Solar energy is one of the cleanest ways to power our homes and businesses. But how efficient is it? Most solar panels are anywhere between 15% to 20% efficient. That may not sound like a lot, but modern solar panels can easily cover the energy requirements of most homes and businesses. However, there are factors that can impact the efficiency of your solar panels and determine how much energy is produced.
Solar energy uses sunlight to produce energy. Sunlight is made up of photons which all have various wavelengths, including ultraviolet, visible light, and infrared. When the light hits your solar panels, some photons are reflected while others pass through the panels. Additionally, some of the photons that are absorbed are turned into heat, while the rest will produce an electric current.
Positioning and angles
How your solar panels are positioned and angled will have a bigger impact than you think. They have to be installed just right in order to capture the maximum amount of sunlight. The more sunlight your solar panels receive, the more energy they can produce.
Solar panels work best at lower temperatures. Why? Because high temperatures will increase the electrical current but decrease the voltage. Plus, extreme temperatures can damage the cells in your panels, shortening their lifespan.
Pitch of roof
If your solar panels are installed on your roof, then the pitch of your roof will impact its efficiency. This goes back to the positioning and angles we discussed earlier. After all, the pitch of your roof will alter the position and angle of your solar panels.
If sunlight is reflected off of your solar panels, then they won’t be able to absorb it. How much light is reflected will depend on the material of your solar panels. However, you can use anti-reflection coatings and textured surfaces to reduce reflection as much as possible.