Differences in solar panel efficiency can vary, but a common one is brand name and materials used to construct the panel. The average efficiency rate for most solar panels is between 11-15%, in that of all the sunlight hitting a panel, 11-15% of it converted into electricity for use. There have been panels made that can be 40% efficient, but these are considered too expensive for commercial use. Companies like SunPower and Sanyo have claimed higher efficiency ratings of 18-19%, but may also be more expensive than other brands. Other factors that affect efficiency include: the angle at which the panel sits when capturing sunlight, heat, shading from other objects, and even the slope of your roof. Working with professional installers should alleviate these problems though, as they can optimize your panels’ positioning depending on your home or business dimensions.
Another factor that can cause differences in their efficiency is the panels’ locations. The closer to the Equator you go, the higher the solar electricity potential becomes. Different areas and environments require differention types of solar panels for maximum efficiency. Thus, the same panel in different areas will have varying output levels.
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