Solar Panels are made from one layer and silicon crystals or other materials are used in its designing. One layer solar panels are cheaper than the lab-made panels which make it affordable for us to use. The efficiency of a solar panel is decided while it is manufactured hence, we as an end user can't make any changes to enhance it further. In the process of converting solar energy into electricity to light a lot of things happen in this process. Considering any solar light and checking the parts that go into converting solar energy into light are- the temperature of the panel and battery, the panel angle towards sunlight and sunlight strength, solar panel age and cleanliness, the battery size, resistance and efficiency etc. In this blog we will see what impacts the solar panel efficiency in solar flood lights. Solar Panel can convert the available sunlight into electricity wherever they are placed. Be it in an open field, on a house or on a solar flood light it will convert into electricity. The efficiency of a solar panel is measured in percentage that gives the reading of the light. Suppose, if a solar panel can utilize half of the light that shines on the panels then it will have 50 % of solar efficiency, but in reality these ratings are lower and normally ranges between 10%-20%. The light that we see consists of different wavelengths or spectrum that are also known as electromagnetic waves. Due to the efficient solar panel which are made in test labs it can convert around 46% of the light into electricity but since these panels use multiple layers they can be used in a narrow applications.
Types of Solar Panel and Build quality
Solar Panel in three types- mono-crystalline, poly-crystalline and thin film and each one of them have its own efficiency rating. So, it depends on the quality and type of the panel as to how much energy it can produce. Sunlight angle As the sun keeps changing the position so we need to check in which direction the sunlight is more and accordingly we should place the solar panel. But this keeps changing depending on the place we stay. Solar Panel needs to be placed in an area where it is free of any shade because, this will hamper the output and efficiency of the panels. Temperature The summer month doesnt seem to be friendly with the solar panels but during winters they can show up a boost in the efficiency. However, in summer these panels can produce more energy than winter. These panels are tested in laboratory under 25 degrees Celsius and each panel has a set temperature coefficient that measures the drop in produced electricity for each degree above Standard Testing Conditions (STC). The loss in efficiency takes place due to the increased temperature which raises the conductivity of the semiconductor material which is placed inside the panel. This inhabits the charge separation and so, it decreases the open-circuit voltage. During winters place the panels at a steeper angle and try cleaning the panel after snowstorms to avoid the snow from forming a layer on the solar panels and decreasing the produce of energy. Dust & other residues It common for dust and other foreign residues to accumulate on the solar panels since it will be placed outdoors. So, as an user we should keep checking that these panels are clean and away from any residues so that it doesn't affect the overall output of electricity. To avoid the settlement of dust and foreign particles solar panels are usually placed either horizontally facing directly towards the sky or at a perspective angle. Even if you mount the solar panels horizontally it can accumulate a lot of dust & rain which is not possible for the wind to blow away those residues off of that horizontal surface. So, the best way is to set up our solar panel at a steep angle and the more it is steeper its better but, we must not overdo it because then the efficiency will be reduced if it is not matching with the suns angle. Warranty of Solar Panel The age of a solar panel decides the efficiency of it because, every year it is found to reduce the efficiency by 0.2%-0.3% which is not even noticeable. Normally solar panel manufacturers give a 90% output warranty at the 10 year mark and 80% output guaranty at the 20 to 25 year mark. Solar panels are designed in a way that will lasts for decades hence, the ones that were designed many years ago will still give away the same amount of energy. Resistance of the device Like every electrical device has its own resistance capacity, the solar panel, the wiring that connects to the battery and the battery itself has its own resistance. However, the cable that connects the light and battery should not be a long one, as this leads to decrease in the current flow by 10%. So, it is advisable to buy solar lights with shorter cables that will give out more light and electricity. Battery efficiency The efficiency of a battery reduces after certain period. So, even if our solar panel is producing full energy then that energy may not be transferred to the battery as it will lose the capacity to store energy. Therefore, after every one or two years the battery should be replaced to keep getting 100% light. The battery may not be directly related to solar panel but since, it is also an important part of the solar light device, an aging battery can lead to wastage of the sunlight absorbed by the solar panels if the battery is not able to store it for long hours.