High long-term energy yield is one of the primary things that is expected of solar panels. Comparing solar panels with different power ratings etc. can, however, be quite difficult. SALO® Solar Panels have recently reached a relatively high-efficiency rating of over 20%.
Long hot summer and the rise in electricity prices have inspired Finns to invest in solar energy systems. It can however be hard for a regular consumer to compare the power ratings and energy yield of different solar panels in the market. The power production capacity is reported in watts (W) and the produced energy in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Does a larger watt rating then mean that the solar panel is automatically better? “This is not necessarily the case”, says Esa Areva, the CEO of Solar Finland, and continues:
“The efficiency rating of the solar panels has to be considered. It tells you how much of the solar irradiation distributed on the surface area of the panel it can convert into usable energy. The efficiency rating of modern panels is typically around 18 percent when we’re talking about complete solar panels, not solar cells without the glass on top. The higher the efficiency, the more powerful the panel is.”
“We have been doing R&D work on our products for some time now and have recently reached an efficiency rating of 20,4 % with a 395 Wp complete solar panel. This is already an impressive rating which is due to good module design and new, higher-quality materials that we use in our solar panels.”
“There are many kinds of panels on the market. With a large surface area and a large number of cells, the power rating (W) of a single solar panel can be raised high. In return, the power rating of smaller panels is lower. The problem with larger modules is the increased elemental forces they face, mainly hard winds and high snow loads. This is why we have aimed at optimizing the power rating and production capability in relation to a surface area that can still easily withstand the weather conditions of the Nordics.”
The unit used to compare the power production capability of solar panels is kilowatt peak (kWp). It is an equal and fair unit for the comparison. “Long-term monitoring done in our own testing field has shown that monocrystalline panels are more powerful than polycrystalline panels.”
Finnish-made 380 W SALO® Solar Panels have an efficiency rating of 19,37 %. They are 2 x 1 m in size and are made with 72 monocrystalline silicon cells. Compared to their size, SALO® Solar Panels have optimal energy yield and an excellent power rating. “We firmly believe that Finnish consumers make conscious choices and value Finnish products and quality. That is the reason why we invest in R&D and constantly want to make better products”, Esa Areva states.