Solar Power Efficiency

Solar power efficiency is changing constantly and as solar power continues to grow in popularity, so does solar technolgy and efficiency. Solar panels generally turn 14% of the sun energy into electricity. This gives them an efficiency of 14%.

Solar panel efficiency continues to improve every year and now the efficiency of some commercial units have reached ratings in excess of 40%.

This represent overall efficiency. There are other ways of reviewing efficiency too:

- Module efficiency

Modular efficiency is perhaps the easiest to understand and it measures the actual efficiency of a complete solar panel and how well it converts sunlight into power.

- Area efficiency

Also known as Density, area efficiency measures a modules efficiency in a given area, or simply energy created per square meter. People with smaller roof areas need high density solar panels.

- Cell efficiency

Cellular efficiency is a measurement of how efficiency each cell in a module is, it is measured in the same way as module efficiency. It is more common to hear about this type of efficiency in the press but it holds little relevance for consumers.

Most Efficient solar panels

This is an important question when you are choosing solar panels for your home. The question 'which manufacturer builds the most efficient solar panel is also a relevant question here.

Below you can find a list of manufacturers with relevant information about solar power efficiency. Density here refers to the efficiency per area - the higher the density rating the higher the power output for a certain area.

The different colours on the chart represent different efficiency tiers. Solar power efficiency has been catagorised like this to help consumers know what they are buying when purchasing solar panels. Here is the key.

As you can see the two most efficient solar power manufactuers are Sanyo and SunPower which both produce panels in the first tier. This basically means that the power output per square meter is the highest and thus panels made by these companies are the best options for smaller roofs. It doesn't however mean that these are the best options for everybody in every situation.

The most inportant factor that you need to look at when setting up your home for solar is not efficiency but rather how much power (measured in KWH) per year your panels can produce for a given price. Sometimes tier 2 or 3 tier solar panels (which are of course cheaper) can give you better value per KWH than the more expensive options.

The other important thing to consider is the manufacturers warranty. Accept nothing less that a 25 year warranty on solar panels and at least 5 years for labour.

These two factors are the two most important when choosing a home solar power kit.

Most popular solar power manufacturers

There was two much data for doing this for the world so I analysed over 100,000 units of data from California which is one of the biggest solar power producing states and came up with the following data. It simply shows the most popular solar panel manufacturers measured by how many installations they were used to supply.

This chart represents the amount of installations the top 10 solar panel manufacturers carried out in california making these the most popular solar panel making companies.

I used data from California is generally considered the solar panel capital of the world and they keep pretty good recored of all solar panel installations in the state. You can find more of this information and other information regarding solar power efficiency by following this to

Go to this page for more information about solar panel manufacturers.

Return to the Think Solar Power Homepage

From this Solar power efficiency page

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.