In this modern world, electricity has become a basic entity. It is very tough for us to live a single day without electricity. In the starting days, electricity was produced using fossil fuels, and then we advanced to hydropower plants. But both these sources are depleting and are becoming less sufficient for our needs. So the world has started thinking about solar energy. According to Solar Repair Fresno solar energy is used to generate electricity via solar panels.
What are Solar Panels?
Solar panels are blackened sheets on which multiple photovoltaic cells are connected. These photovoltaic cells are connected in an array and convert solar energy into electrical energy. On a single solar panel, there are millions of photovoltaic cells.
Émilie du Châtelet said that “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed but can be converted from one form into another.” So if we want to generate electrical energy, we have to use some different forms of energy, e.g., Fossil fuel, potential energy, etc. Solar panels use solar energy to generate electricity.
Solar panels are made up of semiconductors. The most commonly used semiconductors are silicon, germanium, etc. When solar energy in the form of “Photon” falls on photovoltaic cells, the electrons present in the silicon atom’s outermost shell move out and begin to move in the free-electron poll. All the photovoltaic cells are connected in a solar panel, so all the electrons begin to move throughout the panel.
As we know, moving electrons are called electricity, so current is produced in such away. The current generated by solar panels is DC type. But we have to use a converter to convert it into AC type for normal use.
The efficiency of Solar Panels:
The term efficiency describes the working ability of that substance. Solar panels’ efficiency describes how much electricity it can produce using a particular amount of solar energy. In simple words, how much electricity can be produced from solar energy is called its efficiency. It is the measurement of the effectiveness of a solar panel. Not all the energy coming from the sun can be converted to electricity.
If we are using two solar panels of the same size but different companies, we will see a difference in both the panels’ output. It is because some panels are made from a better quality semiconductor than the other. But there is no panel discovered till now with an efficiency of 25%.
Maximum Efficiency discovered till now:
It is said that scientists have discovered such solar cells that have an efficiency of almost 50%. But in our markets, there is no solar panel available with an efficiency above 25%. The maximum efficiency solar panel used by consumers is the one with 22.5% efficiency. Other solar panels’ efficiency ranges between 14% to 22.5% depending upon the material and wiring used.
Top Companies with maximum efficiency:
According to a 2019 survey report, the following are the companies that provide maximum efficiency to their consumers:
- SunPower with 22.8% efficiency.
- LG with 21.9% efficiency.
- CSUN with 21.1% efficiency.
- Solaria with 20.6% efficiency.
What determines the efficiency of a solar panel?
There are a lot of factors that alter the efficiency of a solar panel. Its effectiveness depends upon the material used, type of wiring, etc. All these factors are explained below:
The main factor affecting the efficiency of the solar panels is their material. The most commonly used materials are silicon, cadmium telluride, germanium, etc. Each of these materials has its own ability to convert solar photons into electricity.
Solar panels work at their maximum efficiency in cold environments. A hot environment alters the output of solar voltaic cells and thus have less efficiency. The optimum temperature is considered around 25°C.
Another factor affecting its efficiency is the inverter’s effectiveness that converts the DC produced by the voltaic cells into AC.
Reflection of sun rays away from solar panels alters the effectiveness of the system. The use of glass on solar panels reduce such losses but not to a greater extent.
Scientists are trying hard to make the efficiency of the solar panels system to a maximum level. But the material used and temperature makes it difficult for them to reach the maximum efficiency level. However, it is said that some scientists have become successful in reaching 44.5% efficiency, but still, it’s not in the market for consumer use. The average efficiency of different solar panels in the market lies between 14% to 25%.