If you are planing to buy a set of solar panels, or you want to buy parts to assemble your own solar panel system, you need to be sure that you get the best solar panels for your purposes. This article contains very useful information about solar panels that will help you make the right decision.
The most popular solar panels: results of international surveys
There is no such thing as “the world’s best solar panels for everybody.” There is a big difference on whether you want to produce electricity for the house and give the excess of the power to the grid, or whether you want to charge the battery of your car. A heating system for water from a solar power requires a completely different technology. In the narrow sense of what is called “a thermal solar collector” or “solar collector” is not a solar panel. So what’s the difference?
Solar panels (photovoltaic panels, photovoltaic modules) convert the short-wave radiation, such as sunlight to electricity. Solar panels consist of interconnected solar cells, which are protected with different materials. The surface of the transparent solar panels most of the time have an aluminum frame.
Solar collectors are a system of pipes filled with fluid. Sunlight heats up the pipe and the liquid, then the heat exchanger transfers the heat in to the circuit for heating.
Comparison of solar panels
Before you buy a solar panel, make sure that you understand the specifications of solar panels. This will give you the important details about specific solar panels, and will help you choose the best solar panels for your purposes. These are the different kinds of semiconductor materials used in solar panels:
– Single crystal silicon (c-Si) has an efficacy of more than 20%;
– Polycrystalline silicon (mc-Si) has a 16% efficiency;
– Flat film amorphous silicon (a-Si) has the efficiency of 5-7% (the best sellers in the past);
– Microcrystalline silicon (mc-Si) in combination with a-Si have an efficiency greater than 10%;
– Elements of gallium arsenic (GaAs), cadmium – tellurian elements (CdTe), and elements of chalcopyrite (CIS, CIGS) have an efficacy from 10 to 40% (GaAs). They are not suited so far for individual consumers because they are way to expensive not yet fully researched.
– Organic solar panels contain organic solar elements and may become the best solar panels in the future, as their production cost is relatively low. Now their performance is still low (Pigmented Gratzel elements have a maximum efficiency of 10%, others less) and their lifespan is short (5,000 hours for energy production). However, organic solar panels can be used in portable devices.
The efficiency of solar modules
Always pay attention to the efficiency of the solar module, and be aware that high efficiency is nothing without a guaranteed high nominal power.
Nominal power of the solar module
Nominal power of the solar module will tell you about specific wattage of the electrical module. The minimum and the maximum power should be checked on peak power, and measured by the standard test conditions (STC). As you know, nature is not a laboratory and it can sometimes create unexpected conditions.
Operating voltage is measured in volts, the maximum voltage of the solar cell, when there is no connection to the load. The hotter the solar panels are, the lower the voltage of the open circuit is.
Operating temperature range
As mentioned above, the operating voltage decreases with the increase of temperature. Ensure that the operating temperature range corresponds to the local climatic conditions.
You are buying a fragile high-tech product that can be installed on your roof and must withstand the scorching sun, wind, hail and snow, therefore you should choose the right system of installation. The average power of solar panels is good, and high is even better. Don’t forget that even the best solar panels are useless if they are blown away by the wind and fall to the ground.
Dimensions of solar panels
Compare the sizes of the active area of panels so it would not to take too much of useful space.
Inverter for solar panels
The inverter converts the received electricity DC into AC. Try to chose the inverter with a heavy copper winding on the output transformer, so you can install it and forget about it. Otherwise, sooner or later, you will have to repair or replace the inverter. In the worst case scenario, it may become a regular routine, as well as a waste of time and money.
Solar panels warranty
Usually, the warranty on mono and polycrystalline silicon solar panels is about 20 to 25 years. This is the minimum for solar panels, as today the lifespan of the best solar panels can be 30 years or longer. Take a look at the factory warranty, not only the guarantee of the dealer or reseller.
Now you can choose the best solar panels for your needs. Take your time to compare the different solar panels, inverters and mounting. If you want to buy a system of solar panels and install it, check out at least three dealers; now you can ask them the right questions.
Top-rated solar panels in the world
#1 The Kyocera KD315GX-LPB solar panels gets top marks thanks to its high solar efficiency
#2 Canadian Solar CS6X-305M The company’s Canadian Solar CS6X-305M model took second place in the Top Ten Reviews rankings for power, durability and visual appeal.
#3 Grape Solar 390W It makes solar panels, manufactured in Asia but assembled in the US. Grape Solar works with Costco.
Other top-rated brands
- Schott Solar (Germany)
- Solar World (China)
Top-rated for quality: Sanyo (Japan)
Top-rated ‘Value for Money': Suntech Power (China)
Top-rated solar inverters
- Kaco new energy (Germany)
- OutBack Power Systems (US)
- Mastervolt (Netherlands)
Top-rated for quality: OutBack Power Systems (US)
Top-rated ‘Value for Money': Kaco new energy (Germany)
The best solar panels system installation
- Direct Power & Water (USA)
- UniRac (USA)
- Schüco (Germany)
Top-rated solar tracker
- Zomeworks (USA)
Top solar panel system
- Global brand number one: Sharp (Japan)