Efficiency is defined as the ratio of energy output from the solar cell to input energy from the sun. It means the conversion of sunlight rays into electrical power. When we have to compare one solar cell to another, we compare their efficiencies. The efficiency depends on the spectrum and intensity of the incident sunlight and the temperature of the solar cell. We can determine the efficiency by fill factor if FF is between .7 to .8 then the solar panel is good but if the fill factor is .4 and less than .4 then the quality of the solar panel is bad. Scientists have made a solar cell that can convert upcoming sunlight into electrical power with 44.5 % efficiency but that is not currently in production. The highest performing cell is currently in the U.S with an efficiency of 20%.
You should search well before purchasing solar panels, by doing this you would buy a good product with less amount of money.
7 Important Factors Solar Cell Efficiency Depends On
As we know that electrical power is produced by sunlight by converting it. If something comes between the plates and sunlight then it is obvious that it is going to affect the production. Even small shades can reduce a good amount of production.
You should avoid setting your solar panel/cells in shaded areas. Professional Installers will do a thorough analysis and surely guide you regarding this. They would install where solar cells face sunlight maximum.
2. State of Cable & Wiring System
Common voltages for a Solar PV (DC) systems are around 12V, 24V to 48V. Solar panels connected in series provide more voltage. While solar panels connected in parallel yield more current. Electrical appliances usually require 220 volts of voltage. All of this translates to the effect of resistance. Which is linked with the wiring of the system. The size and length of the cables always depend on the quality of the installation. We suggest you check this video on calculations of voltage against wiring.
For better efficiency, your solar cells should be positioned in the direction where they can absorb radiation and rays better. If your cells are facing west or east, they would produce 20% lesser energy if they were facing south. If you are living in the US, it is recommended to position them in the south direction so they can face the sun directly and face maximum sunlight.
Your solar cells should be installed vertically if you are in the south direction, solar cells should north direction and if you are in north direction then solar cells should face south direction.
Temperature is one of the biggest factors that can increase and decrease solar cell efficiency. Increasing in temperature more than the set limit can affect in negative. If the temperature of solar cells rises above 25 degrees celsius, the net output decreases with the rise of temperature. Good installers would make sure while installing that solar cells are getting a sufficient amount of air. Above 25 degrees Celsius or 77 degrees Fahrenheit temperature can affect the net production of current.
You should make sure that the installer positions the solar panels in such a direction, so they get a good amount of airflow even when the temperature rises.
Solar cells need little maintenance per year especially if the system is grid-tied however it is recommended to wash cells routinely as dirt & dust affect the efficiency of solar panels. In some areas, rain does the job you need and if it doesn’t rain or slightly less or twice or thrice a year then you need to wash solar panels or cells with soapy water. Some people often ask when should we wash our plates. The best answer is, whenever to get less output from your panels.
6. The efficiency of the battery
Batteries play an important role for backup in a Solar PV system. The efficiency of an entire system depends on all of the components. Most commonly found batteries are Lead Acid batteries, because of their price. Lithium-ion batteries are much better. Batteries never return the same power that goes in while charging. Hence efficiency is never perfect, but there are good ones and bad ones.
7. Inverter’s efficiency
Although inverters provide a wide variety of efficiencies across different models and brands, nothing 100% efficient. We suggest you don’t go for the most efficient inverter if your budget is tight, instead invest in other components. If your top priority is efficiency then you must go for the best. A typical inverter provides efficiency levels of 93 – 94%, but their efficiency can be improved by Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT).
How to take care of the factors Solar Cell efficiency depends on?
1. Use a Solar Concentrator.
You should use a solar concentrator for better efficiency. Solar concentrator contains mirrors whose purpose is to concentrate the falling of sunlight on panels for maximum production of electrical power, this will not just produce you extra electrical but also saves you money
2. Correctly Install Your Photovoltaic Panels.
The most important thing is having you the right and long-lasting brand. You should have a good product then you should start worrying about other factors. Buy good live good
3. Avoid Shaded Areas.
Try to set your solar panels or cells away from shaded areas. You know this affects adversely solar plates
4. Keep Your Solar Panels Clean.
Try to wash regularly or clear dirt over them so they work with consistent efficiency, this will not make you buy cells again for a long time
5. Try to prevent an increase in Temperature.
You should keep in mind that there should be enough gap between solar plates so, in hot temperatures, air could pass and the temperature of solar panels remains normal.