Solar panels not efficient enough for you? Here’s the reality check

Solar panels not efficient enough for you? Here’s the reality check

Most of you know that solar panels are efficient enough to feed the needs of your whole home, at least when your home is getting sufficient sunlight. Despite that, did you know that most solar panels offer efficiency ratings of only 15-20 percent?

The skeptics among us will say, “Wow, these panels have a lot of room to become even more efficient. Before I sink money into solar, I’m going to wait a few years.”

That’s where we at POWERHOME Solar need to inform customers that given the laws of physics, solar panels may not have much more to offer in terms of their efficiency. Yet even at these 15-20 percent efficiency ratings, these panels are plenty efficient to do the job.

Polycrystalline silicon solar panels have efficiency percentages of around 15 percent. Meanwhile, monocrystalline silicon solar panels are of slightly higher quality and offer efficiency ratings of 18-22 percent. That’s why POWERHOME uses those panels, because we want to offer customers top-shelf, American-quality products that are long lasting. POWERHOME uses Silfab solar panels that come with a 30-year power production warranty, which is 5 years longer than the industry standard.

Even with 15 percent efficiency, let’s look at an article written by UC San Diego professor Tom Murphy that beautifully breaks down why the number is plenty good enough for solar to be feasible. He writes:

A typical location within the U.S. gets an annual average of 5 full-sun-equivalent hours per day. This means that the 1000 W/m² solar flux reaching the ground when the sun is straight overhead is effectively available for 5 hours each day. Each square meter of panel is therefore exposed to 5 kWh (kilowatt hours) of solar energy per day. At 15 percent efficiency, our square meter captures and delivers 0.75 kWh of energy to the house. A typical American home uses 30 kWh of electricity per day, so we’d need 40 square meters of panels. This works out to 430 square feet, or about one sixth the typical American house’s roof (the roof area of a two-car garage). What’s the problem?

Indeed, as the effectiveness of any product goes up, so does its price. However, POWERHOME believes the monocrystalline panels it uses provide great value and excellent efficiency. You don’t need to blanket your roof with solar panels. That’s been proven above. That’s also why we are choosy about where we install these solar panels. We simply want to put them on the south side of your home so they have the most chance to capturing the sunlight needed to maximize your array’s production.

Still not convinced that 15-20 percent efficiency is pretty great? Think about this – Murphy states that the efficiencies of cars and even human metabolism are around the 15-25 percent range (that is to say, in the solar panel range). So do we stop driving cars or eating with efficiency ratings at those levels? Of course not. We need the mobility, and we need sustenance!

So while you want to wait on the sidelines for better solar panels, know that they’re already good enough, and the size system that is appropriate for your home will easily fit on your roof. It’s time for you to embrace solar panels now for all the good that they can do for lowering your power bill and helping the environment, and POWERHOME Solar wants to be the company you choose to that end.

With our innovative solar program, homeowners in our six-state coverage area (Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia) can go solar for $0 up-front cost, save money on their electric bills, and generate their own clean energy. Please feel free to fill out the form below or contact POWERHOME Solar at 800-765-2715, and one of our solar representatives will help you determine whether your home qualifies for this program.