It is now generally understood that solar power is not only a very efficient power source, but one that is generally much more efficient than the great majority of other energy sources, but why exactly is this so?
Most solar panels that are used in solar power installations today come with an energy efficiency rating of no less than 15%, often reaching as high as 22%, and while this may seem quite low the reality is that more than enough energy being produced to cover the needs of the majority of residential and even commercial properties.
However the efficiency level of photovoltaic cells is continuing to be improved by researchers, with a 40% rating having been achieved by some scientists, although these are not yet commercially available.
A more efficient solar panel could be the correct choice for those with limited space or a smaller roof, as while they may be a little more costly they will still be able to provide your required energy needs.
However those with more space will be able to use panels that are less efficient but also less expensive to achieve the same results.
Comparing the energy sources
While the current 15-22% energy rating of solar panels may still not sound overly efficient, it is important to compare that to the energy alternatives.
Just 20% of gasoline is converted into actual energy by the engine of a motor vehicle, with the rest being wasted, while the unused energy created by solar panels actually help to brighten up anything it touches.
Although coal has a higher efficiency rating of between 33 to 40%, the consequences of using coal as an energy source is that it is very bad for the environment, while using solar power has no negative environmental consequences at all.
Solar panels are already considerably more efficient than was once the case, and that efficiency is only going to continue to grow as time goes by, which will also result in the technology becoming more and more affordable.
Energy that is not converted into electricity provides warmth and light without causing excessive heat or dirtying the air as is the case with fossil fuel engines.
Solar power is also more efficient in another way than more traditional sources of energy – cost efficiency. While the initial outlay to have solar panels installed may be quite expensive, the fact is that over the long term that investment will be more than recouped by the amount of money saved on electricity bills.
The cost of solar panels has fallen by as much as 20% over the course of the last six years, and there are also a number of government incentive schemes that can sometimes be of help for paying for that initial setup cost.
Once it has been installed, a solar energy system is very low cost and low maintenance. In some cases homeowners and small businesses may even be able to sell excess power back to the electricity grid.
Solar power is more environmentally and cost efficient than other power sources, and it is only a matter of time before its energy efficiency also eclipses that of its rivals.