Determine The Most Efficient Type of Solar Panels

Comparing solar quotes can save money, but knowing what to compare will provide the best price for the quality of the product. The best type of solar panel satisfies specific characteristics. We’ve compiled our expert knowledge on these characteristics so you can make an informed decision.

The Goal? To Find the Most Efficient Solar Panels at the Right Price

Go Solar Group solar consultants work side-by-side with producers and consumers to make sure that, as a specialist in the solar industry, GSG can provide sound advice to anyone interested in furthering their solar education or awareness. As an internal initiative, GSG consultants have put together the following solar comparison chart to help consumers in the solar industry make a sound financial decision.

  • PV Type

    Photovoltaic type refers to the solar crystal structure and integrity of the solar panel. Monocrystalline panels use the highest quality crystal structure.

    Monocrystalline solar panels use one high-quality crystal instead of many fragmented ones, which helps them maintain higher power output. Because monocrystalline solar panels produce more electricity per panel, they don't need as much space.

    Polycrystalline panels are cheaper. However, they are not the most efficient solar panel option. Because polycrystalline panels use fragmented silicon crystals, efficiency isn’t as high.

  • Engineering

    There are many great ideas. However, the ones that succeed are well thought out and executed.

    Reliable engineering is crucial for a financial decision like solar. Due to the longevity of the product life and the asset potential for your home and family, testing and high-quality processes need to be defined and products warranted.


    Germany has led the way in solar technology because of the country’s aggressive renewable energy goals. These goals have allowed the country to develop quality technology. We are confident in the German-engineered technology that we support, because of the research and testing dedicated to product development since 2001.

  • Efficiency

    Different panel types and sizes convert energy from the sun at different rates. It is best to commit to a panel rated for at least 16.5% efficiency. However, solar panels with higher efficiency ratings will produce more power per panel.

  • Durability

    In 2014 the National Renewable Energy Laboratory presented a conference paper on the reliability of solar panels in the United States. This paper stated that, out of 50,000 systems, only 0.1 percent underperformed

    Although most weather conditions will not harm solar panels, extreme weather can. Most solar panels go through vigorous testing so they can withstand high amounts of wind, rain, and high-velocity objects.

    Harsh weather like hail or wind storms can damage some solar panel installations. However, most solar panels can withstand normal debris. It is the racking that may not hold up. Always consider the warranty both of the solar panels and the solar installer.

  • Aesthetic

    Curb appeal often plays a large role in the best solar option. It’s very common to mount a solar array on the front of a home to maximize solar potential, but not everyone likes how they look. Slim panels with consistent coloration are important when considering the look of solar on the roof.

    Old and cheap solar models do not take into consideration the aesthetic of the array, which can take away from the overall value and confidence in the purchase. Purchasing a mono-crystalline solar array will give you a sleek black look.

    Solar shingles are a good aesthetic choice, but not the most cost-effective one. When purchasing mono-crystalline panels, customers get curb appeal and quality at a fraction of the cost. Solar shingles are best for new builds.

  • Warranty

    Buying a solar array is a mid – long term financial decision for most individuals. While the average array takes 12 years to pay off, the production of a solar array should last at least 25 years, making the investment well worth it.

    Due to shading or weather conditions, most panels are warranted to convert solar energy at a minimum of 80 percent productivity. We recommend holding out for a warranty that covers at least 85 percent production for 25 years.

  • Design

    The solar panel design can impact its production and lifespan. The four major design properties to look at include reflection, temperature, recombination, and wavelength.

  • Manufacture Location

    As a local business, supporting stable jobs in the United States is an important initiative to maintain. While we recommend German-engineered solar panels, due to the integrity of the technology, we also support the production and sale of solar products in the United States.

  • Length of R&D

    The research and development of solar panels have been evolving over more than a half-century. Solar manufacturers that have been around for decades have tried and true products on the market with quality warranties.

    Newer solar manufacturers are using less-expensive solar products to provide cheaper solar panels. However, they cannot guarantee quality products.

    Several experimental solar panels have higher efficiency ratings than the average solar panel. These new products, however, have not been tested to the same extent as silicon-based solar panels.

    In 2015 Yale 360 published an article stating it would take 20 plus years before new solar panel technology would be sufficiently tested and developed. In this time, a customer could have bought a well-tested system and saved thousands of dollars on power bills.

  • Reflection

    An anti-reflective coating is optional but recommended when it comes to solar panel design. The coating can increase the output of the solar cells by 3-4 percent because it reduces the amount of reflection coming off or escaping the solar cells before converting into an electric current.

  • Temperature

    As with most technology, solar cells function best at lower temperatures. Having a racking system that ventilates your system will allow it to function better.

    Most solar panels are rated to work best at 77 degrees Fahrenheit or 25 degrees Celsius. The temperature coefficient of a solar panel shows how much efficiency is lost per-degree of Celsius above the solar panel's optimal heat rating.

  • Recombination


    To create a current two semiconductors with opposite charges are used. However, the electrons can recombine and release heat instead. Solar panels that have defects in the crystal structure are more likely to encounter this problem. For this reason, Polycrystalline panels are less efficient than monocrystalline.

  • Wavelength

    Light has a wide range of wavelengths. Solar panels capture certain wavelengths and convert them into a direct current. A solar panel that can convert more wavelengths into an electric current will allow the array to produce more electricity.

Wayne Sumner mentions the quality of our German-engineered solar panels, in the below video. As a full-service solar company, Go Solar Group invests significant time in researching and comparing different types of solar panels and products by participating in industry calls and maintaining industry relationships. We also make sure the efficiency of solar panels over time is as high as possible for our customers.

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