How Much More Efficient Are Todays Solar Panels?
Are you researching Las Vegas solar solutions and wondering whether you should switch? You may wonder whether today’s technology is more efficient than a few decades ago and whether it’s worth the investment. The answer to those questions is a resounding yes: technology has made incredible advances in recent years, and solar is worth it. Lifetime Solar is here to explain why.
An Old Technology With New Advances
Solar energy isn’t a new concept; in fact, the very first photovoltaic cells were invented way back in the 1800s. They weren’t exactly useful, having an efficiency of less than 1%. It wasn’t until the mid-1950s that Bell Labs developed the first viable panel, although it still had an efficiency rate of just 4 to 6 percent. Since then, however, technology has grown by leaps and bounds.
What We Mean By Solar Panel Efficiency
We should backpedal a bit and define what we mean by efficiency. Regarding solar panels, efficiency measures how well they convert sunlight into usable electricity. So the device that Bell Labs created in the 1950s could only convert a maximum of 6% of the energy that hit them into electricity. Today, a SunPower™ panel with a 22.8% efficiency rating can produce nearly four times as much electricity as those early models.
What Affects Solar Panel Efficiency?
Efficiency ratings are not set in stone and are usually given in a range or with a “max” rating. This is because many variables come into play. On a clear summer day, you may reach the max for at least a few hours, while on a rainy day, your array might not generate any electricity at all. Here are some variables that can affect the efficiency of your rooftop array.
- ‘Installation Angle
- Direction The Panel Faces
- Roof Type
- Obstructions (Buildings & Trees)
- Dust Accumulation
- Debris Blocking Cells
- Industrial Pollution / Smog
Solar Technology Is Booming
Over the past decade, the demand for green energy solutions has exploded. Companies are racing to improve panel efficiency and battery technology to capture a share of the growing market. Photovoltaic cells greatly increased wattage and output, while new materials such as Lithium Iron Phosphate (LIFEPO4 or LFP) have resulted in better battery storage solutions.
Should I Wait To Make The Switch?
You might be tempted to hold off on your investment while waiting for panel efficiency to improve even further or for equipment prices to drop. However, nothing is guaranteed or constant. Prices may come down, but labor costs and your current electric bill will likely keep increasing. Federal tax credits are available to help cover the cost, and your state may also offer benefits. Why wait when you can start reaping the benefits of green energy now?
- Renewable Energy
- Lower Power Bills
- Better For The Environment
- Cleaner Air
- Reduced Reliance On Fossil Fuels
Green Energy Solutions For Southern Nevada
Las Vegas and Henderson are highly suited for rooftop solar installations. The valley averages 294 sunny days a year! And the most efficient systems from SunPower and Tesla are available right here, thanks to Lifetime Solar. Take advantage of tax credits, achieve home energy savings, and reduce your reliance on the energy grid: call us today to find out how you can make the switch.