Are you considering adopting solar energy as a means of greening your lifestyle and reducing your carbon footprint? When it comes to selecting solar panels for your solar energy system, there are a lot of aspects to take into consideration.
Size (in Watts), physical dimensions, brand, durability / lifetime (or warranty duration) and any certifications that a solar panel may have all influence the price of a solar panel to some extent. Choosing a solar panel solely on the basis of price is not a wise decision because it may not be suitable for the location in which you wish to install it, it may not have the necessary certifications to qualify for government rebates, and it may not have the warranty required for a reasonable return on your investment.
Durability, longevity, and warranty are all important considerations.
For a variety of reasons, the durability or long-term performance of a solar panel is critical. First and foremost, if a solar panel has a 10-year warranty and is installed in a grid-connected system, one would expect the solar panel to generate enough electricity to pay for itself within 10 years of installation.
Additionally, if the solar panel is gonna be utilized in a mission-critical system, you should avoid installing solar panels that aren’t as durable as the rest of the system. Solar panels from reputable manufacturers will be covered by a warranty for a duration of 25 years.
Dimensions and wattage of solar panels
Because solar panels are typically priced (and compared) in dollars per Watt, the size of the solar panel in terms of Watts will have a direct impact on the pricing.
In solar energy, watts are related to the output of each panel; for example, a 100 Watt panel under ideal conditions will create 100 Watts of electricity each hour, while a 200 Watt panel under optimum conditions will generate 200 Watts each hour. As a result, expect to pay twice the price for the 200-watt panel as compared to the 100-watt panel, on average.
It is also important to note that the physical size of a panel is affected by the output of the panel; for example, a 200 Watt panel will be larger in size than a 100 Watt panel.
The size of the solar panel is also determined by the sort of solar cells that were utilized in its manufacture. The most important thing to consider is whether your system has enough Watts to power your appliances as a whole, as well as if the solar panels will physically fit in the space where you intend to install them.
Efficiency of Solar-Power Systems
Solar panel efficiency, or how successful a panel is at converting sunlight to energy, is hotly debated, but the important thing to understand is that a 100 watt solar panel will produce 100 watts regardless of the efficiency rating assigned to it.
Solar Cells of Various Types
Solar cells are classified into three categories.
Monocrystalline silicon is a type of silicon that has a single crystal structure.
The most efficient, as well as the one that produces the smallest solar cells and, thus, the smallest solar panels.
Silicon that is polycrystalline (or multicrystalline) in nature
Produces the next most efficient type of cells, but the panels produced by this technology are larger than their monocrystalline counterparts in terms of equal wattage.
Silicon that is amorphous (or thin-film) in nature
Produces the least amount of silicon while simultaneously being the least efficient at producing solar cells. The thin film system requires a greater amount of space than the other two systems, but it has the advantage of being flexible, allowing it to be utilized on curved or uneven surfaces that solid panels are unable to accommodate.
Suitability of Solar-Power Systems
Unlike amorphous silicon (thin-film), monocrystalline and multicrystalline silicon perform best in bright, cool environments, but amorphous silicon (thin-film) is more efficient at higher temperatures.
We normally prefer monocrystalline or multicrystalline panels for big unprotected roofs, and amorphous panels for roofs that receive only partial protection from the elements.
Solar panels in complete shade will only generate a small fraction of their quoted capacity, regardless of the technology currently in use; hence, the “shade-tolerant” features that you may see promoted can be somewhat misleading.