The rate and efficiency with which solar cells are able to transform solar energy into electricity also plays a part in determining how many solar panels you will need. In the case of panels using monocrystalline solar cells, for example, the amount of sunlight needed for generating a specific amount of energy is far less than in the case of thin film or polycrystalline cells. Get more info about West Dundee Solar Installers.
In 2010, a company that produces high quality monocrystalline solar panels was able to break the world record for solar energy efficiency, producing solar cells that could transform more than 24 % of the sun’s rays into usable electrical power.
Some researchers even consider that, in a few years, it may be possible to create monocrystalline solar cells that are able to go beyond the 30 % or even the 40 % mark, significantly increasing the efficiency rating of these types of solar cells, and that of solar energy in general.
A good example of the energy efficiency that these solar panels can offer would be that a solar panel using a total of 36 monocrystalline cells can generally produce around 100 to 130 watts. This practically means that if you want to get 1 kw (1000 watts), you will need about 10 of these panels. Depending on the quality and brand of the panel, pricing can range between $3000 and $5000 for this plan.
In contrast with these results, technologies using polycrystalline cells are barely able to get close to the 20 % limit today, while thin film based technologies hardly provide about 15 to 17 % efficiency.
These numbers may conclude the technological superiority of monocrystalline PV cells, but they do not prove that the best decision is to buy such panels. It’s true that you will not need as many panels to reach a general output of about 1 to 3 kw in this case, but the problem is that the more monocrystalline solar panels you buy, the greater the price difference becomes.
You may also opt for less energy efficiency and a better pricing option in order to save money. In this regard, polycrystalline cells are far better, as they are not as weak as thin film-based technologies, and are somewhat less expensive than monocrystalline solar cells.
Now, everyone is usually thinking about budget issues when it comes to buying or manufacturing a solar panel. DIY solar panels are obviously cheaper, however, the quality differences can be great, not to mention that you will need to put a lot of work into it, if you want your new panels to perform properly.
If you decide to buy a solar panel, on the other hand, you will already have all the numbers necessary regarding how many watts it produces, and how stable it is. By using some simple math, you can then calculate exactly how many of these devices you need in order to meet your energy target.
The main problem here is that there are many brands focusing on offering different types of solar panels based on a large number of different technologies. As a result, you may have a hard time choosing between them, and you will have to look around on numerous websites to find out what past buyers think about any particular product.
Most people would believe that about $3000 to $8000 would be enough for a viable solar panel array; however, the numbers might double depending on your needs and the technology you want to use. Fortunately, most manufacturers are already starting to develop better technologies that allow people to buy more efficient solar arrays at a considerably lower price.
You have to take all the options into account, however, and avoid clinging to some brands simply because they have a “catchier” marketing agenda. Ultimately, the numbers will show you everything you need to know, and you can make up your own mind regarding which types of panels you should buy, and how many of them you will need.