For those searching for the most efficient or productive solar panels for their solar energy system, the most important thing you need to understand is how to distinguish efficiency metrics for various manufacturer brands. Solar panel efficiency is one helpful metric that acts as a calculator to deduce how much power a solar panel generates than other products.
Solar panel efficiency is a means to measure a solar panel’s proficiency to transform sunlight into usable electricity. Provided the equivalent amount of the sun shining for the exact period on two solar panels with various efficiency ratings, the panel with more efficiency will generate more electricity than the less efficient panel.
You can calculate solar panel efficiency by generating electricity by solar cells, which is affected by the cells’ composition, electrical format, encompassing elements, and more. As solar technology has developed, the average solar efficiency rating has resumed increasing. At the same time, the expense of solar has begun to reduce. That suggests you can now get solar that’s inexpensive and more efficient than ever!
Most solar panels bought in 2021 possess efficiencies between 15% and 20%, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Some solar panels in the industry have efficiencies over 20% – these are considered as high-efficiency solar panels. Below is the list of the top ten most high efficient solar panels in 2021.
Advantages of High-efficiency Solar Panels
Besides the positive reviews and popularity of basic efficiency panels, there are some apparent benefits of high-efficiency solar panels – one of that is they will generate more electricity over the solar system’s lifetime.
As solar panels get aged, their proficiency to transform sunlight into solar power declines. Since premium efficiency panels already begin with a high-efficiency grade, as they devalue, they will still have considerably high efficiency. This indicates they can generate more energy over time than the basic efficiency panels.
Furthermore, by generating more energy over time, high-efficiency solar panels can generate more energy per square foot of roof area. The reason behind this is they convert more of the sunlight that strikes the roof into solar energy.
If you have an insufficient amount of capacity on your rooftop where solar can be inducted, premium efficiency panels can be the right solar panels for your house.
Top 10 Most Efficient Solar Panels 2021
Here are the leading five best solar panel manufacturers in 2021. This ranking is by the highest efficiency solar panel they are supposed to offer:
- SunPower Maxeon 3 (400 W 22.6 %)
- LG Neon R (380 W 22.0 %)
- REC Alpha (380 W 21.7 %)
- Longi Solar Hi-Mo 4 (375 W 20.6 %)
- Trina Solar Honey M DEO8 (375 W 20.5 %)
- Solaria Power XT (370 W 20.5 %)
- Jinko Solar Tiger Pro – 6Rl3 (390 W 20.4 %)
- Canadian Solar HiDM CS1H-MS (345 W 20.4 %)
- Phono Solar TwinPlus M4-9B-R (375 W 20.4 %)
- Q cells Q.Peak DUO G8+ (360 W 20.3 %)
SunPower Maxeon 3 (400 W 22.6%)
SunPower Maxeon 3 panels incorporate high efficiency with strong durability and the amplest warranty available in the market today, resulting in more long-term stability and savings.
SunPower solar panels produce more energy over the lifetime of your network than other panels. Distinguished to different technologies, SunPower converts the enormous percentage of sunlight into electricity. This signifies that over the lifetime of your system, you will produce more electricity and save more money on your electricity charges.
The Sunpower Maxeon 5 panels are now out coupled with Enphase microinverters. Feel free to look through this review on these new Sunpower panels.
LG Neon R (380 W 22.0 %)
The NeON® R is LG’s most efficient solar module set. Featuring a creative design that enables up to 25% more electricity per m2 than a typical 300W panel, under test resists a static front panel load of 5400 pascals and a rear wind load of 4000 pascals.
NeON® R is an excellent option for high performing long-lasting solar systems
REC Alpha (380 W 21.7 %)
REC Solar’s Alpha REC380AA solar panel is a radical solar panel fulfilling exceptional levels of efficiency, power, and strength. This durable solar panel is excellent for homes or businesses expecting a very efficient, cost-effective solar panel that offers reliable power output.
Longi Solar Hi-Mo 4 (375 W 20.6 %)
The Hi-MO 4 module has an outstanding mass-production version, with an additional weight reduction. With the improvement of bifacial technology, BOS and LCOE expenses have also been reduced. The LONGi Hi-MO 4 module has instantly become the best choice for global consumers, particularly for large-scale.
So, it does bear the question. Are Longi solar panels worth it? Well, don’t hesitate to read this review on Lonig panels to see why they’re better than you might think.
Trina Solar Honey M DEO8 (375 W 20.5 %)
The HONEY series is ideal for small rooftop structures. HONEY panels can produce high rates of energy even when space is limited. As one of the industry’s most reliable panels, the HONEY module is a famous choice for residential and commercial clients because of its reliability, exciting aesthetics, and compatibility with all crucial balance system components and module electronics.
Solaria Power XT (370 W 20.5 %)
Solaria PowerXT solar panels are one of the massive power panels in the residential and commercial solar demand.
Compared to regular panels, Solaria PowerXT panels have some gaps between the solar cells; this directs to a higher power and excellent aesthetics. Solaria PowerXT Pure BlackTM panels are generated with black back sheets and frames, intensifying the home or building’s architectural beauty.
Jinko Solar Tiger Pro 6Rl3 (390 W 20.4 %)
The recently released Tiger series are valued from 360W to a fantastic 470W. These new generation panels feature multiple of the latest creations in PV cell technology, containing larger format cells, multi-busbar (MBB) with nine thin wire busbars (as thwarted to traditional flat ribbon busbars), and what Jinko has named ‘Tiling Ribbon’ or TR for short.
Tiling ribbon is a manufacturing strategy where the cells are a little overlapped, much like shingled cells, to remove the gap between them and improve overall cell coverage, boosting efficiency. You can also read this review on Jinko panels which goes into detail regarding their cheetah, tiger and n type modules and if they are worth investing in.
Canadian Solar HiDM – CS1H-MS (345 W 20.4 %)
Canadian Solar is devoted to offering high-quality solar products, solar system solutions, and customs worldwide. Canadian Solar is one of the three largest solar businesses in the world by revenue.
The 345 watts CS1H-MS solar panel captions state-of-the-art High-Density Mono PERC solar cells. This strong and durable solar panel is valued for up to a 5400 Pa snow load and a wind load of up to 2400 Pa.
Phono Solar TwinPlus – M4-9B-R (375 W 20.4 %)
Phono Solar’s TwinPlus series provides Competitive high-temperature operation with an ameliorated temperature coefficient. They have lessened power loss in cell connections. Better action under shading effect. Lessened nominal conducting cell temperature at 43 ± 2°C. Higher energy production with multi-busbar and half-cut technology. Ensured 0~+5W positive tolerance guarantees credible power output: 5400 Pa maximum snow load, 2400Pa full wind load. Optimized electrical setup lowers hot spot threat and operating current.
Q cells Q.Peak – DUO G8+ (360 W 20.3 %)
The Q.PEAK DUO-G8 is a monocrystalline solar module with energy degrees of up to 360 Wp and an efficiency of up to 20.4 %. Thanks to the latest production of unrivaled cell idea Q.ANTUM DUO, the Q.PEAK DUO-G8 solar module gives uniquely high results on a small surface region. To this end, half-cells are integrated with state-of-the-art circuitry and a 12-busbar layout. The black half-cells of the Q.PEAK DUO-G8 lend even the most deluxe building an aesthetic charm.
The Q CELLS Anti LID Technology stops light-induced degradation (LID), decreasing system performance significantly – or almost entirely. Other traditional monocrystalline solar cells lose much of their primary power through insolation. The Q.PEAK DUO-G8 deters this with Anti LID Technology.
In general, LG, SunPower, and Panasonic develop the best solar panels in 2020 due to their significant efficiencies, competitive pricing, and celestial 25-year warranty given by each brand. These firms integrate durability and dependability with exceptional safety and reasonable rates, giving rise to the brands with the most excellent solar panels available.
The considerably efficient solar panels in demand nowadays have efficiency ratings as high as 22.8%. Meanwhile, most of the panels vary from 16% to 18% efficiency rating. SunPower panels are popular for prevailing the most efficient solar panel brand available on the market. However, they will come with increased rates. SunPower will always be the consumer choice for those interested in inefficiency.
Qcell solar panels are great especially being engineered in Germany. Here is a great Qcell review which goes into more detail regarding the engineering and if these panels live up to the German name.
Why Efficiency Matters
The word efficiency is thrown around a lot, but a little more efficient panel doesn’t often correlate to a better quality panel. Many people assume efficiency to be the most vital standards when choosing a solar panel, but what counts most is the manufacturing aspect, which is associated with real-world performance, dependability, manufacturer’s service, and warranty conditions.
What Impacts On Solar Panel Efficiency?
Several things affect solar panel efficiency, but the manner panels primarily impact it are constructed. Specific aspects that impact solar panel efficiency are:
- Kind of wiring
- The shade of the backing
- Kind of solar cells used
For instance, monocrystalline panels will possess a relatively higher efficiency than polycrystalline silicon panels because of how electrons flow through the cells. Vastly excellent efficient solar cells contain monocrystalline silicon.
Different variables affect solar panels’ efficiency rating, which includes its temperature. Higher temperatures will result in lower efficiency. On the contrary, colder temperatures will increase the efficiency.
Moreover, bifacial solar panels that can soak up light on both sides, the back and the front of the panel, have higher energy generation rates and higher efficiency ratings than conventional solar panels. This difference is the solar panels that have multi-junction cells can soak up various wavelengths of light, elevating their efficiency.
Still, these sorts of solar panels are generally not the best fit for residential solar inductions.
What Determines Solar Panel Efficiency?
Many components determine how productive a solar panel is. In general, the determination of solar panel efficiency occurs by the amount of incoming sunlight the solar panel can transform into usable electricity. The question here is, what factors into that limit conversion rate? There are various elements that solar cell experimenters and manufacturers assess when constructing and generating efficient solar panels:
- Material – the sort of material polycrystalline silicon, cadmium telluride monocrystalline silicon, etc. affects the means light transforms to electricity
- Wiring and busing – the association of wires on a solar panel that catch and pass on electricity influences efficiency
- Reflection – if the sunlight directs at a solar panel distance, it may disturb the panel’s efficiency. This is the reason the glass sheet on top of silicon solar cells is essential.
Plus, conditions like being able to consume light on both sides of a cell-like bifacial solar panel does, and soaking up varying wavelengths of sunlight like multijunction solar panels does alter the efficiency equation for solar panels. On the whole, there are a bunch of buttons that scientists and experimenters can press when acting on enhancing solar panel efficiency. Lastly, it’s all about transforming more incoming sunlight into electricity.
Is It Always Better to Install High-efficiency Solar Panels?
High-efficiency solar panels aren’t crucial for all solar inductions. You’ll want to invest in high-efficiency solar panels if you have limited roof space and need a few solar panels as possible to produce the most amount of power for your home.
In most circumstances, you can have high quality, necessary efficiency solar panels and fulfill all of your electricity requirements. Hence, you don’t need to fuss about spending a premium for the extra efficiency.
Also, regular solar panel efficiency is extensively higher than it was in the past, so your panels will still transform a lot of sunlight into solar energy for you to utilize.
Solar panel efficiency is just one aspect to consider when going for solar panels. Some other stuff to assume is the power production rating, the warranty, and solar panels’ brand.
It’s vital to keep in mind that just because a solar panel is the most efficient doesn’t suggest that it’s the perfect residential solar panel. If you are a solar panel installer you probably need to take all this above information into the account to recommend the best choices to your customers.
You can also utilize our solar panel calculator to obtain a personalized estimate for how much a solar panel installation would be great for a specific place.
In the fight against the climate crisis, Willie Jiang believes that content marketing can push the energy revolution along at a faster pace. Having helped countless brands grow their organic traffic by 10X and became the CMO of SolarFeeds.com, he is sharing his insights with the solar energy industry. If you want to publish your articles on SolarFeeds Magazine, click here.