The Most Efficient Solar Panels for Home Use: A Practical Guide
Having the most efficient solar panels installed is easy, but sometimes finding the best solution for your home can be difficult with so many solar vendors vying for your attention.
However, it’s worth it: Going solar is profitable, energy-efficient, and environmentally responsible. One can even argue it’s a conduit for not just greater social responsibility among citizens, but also a greater degree of social status.
There are many things you can do when prospecting solar vendors and handling the systems post-install to secure the maximum amount of energy efficiency from solar panels as possible.
Send Excess Solar Energy to the Grid If You’d Like, Or Sell It
Energy efficiency isn’t just about making our own homes energy-efficient, it’s about making others’ homes and the world more efficient, too.
Depending on where’ you’re located, most states allow a “net metering” program that lets households generating excess energy send it back to the grid, freeing up room to receive checks from the power companies as energy sharing incentives.
So, if you’re at work during the day and all your power is off, your solar panels on top of your roof will be metered on the grid as credits to your account.
Now, of course, the credits are drawn down when you begin using your power again, but generating a greater number of credits than you use frees up room to donate or save depending on the location of your residence and the applicable regulations.
Know How the Inverter Works, and Choose Wisely
If you are considering finding the best solar panels for your home, a decisive factor should be deciding which inverter you want your solar technicians to install.
Although solar installation technicians will do this for you, it may be worth asking solar consultants which inverter would work best for you.
Some recognizable brand names in the inverter part of the solar industry are SolarEdge and SMA. With SolarEdge, each panel functions individually, whereas an SMA operates all its corresponding panels as an entire unit.
The SolarEdge option works best for houses based in very shaded areas, so Utah homeowners needn’t worry about getting an SMA inverter as much as, say, Washingtonians or Oregonians. The Northwest’s verdant environment makes an SMA more ideal than it would be in desert regions given the amount of foliage, trees, and shade.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that an SMA inverter will have a greater peak of sunlight transduction during midday than the SolarEdge alternative, but less power for transduction rates in the morning and evening.
SolarEdge inverters will have a more evenly distributed sunlight transduction throughout the day. Although seasonality impacts each respective kind of inverters’ performance, choosing either of these options works well. It’s just a matter of personal preference.
Ask Solar Consultants About Module Efficiency for Your Home
The most efficient solar panels are worth their weight in gold to consumers and homeowners. Although consumer-grade solar panels will never have the efficiency of NASA’s solar panels, homeowner-grade solar panels are positioned to become an energy staple of the U.S. economy as their processes become increasingly efficient.
This is especially true if consumers put in a small amount of effort to understanding how to allocate energy in a more economically viable way. Roughly 17.5 percent of the light that hits a panel will be converted into energy from high quality, homeowner-grade solar panels.
Although this seems like a low figure, the most powerful panels in the world, which belong to NASA, convert roughly 40% of the energy transduced into solar-generating power.
Although impressive, these solar panels will never make it on to the homeowner market, at least not in our lifetime. The price NASA grade solar technology remains too high to be made accessible in common markets, but NASA’s panels set a production standard for solar vendors to emulate at increasingly lowered costs.
Finding the Most Efficient Solar Panels for Home Use
Staying abreast industry trends will help you stay alert to what’s happening in the solar market, and keep you aware of the solar panel options made available to you as a homeowner.
The more efficient the photovoltaic cells, the more efficient the panels, so be sure to ask your solar consultant about the photovoltaic cells of the panels and vendors you prospect, including the solar cells.
Some exciting new technologies have emerged in the way of solar panel research. For instance, Solar research at MIT has found what may be a new methodology for increasing the efficiency of photovoltaic cells with multi-walled carbon nano-tubular functionality.
Although engineering will always make products better, user behavior and how people relate to their systems to make their solar panels as efficient as possible are also important considerations in making solar panels perform as well as possible.
For instance, sometimes people use power when they don’t need it, such as leaving a light on when hitting the town for the night or, even more wasteful, forgetting to turn off lights and other appliances before going to sleep or heading to the office. Wasting solar power is far less harmful to the environment than wasting other resources, but it’s still a waste.
Be sure to only use energy when it’s needed to get the most out of your solar panels and the amazing ROI solar panels can deliver for your home.
Know How the Optimizer Works, and Know Why It’s There
An optimizer is a microinverter (a subdivision of the inverter) that manages each panel individually. Inverters take a direct current (DC) of energy from solar panels and turn it into alternating current (AC). Yes, that’s how the band got its name.
Essentially, power optimizing tools help leverage more energy from solar-based products, and are essential when surveying the most efficient solar panels for your home.
Know that Shorter Cables Are Better for Smaller Solar-Powered Equipment
If you decide to expand your solar panel initiative toward things smaller than rooftop panels, finding the shortest cables possible will make your devices more efficient. A shorter cable not only increases the solar power charging speed, but also minimizes the amount of energy wasted in the charging process.
Stay Up to Speed with The Most Efficient Solar Panels Commercially Available
Staying privy to recent research on solar power will help you understand how the market has changed and whether your vendor is keeping up to speed with these myriad changes.
Although many solar vendors seem to have similar product offerings, looking at a vendor’s track record for product innovation will give you an idea of how we’ll the solar panel provider will serve you throughout the use of your system’s life.
However, on a broader scale, new research suggests there is room for aforementioned vendor innovation soon to take the solar industry by storm, and for the better.
For instance, the solar panel paradox that has perplexed the industry for years is that heat reduces a panel’s energy to convert light into energy, which then powers a home.
Stanford Electrical Engineering professor, Shanhui Fan, believes he has found a material that can capture hyperthermal radiation away from solar panels’ solar cells, therein implying heat can be reduced without sacrificing the energy necessary needed to make the panel work effectively.
The ramifications of this are truly awesome. If Fan is correct, we will be able to further compound energy preservation as it hits the solar panels, signifying another major step on route to a fully solar-powered world.
If you’re ready to explore a solar solution that will keep you and your energy processes efficient for life, please fill out the form below so you can get in touch with one of our expert solar consultants.