4 Solar Panel Efficiency Improvements in the Works
Boosting solar panel efficiency is always on the minds of photovoltaic manufacturers. Improving the efficiency of photovoltaic modules helps increase sales and boosts the bottom line.
As manufacturers continually work on bettering their products, consumers win, as their PV systems produce more free energy by harnessing the sun’s power. Photovoltaic modules are made of several components, each of which gives manufacturers more opportunity to improve efficiency.
No. 1: Improving Solar Panel Manufacturing Processes & Materials
Photovoltaic manufacturers are working to refine the manufacturing process to improve production efficiency. They are also working to identify better materials for use in panel fabrication.
Specifically, manufacturers are improving the anti-reflective coatings and texture layers, with the goal of improving panel efficiency.
No. 2: Changing Solar Panel Wiring Schemes
You may have noticed that most photovoltaic panels feature distinctive grid lines. These are actually tiny metal wires called busbars, and they help with electricity flow from the module.
Because the busbars reflect some sunlight, manufacturers are researching ways to eliminate the wires, or to make them thinner to reduce the energy lost due to this reflection.
No. 3: Eliminating Wasted Solar Panel Space
Photovoltaic modules also have small white spaces between the solar cells, as well as along their edges. By getting rid of these gaps, or finding a way to overlap the cells, manufacturers believe they can boost PV panel efficiency even further.
No. 4: Two-Sided Solar Panel Functionality
Most photovoltaic panel designs have solar cells attached to a sturdy backsheet, which means only one side of the module can capture energy from the sun. Manufacturers are exploring the use of bifacial technology, creating clear panels that can absorb light from both sides.
Although this efficiency improvement may not be useful for all photovoltaic applications, it could significantly improve the efficiency of some PV system installations.
Should You Wait for Solar Panel Efficiency to Improve?
If PV panel manufacturers are working on all these efficiency improvements, should you hold off on going solar until the new technology hits the market?
Probably not, as anything that photovoltaic manufacturers are researching now won’t hit the consumer market for several years. If you wait that long, you’ll miss out on the 30 percent federal incentive for installing a solar system. And since state and local financial incentives are also rapidly disappearing, you might not have as many savings opportunities on your home PV system purchase.
Going solar now means you’ll start saving now, and thanks to the ever-increasing utility rates, your savings will grow every year. Every day you wait for more efficient photovoltaic technology is a day you won’t save money creating your own home electricity.
If you’re on the fence about going solar, schedule a free consultation with the professionals at Intermountain Wind & Solar. As the leading home PV system provider for Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Nevada and Wyoming, our expert contractors can explain the benefits of installing a photovoltaic system now. For answers to your questions about home PV installation and solar panel efficiency, contact us today.