Ultimate Guide to Solar Panel Efficiency in Australia - Jackery Australia

Ultimate Guide to Solar Panel Efficiency in Australia

With increased solar panel efficiency, power output, and overall quality, solar technology has advanced significantly in recent years. Most top solar panels now have more than 20% conversion efficiency, up from less than 15%.

solar panel for caravan

Solar panels can reduce utility costs while producing clean, environmentally friendly electricity. But what makes them so effective? The efficiency of solar panels is proportional to the quality of their photovoltaic (PV) cells. The more effective a solar panel is, the more power it generates from the sun's rays.

It's critical to understand what factors influence solar panel efficiency so that your investment in solar can create the most energy and, eventually, save you the most money on your electric bill. This complete guide to solar panel efficiency in Australia has all the information you need to help you choose the finest one. Jackery Solar Panels offer more than 25% power conversion efficiency, ensuring power transmission and delivery.

Key Takeaways:

  • 100% of the energy gathered by solar panels is not converted into 100% valuable energy for your home, business, or property.

  • When all other factors remain constant, opting for a solar panel with a more excellent efficiency rating rather than one with a lower rating is logical.  

  • Several factors affect solar panel efficiency, including solar panel types, solar cell technology, solar panel technology, solar panel placement, and weather conditions.

  • Jackery Solar Panels have higher conversion efficiency; for example, SolarSaga 100W has 24.3% efficiency, and SolarSaga 80W has 25% higher efficiency.

  • There is a formula to calculate the solar panel efficiency.


What Is Solar Panel Efficiency in Australia?

How effective is solar energy? What gives? Some sources claim that solar panels are inefficient, while others claim they are incredibly efficient. Solar panel systems have poor energy conversion efficiency compared to other types of energy production.

That is, 100% of the energy gathered by solar panels is not converted into 100% valuable energy for your home, business, or property. The energy conversion efficiency isn't a concern because sunshine is a free energy source. 

The advancements in solar panel technology, particularly in the case of monocrystalline panels, have significantly improved their energy efficiency. Consequently, the apparent concern over solar energy conversion efficiency may be less significant than initially perceived. Now, let's go into the specifics of solar panel efficiency and why solar panels save electricity.

What Is Solar Cell Efficiency? 

The amount of solar power your system's panels can actively convert into usable energy is called solar cell efficiency. Solar panels with a higher module efficiency rating can restore a more significant percentage of the sun's rays into power for your home or property. This also means that buying efficient solar panels with a high module rating will require fewer solar panels than if your system had a lower efficiency rating.

For example, a high-quality monocrystalline solar panel can convert 15% to 24% of the PV rays it collects into helpful energy. Thin-film panels, for example, can only convert 6% to 12%. If you utilize polycrystalline solar panels, you can expect conversion rates ranging from 13% to 20%.

What Is Solar Panel Power Rating? 

Solar panels are rated in Watts based on how much electricity they can produce in one hour of peak sunshine. However, because these ratings are assigned under ideal laboratory settings, they do not represent the amount of power that may be expected of that panel daily. So, even during peak sun, a 100W panel will not provide 100 Watts of electricity.


Why Does Solar Panel Efficiency Matter?

When faced with the choice between two solar panels that are otherwise identical, it is advisable to select the one with a higher efficiency rating. Nevertheless, the cost disparity between high-efficiency solar panels and their lower-rated counterparts necessitates carefully evaluating various considerations, including financial objectives, the specific attributes of the selected installation, and other aspects, like brand reputation and aesthetic appeal, to make an informed decision.

Another advantage of using a more excellent solar panel efficiency system is that it indicates a high-quality brand. If a solar panel manufacturer can make a panel with a high module efficiency rating, it suggests they have invested a significant amount of time and resources in generating a premium product that will last longer, be more durable, and be of higher quality than competing brands.

Jackery Solar Panels have high quality, high efficiency, and high resistance on the Australian solar market, with up to 25% power conversion efficiency. Because of their portability, Jackery Solar Panels may be taken anywhere, especially when paired with Jackery Portable Power Stations to optimize solar energy.


What Affects Solar Panel Efficiency?

The amount of energy gained from sunlight by semiconductors defines the efficiency of the solar cells that comprise a solar panel. An efficient solar panel generates more electricity while taking up less area.

Several factors determine solar panel efficiency. How much sunlight its cells can convert into helpful power picks it. What factors influence that conversion rate? When creating high-efficiency solar technologies, photovoltaic (PV) cell researchers and manufacturers take various factors into account:

  • Solar Panel Types: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, thin-film
  • Solar Cell Technology: HJT, PERC, Half-cut
  • Solar Panel Technology: backing, busbars & wiring
  • Solar Panel Placement: dirt, tilt, orientation, temperature derating
  • Weather Conditions: weather, shading, rain, wind, hail 

Design, manufacturing materials, components, and even variables such as the positioning of the solar panels on your land, their angle, and other environmental problems all contribute to the efficiency of a solar panel.

Portable Solar Panel for Caravan

The type of solar cell utilized significantly affects solar panel efficiency. Solar cells are the components of a solar panel that convert sunlight into electricity. Silicon solar cells are classified into three types:

Monocrystalline Solar Cells are the most effective and widely used type of solar cell in household solar panels. Monocrystalline panels, produced from a single silicon ingot split into thin wafers, are the most efficient, achieving 17% to 24% efficiency.

Polycrystalline Solar Cells are less efficient, with ratings typically falling below 17%, and unsuitable for solar installation on the new house.

Thin-film Solar Cells are the least effective and are rarely utilized in residential solar installations. These panels are less expensive, but they could be more efficient. They are frequently found in commercial settings. They are typically 10% to 13% efficient.

Monocrystalline solar panels are the most commonly utilized type of solar panel today since they outperform other cell types. However, this has only sometimes been the case. Polycrystalline panels were previously the most popular since they were significantly less expensive than the alternatives.

Solar Panel Efficiency: Solar Cell Technology

Monocrystalline solar cells are used in most solar panels nowadays. However, monocrystalline solar cells can be built in various ways to increase efficiency. These are some examples:

PERC Solar Cells: Passivated emitters are commonly associated with a modest increase in efficiency of approximately 1%. This improvement is attributed to a reflective back layer, which effectively redirects any light that has traversed through the cell.

HJT Solar Cell: A heterojunction with intrinsic thin-layer solar cells refers to integrating conventional monocrystalline solar cells with additional layers of silicon of a distinct type. These different layers can absorb diverse wavelengths of light, enhancing the solar cell's overall power generation capacity.

Half-Cut: It sounds like Split-cell technology. Solar cells are divided in half using a high-precision laser, reducing heat and resistance and enhancing total efficiency.

Solar Panel Efficiency: Solar Panel Technology

Solar panels are made in layers, much like a layer cake. The front glass sheet, an encapsulant layer, the solar cells, more encapsulant, a back sheet, and an aluminum frame hold everything together.

The materials used to create these layers significantly impact how well a solar panel can convert sunlight into electricity. Solar cells, backing, busbars, and wiring are among them.

If you've ever seen a standard solar panel, you've probably noticed that some white space surrounds the black solar cells. That white region is the back sheet of the solar panel. You may have also seen all-black solar panels with a black back sheet.

Black backing is popular among homeowners because it blends with the color of the solar cells, giving the panels a sleek, uniform appearance. On the other hand, panels with black backing are significantly less efficient than those with white backing because they generate more heat. Believe it or not, the effectiveness of a solar panel diminishes as its surface temperature rises. To improve efficiency, Jackery Solar Panels have a black backing.

How solar cells are connected can also affect how efficiently they generate electricity. When you look at the front of a solar panel, you will notice a lot of fine lines—a network of copper or aluminum wires that conduct energy throughout the panel.

Some solar producers have adopted multi-busbar technology, which employs multiple ultra-thin busbars rather than fewer, bulkier busbars. Thinner busbars reduce shade on the solar cell, allowing it to absorb more sunlight and thereby increasing solar panel efficiency. 

Solar Panel Efficiency: Solar Panel Placement

Suppose you want to maximize the electricity your system produces or guarantee that you buy the least electricity from your utility. In that case, you should go with solar panels that have a higher efficiency.

Solar Panel Orientation: The direction solar panels face, and the angle at which they are installed affect the panel's output. The panels will not produce the rated output for that location if they are not positioned at the optimal angle and direction. It is essential for appropriately computing solar output.

Temperature Derating: Temperature affects solar panels. The less efficient the panels get as they heat up. We go through this in great length here. Still, the short version is that the temperature coefficient, ambient temperature, and kind of installation affect panel efficiency and, thus, solar panel output.

Dirt on Solar Panel: Dirt and grime can reduce a solar panel's efficiency. This varies for each panel, so accounting for a performance loss is ideal. We estimate a 5% loss of efficiency owing to dirt and filth in all of our calculations. Your panels would operate better if you cleaned them regularly.

Suppose you live in a very dusty area or an area prone to wildfires. In that case, debris may accumulate on your solar panels, reducing the quantity of sunlight that can be converted into electricity. Even something as insignificant as pigeon feces might reduce solar production. 

Solar Panel Efficiency: Weather Conditions

Everything we've discussed thus far has been about solar panel efficiency ratings. The efficiency value is computed under a specified set of laboratory testing parameters, and solar panels will not be subjected to these ideal conditions. 

Sun Hours: Irradiance, or sun hours, is essential in determining how efficient a solar panel system will be. The higher the irradiance level or the number of sun hours a system receives, the more electricity it can generate.

Shade: It should go without saying that the more a solar panel is exposed to shade, the less effective it will be. Panels work best in high-sun situations, and if they are put in an area with a lot of shade, trees, or clouds, their effectiveness will suffer.

Weather: Clear skies and sunny days are ideal for solar panels. Even a passing cloud can affect how much electricity the panels produce. Snow accumulation can completely halt energy production, so if you receive a lot of snow, you may need to clear it off.

Most of the time, rain storms will remove everything on your panels, but you may need to clean them to optimum electricity generation.


Jackery Solar Panels with Higher Efficiency

Jackery Solar Panels are built of highly efficient monocrystalline solar cells with the best solar panel efficiency in the industry at 25%, which none of the competitors can match. The panels are built with IBC Solar technology, which has a rich 40-year history in the Solar Panel business. It enables the solar panels to continue delivering a consistent output, even in low-light settings or high temperatures.

Because of the monocrystalline solar cells, the Jackery Solar Panels have a better power conversion efficiency, allowing them to absorb more sunlight and convert it into more electricity, which can then be stored in Portable Power Stations for later use. The power station's pure sine wave inverter can supply stable and consistent electric current.

The Jackery SolarSaga 100W Solar Panel is designed to efficiently convert solar energy into renewable power using monocrystalline solar technology. With a solar panel efficiency of 24.3%, this technology is well-suited for outdoor activities and can serve as a reliable power source during emergencies such as power outages.  

Jackery SolarSaga 100W solar panel for caravan
Incorporating an ETFE-laminated casing significantly enhances the durability and longevity of the solar panel while maintaining a relatively low weight of 10.33 lbs. Its lightweight design, foldability, IP65 waterproof rating, and portability characterize the product, making it suitable for many outdoor activities and domestic applications. 

The solar panels are constructed using monocrystalline solar cells and use a honeycomb light-trapping design. Additionally, the panels are supplied with adjustable stands, enabling optimal positioning. These solar panels exhibit a high-efficiency level, with a maximum solar panel efficiency of 24.3%. Maximize solar energy utilization, including sunny and gloomy days, irrespective of prevailing weather conditions.

The design using ETFE-lamination has exceptional resistance to temperature and corrosion, displaying operational capabilities within a temperature range of -10 to 65°C (14 to 149°F). The battery grid is strategically positioned on the rear surface of the panel, thereby mitigating the risk of battery fractures and enhancing the overall longevity of the battery.

Product

Jackery SolarSaga 100W Solar Panel

Dimensions

Folded: 24 x 21 x 1.4 in

Unfolded: 48 x 21 x 0.2 in 

Weight: 4.69kg

Solar

Peak Power: 100W

Power Voltage: 18V

Power Current: 5.55A

Efficiency

24.3%

Compatible With

Explorer 2000 Pro + 6*SolarSaga 100W: 2805Wh (5.5H Recharging)

Explorer 1000 Pro + 4*SolarSaga 100W: 1292Wh (3.8H Recharging)

Explorer 500 + 1*SolarSaga 100W: 639Wh (9H Recharging)

Explorer 240 + 1*SolarSaga 100W: 305Wh (5H Recharging)

The Jackery SolarSaga 80W Monocrystalline Solar Panel is designed to convert solar energy into sustainable energy efficiently. This panel features a dual-sided design, enhancing its ability to harness sunlight and generate power. The utilization of extra-white glass on the back panel of the design improves the efficiency of the solar panel, surpassing the industry standard with an impressive 25% solar panel efficiency.

The Jackery SolarSaga 80W Monocrystalline Solar Panel is designed to convert solar energy into sustainable energy efficiently. This panel features a dual-sided design, enhancing its ability to harness sunlight and generate power. The utilization of extra-white glass on the back panel of the design improves the efficiency of the solar panel, surpassing the industry standard with an impressive 25% solar panel efficiency. 

The enhanced solar panel can generate electricity from its front and back surfaces. The utilization of extra-white glass, which possesses a transmittance rate of 92%, on the rear panel contributes to enhancing the conversion rate. The solar panel is constructed using 2.8mm low iron complete toughened glass, which enhances its durability.

The 80W Solar Panels are compatible with all Jackery Power Stations, offering superior charging alternatives. Charging up to 12 units of 80W solar panels simultaneously is possible. There is flexibility in determining the method of charging.

The 80W Solar Panels are compatible with all Jackery Power Stations, offering superior charging alternatives. Charging up to 12 units of 80W solar panels simultaneously is possible. There is flexibility in determining the method of charging.

Product

Jackery SolarSaga 80W Solar Panel

Dimensions

Folded: 35.67 x 20.79 x 1.06 in

Folded: 35.67 x 20.79 x 1.06 in

Weight: 5.1kg

Solar

Peak Power: 80W

Power Voltage: 22V

Power Current: 3.6A

Efficiency

25%

Compatible With

Explorer 1000 Pro + 12*SolarSaga 80W: 1468.8Wh (1.8H Recharging)

Explorer 500 + 1*SolarSaga 80W: 629.8Wh (9.4H Recharging)

Explorer 240 + 1*SolarSaga 80W: 305Wh (5H Recharging)


How to Calculate Solar Panel Efficiency?

Solar panel efficiency may be calculated by dividing the total wattage of your system by the product of the square meters of your solar panels and the incident radiation flux, all multiplied by 100. 

The amount of light that shines on the Earth's surface in your location is called incident radiation flux. Standard solar panel testing settings assume a 1,000-watt incident radiation flow per square meter. 

When looking for solar panels, look for the efficiency rating on the panel's datasheet. But how is it calculated precisely? There is a simple formula for calculating solar panel efficiency:

Efficiency = [Power Output / (Area of Panel x Solar Irradiance)] x 100

When solar panels are examined in the laboratory under Standard Test Conditions (STC), they are anticipated to receive 1,000 watts of sunshine per square meter. Using this information, determine the efficiency rating of a 200W solar panel with a 1.5 square meter area:

Efficiency = [200W / (1.5*1000)] x 100 = 13.3%

As a result, the efficiency rating of this 200W solar panel is 13.3%. You may also use this solar panel efficiency calculation to determine how much money you can save by installing solar panels.


Solar Panel Efficiency FAQs

1. Do solar panels lose efficiency over time?

Solar panels gradually degrade over time, producing less electricity from the same quantity of sunlight. Weather-related wear and tear are among the causes of solar panel efficiency decline. Solar panels have a 25-year average productive life. According to the NREL, solar panels and their output degrade at roughly 0.5% each year: a 20-year-old solar panel will provide approximately 90% of the electricity it produces in its first year of life. (Data source:National Renewable Energy Laboratory)

2. Do solar panels work on rainy or cold days?

Yes, the answer is yes. Solar panels generate energy by converting the sun's light, not heat. More light reaches the panels when the skies are clear; when there are clouds, the light is scattered by particles in the shadows but still bears the ground. When it rains, some light always gets through, and solar panels transform that light - no matter how diffuse - into energy.

The more rain that falls and the denser the clouds, the less direct light that strikes the panels and the less energy they can generate from the sunlight that does reach them. However, contrary to popular belief, rain can help solar panels run more efficiently by clearing dust and grime that builds on them.

3. How do you choose the best solar panel?

Homeowners concerned about growing electricity costs and want a system that simultaneously reduces their bills and creates greener energy are increasingly installing solar panels. There are numerous aspects to consider while selecting the best solar panel:

Jackery SolarSaga 80W solar panel for caravan
Efficiency of Solar Panel: The higher the efficiency, the more watts of electricity you will receive per square meter of panel. As a result, the higher the efficiency, the smaller the solar panel for the same electrical output and the less space required.

Costs: When calculating how much solar panels cost, the apparent calculation is: how many watts of power are you obtaining per dollar of module or dollars per watt? Good quality solar panels cost between 67c and $1.60 per watt, including GST. This price is only for the panels; it does not include any other system components or installation.

Warranty: Warranty declarations and conformity to quality standards can provide a decent indication of the quality of a solar panel. Pay close attention to the tiny print about topics such as where you might have to send your modules, if there is a problem, if everything can be handled on-site, and whether they are fully standards-compliant and approved for usage in Australia.


How to Choose The Best Solar Panel for Caravan

Consider your requirements and the duration of your trip before deciding on the best caravan solar panels. When purchasing solar panels for a caravan, several factors must be considered:

  • Power Output: Although various solar panels have varying power ratings, size generally correlates with solar energy production output. Under optimum conditions of sunlight and temperature, the wattage of a solar panel represents its power output. You can select the optimal quantity of solar panels for your caravanning needs based on their power output.

  • Dimensions: While most caravans have sufficient capacity for solar panel installation, this is only sometimes the case for the vehicle used to get there. If you have limited space, the weather is predictable, and your energy needs are low, you should consider a smaller solar panel.    

  • Caravan Duration: Twelve months, one month, or one night? If you occasionally camp for a single night, a compact solar panel and portable power station will suffice. Frequent caravaners or full-time caravanners will likely need more power output and storage to charge various life essentials.


Final Thoughts

Nowadays, solar panel efficiency has increased substantially, from an average of roughly 15% conversion of sunlight to valuable energy to around 22%. High-efficiency solar panels can achieve about 25% efficiency. Photovoltaic cell efficiency and total panel efficiency are governed by cell type, arrangement, and size in solar panels. The best portable solar panels for converting sunlight into power are Jackery Solar Panels, with up to 25% conversion efficiency.


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