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Measuring Solar Panel Efficiency

Obtaining the most efficient solar panels for your project’s photovoltaic system requires an adept understanding of the various efficiency metrics used by different manufacturers. Efficiency is expressed as a percentage that quantifies a solar panel’s ability to successfully convert sunlight into usable electricity. Unfortunately, you can’t always rely on third-party suppliers and installers to sell you the most efficient solar panels because you don’t know what deals have been made with manufacturers behind the scenes.

Consulting an experienced roofing lawyer in Tennessee can help connect you with a network of trusted construction industry professionals who understand the nuances of solar panel technology. If your firm plans to incorporate solar roofing on your next project, you don’t want to waste your budget on inefficient technology, so perform extensive due diligence to discover the best solar panels for your project.

Comparing Efficiency Metrics for Different Solar Panels

The easiest method of comparing efficiency metrics for solar panels involves a direct comparison. By installing two solar panels with different efficiency ratings in an area with the exact same amount of exposure to sunlight for equal durations, you can determine the more efficient panel.

In the conditions described above, if you were to measure two physically identical solar panels, one with a 21 percent efficiency rating and the other with a 14 percent efficiency rating, the panel with the 21 percent efficiency would produce 50 percent more kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity than the 14 percent efficient panel.

Purchasing High-Efficiency Solar Panels

Efficiency is often the most important benchmark when considering the quality of a solar panel. Solar panel efficiency is measured by the ability to convert sunlight into electricity at a high supply rate and low cost. While the highest efficiency rating for commercially available solar panels on the market today reach 22.5 percent, most panels have efficiency ratings between 15 and 17 percent. Generally, the more efficient panels are more expensive, but by comparison shopping, you can often find lesser known brands with competitive efficiency ratings. Brands like SunPower, LG, and Panasonic consistently post some of the highest efficiency ratings. These are the average efficiency ratings for some of the top solar panel manufacturers:

  • Axitec: 16.47%
  • Canadian Solar: 16.99%
  • China Sunergy: 15.78%
  • ET Solar: 16.51%
  • Green Brilliance: 15.03%
  • Hanwha SolarOne: 15.45%
  • Heliene Inc.: 17.45%
  • Hyundai: 15.97%
  • Itek Energy: 17.99%
  • JinkoSolar: 16.95%
  • Kyocera: 15.42%
  • LG: 18.67%
  • Mitsubishi Electric: 16.6%
  • Panasonic: 20.3%
  • Renogy Solar: 17.3%
  • Seraphim: 16.55%
  • Solaria: 19.01%
  • Stion: 13.2%
  • SunPower: 19.85%
  • Trina Solar Energy: 16.35%

If you would like to speak with a roofing attorney in Tennessee, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.