Solar Panels Efficiency: A Closer Look

A Look at Solar Panels Efficiency

Through the years, a new quest has begun – to find a new source of renewable energy before the one that people have been relying on for so long runs out. Month after month the news brings problems related to gasoline prices and the scarcity of fossil fuels, which is the main source of energy for many modes of transportation.

Many people have risen to the occasion, creating and inventing devices following the concepts of wind and geothermal energy, among others. One of the alternative sources of energy that has received popular attention in recent times is solar energy.

Solar energy involves taking sunlight and converting it into a manner usable for appliances, machineries, and the like. Although ancient people have been using sunlight to crudely brighten and heat their homes (in a manner called passive solar technology), this form of solar power cannot be harnessed to bring power to, say, an automobile. As such, scientists have created the solar panel to harness the sunlight and convert it into an improved means of energy.

Solar panels commonly work through the concept of excited atoms. When atoms are excited enough, they produce a small current that, when combined with other solar panels, create enough electricity to power an electric device. This concept has allowed developers to power several appliances and electronic devices at a reasonable scale.

However, despite this seeming success, improving solar panels efficiency remains one of the hindrances to completely accepting solar power as an alternative source of renewable energy. One of the main issues with solar panels efficiency is the seemingly small amount of energy that it produces. Many critics of the technology state that because of the small amounts of energy that are converted by solar panels, it takes more time to change devices powered by this manner. As a result, instead of wasting resources, users of solar-powered devices are unintentionally wasting time. Many users of solar-powered cars have complained that the power stored in their batteries are severely depleted after a shorter length of time, or due to overexertion on the road, such as driving on highly elevated terrain. This limitation on solar panels efficiency is one of the main problems that scientists currently wish to improve on.

Today, several inventions have been created to increase levels of solar panels efficiency.

The solar panels efficiency refers to the amount of sunlight that is converted by a panel to electricity (as in the case of photovoltaic technologies). The sunlight is absorbed and the more produced electricity the better the solar panels efficiency. The sunlight to electricity conversion rate is one of the pressing issues at the root of the solar panel discussion – today, some of the good solar panels can only create 14% of the sunlight absorbed; the best ones, 19%. Furthermore, some of the 19% is expended on other sources, such as the necessary tools used to determine the solar panels efficiency. Thus, more than 81% of the sunlight absorbed by the solar panels is wasted. Because of this predicament, more and more scientists are attempting to increase solar panels efficiency without sacrificing the necessary functions to regulate and transfer solar energy to storage devices.

 

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