Solar modules test & comparison: efficiency, price, durability

Solar modules

Solar modules test & comparison: efficiency, price, durability

Solar panels are the crucial component of a photovoltaic system. Without them, the sun’s light could not be converted into electricity. 

If you are considering purchasing a PV system, it does not hurt to have some knowledge of how it works. In this article we show the basics of the technology of a photovoltaic panel. 

The polycrystalline solar cell is (still) the most widespread technology used in PV panels. The crystalline solid consisting of individual crystals of different sizes, which can be seen on the structure of the solar cell, is characteristic. Polycrystalline cells are very inexpensive to produce thanks to the Bridgman process.

Monocrystalline solar cell PV panels have been the preferred choice for most solar system owners for a number of years.

They are the best solar panel for new users. The advantage of monocrystalline solar cells lies in their better performance, i.e. higher PV efficiency.

The production of the cell or panel type is expensive, although the same material (silicon) is used. Monocrystalline solar panels consist of a single homogeneous crystal lattice.

Which technology is best suited for which photovoltaic system?

In principle, poly- or monocrystalline photovoltaic panels are recommended for every home. In recent years, the range of mono solar panels has expanded significantly due to improved production facilities. These panels have a slightly higher price, but the efficiency of the solar cell is generally better.

Which parameters are important when comparing solar panels?

In each test, certain criteria are important in order to be able to compare. We will now look at which PV panels these are.

Efficiency of the panel

The efficiency of the solar panel indicates how efficiently the conversion of light energy into electricity works. With an efficiency of 100 percent, the entire radiant energy could be used.

In reality, however, we are far from that. This is mainly due to the fact that not the entire spectrum of solar radiation can be used. 

Ultraviolet light (100-380 nm) and infrared radiation (780 nm-1 mm) can hardly be used to generate electricity.

How much solar energy can theoretically be used is measured with global radiation. This can be output both as a current value and as an annual value. Interesting to know: Solar panels generate electricity even without direct sunlight.

How high is a good degree of efficiency for a photovoltaic panel? Very good panels currently have an efficiency of 19 to 22 percent. Here is a list of all high-performance solar panels.

Costs of the photovoltaic panels in the test

Photovoltaic panels make up the largest part of the purchase price of a solar system. A good price is therefore crucial for good profitability of the PV system. 

The interested party should therefore answer the following question: would you rather choose the best branded product or a cheap supplier?

Since cheap panels (from well -known photovoltaic manufacturers) also offer good quality, I recommend giving preference to them. 

If the roof area is small and limited, it can be worth using a panel with the highest possible efficiency per square meter. The main cost includes by the inverter battery storage to store the electricity.

Which solar panel manufacturer to choose?

Which solar panel manufacturer should you choose? That depends on your preferences. Do you have special requirements for the panel?

For example, should it be a glass-glass panel, should it be all-black (completely black)? Then it is worth taking a closer look at the various manufacturers and photovoltaic panels.

Many people interested in a photovoltaic system also ask themselves whether premium panels are worthwhile compared to mainstream panels. The advantage of the premium solar panel is usually the higher efficiency and an improved guarantee.

So you get more PV power on the house roof. But the price increases, the investment is a bit expensive. A standard panel delivers a little less solar power, but it is cheaper.

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