How Efficient Are Solar Panels?

The energy transition is a global reality, and the use of solar panels for photovoltaic self-consumption or to generate electricity for grid sale, all from solar energy, will be critical in this transition.

Assume you are considering installing a photovoltaic self-consumption installation with solar panels for light to save money on your home or business. In fact, taking advantage of that space that we do not use (the roof) to generate electricity with solar energy and save on the electricity bill is one of the most significant benefits of solar energy.

However, you have realized that you do not have a lot of free space on your house’s roof, or you want to install the highest possible power to optimize the energy generation of the surface of your roof, or you simply want them to be high-quality solar panels to avoid future problems.

In those cases, you must seek out the most efficient solar panels on the market in order to make the most of the available space on your roof, house, or ship. As a result, you must always be aware of which solar panels are the most efficient.

Efficiency of Solar Panel:

You should be aware that, of all the different types of solar panels available, those with the highest efficiency and performance are those that use monocrystalline technology or are based on it.

That is, you will be able to install more power on your roof in the same amount of space as if you had used less efficient solar panels. Finally, it is necessary to determine how many Watts per square meter these solar panels have.

The more watts per square meter, the higher the efficiency.

Furthermore, it is usually fulfilled that the solar panels with the highest efficiency are also the highest quality available. At the moment, the LG Neon solar panels and the SunPower MAX3, MAX2, and P19 would be the clear winners. But we’ll find out later.

Today, it is very common, if not desirable, to find ourselves in the midst of projects, tenders, and offers. They refer to solar panels with an efficiency of 16-17 percent as high-efficiency panels, which is incorrect.

A solar panel’s efficiency of 16-17 percent is standard; this does not imply that it is neither good nor bad; it is simply standard. But it is not, without a doubt, efficient.

Solar panels with a high efficiency of 19% can be considered.

It is also true that many articles about the efficiency of solar panels can be found on the internet nowadays, but after reviewing many of them, we have to say that the majority of them are incorrect.

Some are out of date, and many others are simply false in order to gain a commercial advantage.

Because of the outdated articles, you must understand that solar cells are progressively improving their efficiency year after year, so solar panels of efficiency X will most likely improve in 1 or 2 years. As a result, the best solar panel lists should be updated at least once a year.

The fake items, on the other hand, fall off under their own weight. You’ll recognize them because they usually talk about Chinese brands, show prices, and don’t provide any documentation proving that the efficiency is real and superior to other panels. It’s pure commercial misinformation with no rigor.

Simple trick: If you want to know how to distinguish between efficient and inefficient solar panels, look at both the power and the square meters of the solar panel. Watts per panel / surface = efficiency. The greater the number, the more efficient it is.

So, in this article, we’ll show you the top ten most efficient solar panels currently available on the market.

Solar Panel Technologies and Efficiency:

As you may be aware, there are two main technologies in the photovoltaic industry: Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline. Good, however within Monocrystalline, there are a variety of technologies, some common, such as PERC panels and PERT and some unique, like as Panasonic’s HIT and SunPower’s IBC (Maxeon).

To view a REAL graph of technologies and their efficiency, we’ve included a report from EnergyTrend from 2020 that illustrates precisely that a comparison of the different types of technology and their efficiencies:

Graph with solar cell efficiencies and panel powers
Graph displaying the efficiency of solar cells and the power of solar panels based on the technology used.

To explain the comparative efficiency graph a little further:

  • Panel power is shown on the left Y axis. That is, depending on their technology, how much power each of the solar panels can produce.
  • The types of technology are depicted on the X-axis (bottom). They are P-Multi (Polycrystalline), P-Mono (Monocrystalline), and N-Mono, in that order (High purity Monocrystalline).
  • The cell efficiency in each case is shown on the Y axis on the right. Keep in mind that cell efficiency, not panel efficiency, is important (always a little less).
  • The green bars represent the standard power of that technology as well as its efficiency. For example, the standard for the P-Mono PERC (PERC Technology) is 300W with a cell (not panel) efficiency of 21.4 percent.

As you can see, the most efficient solar panels are those that incorporate HIT and IBC monocrystalline technologies, both of which use type N silicon. That is, Panasonic and SunPower are fundamentally different.

Panels that use Mono PERC technology with P-type silicon would be a step forward.

Finally, the least efficient solar panels are those that employ Multi (Polycrystalline) technology, which also employs P-type silicon.

As a subheading, mention that panels made with type N silicon are of much higher quality than the rest, because this type of silicon is the purest available in the photovoltaic industry. Type P silicon, on the other hand, is a type of silicon with some impurities, and as a result, among other factors, it never achieves the efficiencies of a type N silicon solar panel.

When it comes to panel efficiency, this is the reality of the photovoltaic industry.

The following are the 10 most efficient solar panels available on the photovoltaic market:

Once the issue of the efficiencies of each technology has been resolved, we present a list of solar panels with the highest efficiency in the current photovoltaic sector.

They are as follows:

SPR-X22-370 (Now MAX3-400 )SunPower22.6%400W1,690 x 1,046 mm
SPR-X22-360 (Now MAX3-390 )SunPower22.1%390W1,690 x 1,046 mm
FU360M ZebraFuture21.28%350W1,685 x 1,004 mm
MAX3-370SunPower20.9%370W1,690 x 1,046 mm
 RLG360Q1C-A5LG Neon20.8%360W1,700 x 1,016 mm
FU350M ZebraFuture20.69%350W1,685 x 1,004 mm
LG355Q1C-A5LG20.6%355W1,700 x 1,016 mm
SunForte PM096B00AUO20.6%335W1,559 x 1,046 mm
MAX2-360SunPower20.4%360W1,690 x 1,046 mm
SunForte PM096B00AUO20.3%330W1,559 x 1,046 mm
MAX3-350SunPower19.8%327W1,690 x 1,046 mm
NQ-R256ASHARP19.8%256W1,318 x 980 mm
VBHN330SJ53Panasonic19.7%330W1,590 x 1,053 mm
VBHN325SJ53Panasonic19.4%325W1,590 x 1,053 mm
SPR-P19-400SunPower19.4%400W2,067 x 998 mm

This is an updated version for August 2021 that includes the highest efficiency solar panels available in the current photovoltaic market.

All of them are verifiable and verifiable, simply search on each manufacturer’s website for the technical sheet of each of these panels and see where they indicate the efficiency of each of these models. Then it is up to each individual to decide whether the cost of solar panels compensates for the difference in efficiency when compared to less efficient alternatives. We argue that if it compensates because the performance over the next 25 to 30 years will be higher, and then there are cases where there is limited space and it is necessary to maximize the installed power that there is no choice but to use these “super panels.”

We did not discuss bifacial solar panels in this article for one reason:

Because it is a newly implanted panel, there is no real data on how much more it produces on its back side. In fact, knowing is completely unpredictable.

The aforementioned current bifacial panels, on the other hand, have a number of issues with shadows cast on the back of the cell by panel components such as the junction box, cables, and even the panel frames, which can cause hot spots in the long run.

But first, let’s take a closer look at the market’s two efficiency leaders, the LG solar panels and the SunPower ones.

So far, the article for today, which will be updated as new features emerge.

Because no one is perfect, if you know of any other models of solar panels available in ireland that are more efficient than those shown, please contact us and we will analyze them to add them to the list.

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