Efficiency Of Solar Panels – Should You Care?

Solar panels are by far the most expensive item in solar panel installation. Understanding the features that differentiate a good solar panel from a bad one is not so straightforward.

In several installments, I'd like to give a guide to each of the key criteria to look out for. I will try keeping it as simple as possible but it is something that many people ask me about so I think it isn't a bad idea to discuss these issues in some depth.

First of all, I'd like to discuss flexible solar panel installation. This defines how effective a solar panel is in converting sunlight into electricity for a given surface area. The advantage of having a higher efficiency solar panel is that you can get more power out of a small available area.

For this reason, high-efficiency solar panels are normally priced at a premium and targeted at the domestic market where space is most constrained. High efficiency does not necessarily mean better quality or reliability however – these issues are covered later.

Nor does higher efficiency mean better value; in many cases, lower efficiency panels are used because they are more cost-effective in places where space utilization is not so critical.

When installing a solar system your ultimate goal should always be to get the best return on your investment, which means getting the most power for the lowest price without risking reliability and is dependent on many factors besides efficiency.