Whenever someone decides to go solar, there is more than one company trying to earn their business. Any contractor with high-efficiency solar panels will focus on quality as the reason to purchase their system. Likewise, contractors with cheaper panels will aggressively drive their lower price as a sales point.

Solar panels with higher efficiency are more expensive. But are they worth it?

Note: Solar panel efficiency is the measurement of how much solar irradiation (power per unit area received from the sun) that falls on earth that the panels are able to convert to electricity.

YellowLite offers many different types of panels, including high-efficiency modules. In considering whether you should choose based on efficiency or cost, here are a few helpful pointers.

Solar efficiency

The efficiency of cheaper thin-film panels is as low as 10%, and 14-15% for most polycrystalline panels. The more advanced panels have an efficiency rate of as high as 20%.

You may wonder if someone getting a 5kw system that has 18% efficiency will get more kWh of solar electricity compared to someone who with a 14% efficient panel.

The answer: NO. Both the panels will produce the same amount of power. During rating of the panels, their efficiency was already considered. So if both types are of 300 Watts, then both will produce 300 Watts of power.

Then, what’s the difference?

The difference is that higher efficiency solar panels have physically smaller dimensions. They need less space to produce the same amount of power, which means you can fit more on your roof and create a bigger system.

Conclusion

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t invest in a more efficient panel. But to do so, an obvious case would be where you have limited roof space, and you want to produce the maximum power. High-efficiency solar panels are usually produced by the most innovative companies with exceptional engineers and quality control: they are often made in America, have better warranties, and overall better manufacturing. You could compare them to a “sports car” of panels: if you can afford it, you will get quality and reliability, but even if not, and you go with a less expensive panel, you’ll still be able to get wherever you need to go.

Of course, we’re always here to consult and discuss the best panel available for your home. You can use our free solar calculator resource to determine how much solar you need and its approximate cost. Give us a call today!