There are numerous rating systems that categorize and rank solar panels.
1. The Minimum Warranted Power rating, which the manufacturer places on its panel, tells you how much power the panel is guaranteed to give you.
2. The STC (California also provides PTC) ratings are assigned by an independent laboratory. These ratings tell you how the panel will stand up to either “standard test conditions” (STC) or “PVUsa Test Conditions” (PTC).
3. The efficiency rating tells you how much power you will get from each additional unit of panel area.
4. The UL listing is provided by product rating company Underwriters Laboratories. The listing tells you how safe the solar panel is.
To add you will also see panels rated in watts and volts (volts of the very small panels that can power cell phones or small water fountains). But typical panels that you put on your home can be 177watts, or 150 watts, or 200watts to name a few.
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