Articles tagged "panel efficiency"

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Photo of chainsaw.
What are half-cut solar panels?
Solar panel manufacturers are always competing against each other to squeeze the most power out of the same size solar panels. If you installed solar panels on your home 10 years ago, you probably had panels with efficiency in the mid-to-high teens (by percentage of light converted to electricity). Today, you can commonly find solar panels that convert more than 20% of the incoming light into electricity, with the current best residential panels hitting nearly 23% efficiency.
Photo of a home solar array.
What are the best solar panels for your home?
Are you a meticulous number cruncher who breaks out the spreadsheet whenever you’re planning a big product purchase? If you are, you might conclude after running the numbers that the all-in cost of a system based on budget solar panels is better than one based on premium panels. After all, high-end solar panels can cost roughly 50% more than budget panels, and the increase in electricity generation you get from premium panels might never pay back that initial difference in price.
Example of polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panels.
Which type of solar panel is best: monocrystalline or polycrystalline?
When it comes to buying solar panels for your home, there isn’t a lot that obviously differentiates one solar panel from other. If you buy a car, there’s dozens, if not hundreds of different features, styles, and add-on options that you can take into account. But with a solar panel, there’s really only a handful of characteristics that make one product different from another. One of these is the type of material the individual solar cells are made of.
Photo of a solar panel
Highest efficiency solar panels in 2020
When you’re shopping for solar panels, one of the things that manufacturers usually tout is efficiency. A high efficiency panel turns more sunlight into electricity than a lower efficiency panel, which means a solar homeowner can get more out of their limited rooftop space. So if efficiency is a good thing, that must mean that you should shop for the highest efficiency panels you can get, right? No, not always. If you’re in a situation where it’s important to maximize your power generation - like if you have a small roof - then efficiency could be very important to you.
An image of the night sky.
How do home solar panels work at night, on cloudy days, or under snow?
Solar panels work by collecting sunlight and magically turning it into electricity to power your home. So does that mean when the sun goes down your electricity turns off and you can’t watch Game of Thrones? Actually, no. Read more to learn about how electricity continues to work seemlessly in a solar home, even when it’s dark, cloudy, or your panels are covered in snow. First, an explanation. Sunlight is made up of elementary particles called photons.