In this blog, we'll be looking at differences in solar panels and discussing solar panel efficiency, maximizing roof potential, peak performance, solar panels & heat, and questions to ask solar installers during your consultation. Efficiency refers to the amount of power your solar panels can produce when the sun is shining on them, and it is worth considering prior to your purchase. Understanding the technology, knowing the terminology, and learning what kinds of questions to ask installers will make it easier for you to pick a panel that will generate more energy, more of the time, and provide you with the best long-term value.
Solar Panel Efficiency is Improving
Back around 2012, the most efficient panel on the market was able to capture 17.8 percent of the energy available to it. Today, the conventional panel has around 19 percent efficiency, while premium panels like the LG NeON® R and SunPower A-Series offers 23 percent efficiency. The high-efficiency panel can generate almost 20 percent more energy than the conventional panel. Over the decades, this difference becomes even more significant. This helps in reducing your family’s demand for energy derived from the burning of fossil fuels and creates more energy that you can sell back to your local utility provider. Solar manufacturers like LG provide you with this level of efficiency by investing heavily in research and development, manufacturing their own panels and monitoring their quality every step of the way.
Efficient Solar Panels Help You Maximize Your Roof’s Potential
In many cases available, unshaded roof space is the limiting factor for the size of the system you can install. In this case, efficiency is critical to determining the total output a system can generate. Efficient panels generate more energy, in less space. For example, LG’s 330W NeON® 2 is the same size as the conventional 270W panel, an increase of 22% more electricity generated per square foot.
Efficiency Means More Peak Performance Hours, Every Day
While high-efficiency panels produce more than their conventional counterparts during the time that the sun is at its highest in the sky, they also provide so much more than that. They offer a longer peak period than their counterparts and produce more energy when the sun is not at its peak (high-noon). High-efficiency panels will also produce more energy in sub-optimal weather conditions, like rain, snow or cloud cover. They are able to generate more power, more of the time.
Solar Panel Performance Warranty, Efficiency, and Long-Term Value
Not all solar panels, or warranties, are created equally. The amount of power a panel is expected to be able to produce now, and 25-year later can vary drastically. For example, LG's 365W NeON® R and Hyundai 350W HiS-S350TI are both rated to output approximately 98% of their nameplate rating during the first year of installation, but by year 25 LG panels are warrantied to produce 90.8% of their original power, while Hyundai is only producing 80% - that's a lot of missed power, meaning it may not fulfill all your power needs anymore!
Some Questions to Ask Your Solar Installer
When solar panels get hot their electricity production is impacted. While all solar panels suffer a decrease in production, the extent of the problem varies. High quality panels such as LG’s NeON R perform better in high temperatures due to their improved temperature coefficient.
- What panels are you recommending for my project, and why?
- Is your recommendation based on long term value or short term cost savings?
- Have you accounted for the unique conditions that may affect my roof (snow, shade, heat)? If so, how has that influenced the product you are recommending?
- Are you maximizing my available roof space?
- Are High Efficiency Panels also High Cost Panels?
The cheapest solution is not always the best value. Because of their ability to generate more power, more of the time, in smaller spaces, good quality panels can offer a significantly better long-term return on investment. Good quality panels will come with a warranty and performance guarantee, saving you money in the long run by not having to replace panels or deal with performance issues.
Want to discuss the best solar panels for your system? Schedule a FREE solar consultation with your New Mexico solar experts today!