How Efficient Are Commercial Solar Panels?

solar panels

If you’re searching for commercial solar panels for your business then you should definitely do some research on how to compare the metrics measuring efficiency that different manufacturers use. Read on below to find out the basics of what you need to know.


Commercial solar panel efficiency

One metric for efficiency is the measurement of your commercial solar panels’ ability to convert sunlight into viable electricity that can be used in your business activities. Different brands can effectively be compared by measuring which panel is likely to produce the highest amount of electricity under the same sunlight in the same amount of time; the more efficient design will produce more electricity. The efficiency of your chosen design is influenced by the cell design in its composition, as well as the other components and configuration used.

For a simple example of how different efficiency ratings can impact energy production consider that if you had two commercial solar panels of the same size and one had a higher rating say 21% whilst the other was rated at 14% then you can expect the design with the higher rating to produce around 50% more electricity than the more efficient panel. A more efficient design will maximize energy and increase savings. More efficient designs are likely to have a larger upfront cost but will save buyers and businesses money in the long run.


How efficiently do they get?

Usually, systems sit around 15% to 20% efficiency ratings, although there are brands and models which are less or more efficient. Top-quality designs can be more than 23% efficient but the majority of photovoltaic designs will not exceed 20%. When looking at purchasing a photovoltaic system you should consider if maximum production or maximum offset is important to you. If you want your system to produce optimal levels of electricity then you’ll need a lot of roof space, if you want to get maximum production but don’t have much roof space then efficiency is very important as this will mean you get more electricity with less.


Consider cost versus value

Highly efficient systems tend to be more expensive upfront than less efficient alternatives. You should think about whether or not the higher upfront cost is worth it for the increased savings you’ll see over the life of the unit. For many businesses, the increased electricity production means limited utility costs and in some cases can even generate income from offsets this can make the higher price for a premium unit seem justified.


What makes them more efficient?

two men installing solar panels

There are a number of important factors that can impact on how efficient a unit is. At its simplest, their efficiency is determined by the amount of sunshine being converted into electricity. This conversion rate is impacted by factors such as the type of material used in the design, is it monocrystalline silicone, polycrystalline silicon or cadmium telluride for instance? The wiring used to transfer and save the electricity can also impact on the unit’s efficiency. Additionally, the reflectiveness of the design can impact efficiency; if sunlight is bouncing off the unit then this can cause the efficiency to be lowered.

It’s important to carefully compare different unit options and consider the materials and design used as this can have a big impact on how effective the system is and can add up over time in terms of cost savings. A good system can be a great choice for businesses as it can dramatically reduce or even eliminate costs from utility suppliers. It’s well worth looking into and weighing your needs against potential costs.