are based on energy from sunlight that is turned into electricity through the photovoltaic process. A solar panel that is efficient provides more electricity while taking up less area. The efficiency of a cell can be improved by reducing the amount of light reflected away from its surface.
The intensity of the sun, the quantity of cloud cover, and heat build-up, which affects the conductivity of the semiconductors in the PV cells, are all factors that affect the average efficiency of solar panels.
Solar panels deteriorate with time, resulting in less electricity being produced from the same quantity of sunlight. Weather-related wear and tear are among the causes of solar panel efficiency decline. Solar panels have a 30-year average useful life.
Solar panels and their production decline at a rate of about 0.5 percent every year, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL): a 20-year-old panel will produce roughly 90% of the electricity it produced in its first year.
Solar panels generate electricity only when the sun is shining. Because there is less direct sunshine in the winter than in the summer, solar panels generate less electricity during the colder months. Solar panels are more efficient in the summer, but they can still create enough energy to heat your home in the winter.
Combining solar panels with battery-based energy storage systems is one approach to ensure this. This allows you to store excess solar energy and use it to power your home at night or on a wet day.
Want to learn more about solar panels? Here’s a blog on how long batteries can store solar energy.