Two great questions many people ask about solar panels are: “Which panels have the highest efficiency?” and, “Which solar PV panels are the best?”
This solar power panel comparison chart below compares the solar panel efficiency of the most popular 200 W solar panels. All of the modules on this chart are rated at 200 Watts, which means in strict laboratory conditions, they produce the same output. However, because solar panels vary in size, some are more efficient compared to others. Sanyo, SunPower, Trina, Canadian Solar, Suntech and the others are common solar panel manufacturers used by installers in the US.
Of the highest output panels, both Sanyo and SunPower panels have the highest efficiency per surface area in real world conditions. Given a limited roof area with which to install solar panels, these panels are the best choice to produce the most electric output per square foot. However, this doesn’t mean that these panels will always be the best choice. Well, how should you choose solar panels then? Here are 5 questions to ask your installer before going solar.
The chart below shows some of the most common and efficient solar power panels (rated at 220 W) on the market and listed on the State of California’s “List of Eligible SB1 Guidelines Compliant Photovoltaic Modules” as of June 26, 2013.
So, if I know the most efficient solar panels, then I know which solar panels are the best, right? Well, if efficiency is all you care about, then yes. But efficiency may not be the most important factor.
Some solar installers will try to sell you on the fact that their panels are ‘more efficient’ than other’s. Don’t worry too much about efficiency though. There’s a better way to compare which complete solar system is best for you. Choose the system with the best value. You can read about solar value here.
So, you know which are the most efficient of the common panels. But, which are the most efficient of them all?
Continue to the solar panel comparison table with over 12,000 panels compared side-by-side!
Manufacturer = Solar Company; Brand
ID = Specific solar module identification code; module name
Rating = Standard Testing Conditions Rating; nameplate rating under laboratory conditions
Efficiency (%) = Output per input light irradiance using STC; energy conversion efficiency; module efficiency
Tier = Solar Panel Efficiency Tier. 1 is highest, 5 is lowest