The Best Solar Panels of 2023
Solar panels have the ability to capture the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity. By installing solar panels, you can generate your own renewable energy to power your home or business.
Although they all have the ability to generate Solar energy, there are many factors that can affect a Solar Panel’s performance and durability. On this page we will take a look at the best solar panels available on the UK market today.
What is a Solar Panel?
Who Manufacturers Solar Panels?
There are hundreds of solar panel manufacturers in the world. With big names such as Energizer, Panasonic, Hyundai and LG entering the solar PV game, the list of solar photovoltaic panels suppliers is growing rapidly.
Here at Deege Solar, we install PV panels made by industry leaders Hyundai, JA Solar and SolarEdge. Brands you can be confident will be around for a long time. With more than 13 years in the solar industry, our green team can spot a high-quality solar panel from a mile off. What’s more, we only choose to install the best solar panels available on the market.
How Do I Know Which Solar Panel is the best?
Choosing the right Solar Panel for your installation is like choosing the right car. There are numerous factors to consider. Depending on which features you wish to prioritise, the best solar panel can differ from project to project. Lucky for you, the team here at Deege Solar have put together a list of key features to compare before choosing which Solar PV panel to install.
The output of a solar panel is measured in Watts. The wattage of a solar panel is determined by two factors: the size of the panel and the efficiency of the solar cells. Currently, most solar panels in today’s industry produce between 250 and 400 Watts of power. With more technological advancements over the years, the average wattage of a solar panel has been on the rise. The higher the wattage of a solar panel, the more electricity it can produce under the same conditions. This means more green energy for your home.
Useful Solar Panel Calculations
To calculate how much electricity a solar panel will generate in a day, you simply need to multiply the wattage of the solar panel by the number of sunlight hours.
For example in Colchester Essex, there is on average 4 hours of sunlight hours every day. If we multiply this by for example a 380W JA Solar Panel, that panel would be able to generate 1,520 watt-hours (Wh) in a single day. You can then multiply this by the quantity of 380W JA Solar Panels there are in the Solar Panel array for an expected daily generation.
To calculate the size of a Solar PV system, you take the wattage of the solar panel you have installed and multiply it by how many PV panels there are in your array.
For example, if our green team was to install 10 400W Hyundai Solar Panels, you would be installing a 4 kilowatt (kW) Solar PV System.
It is important to remember that the Wattage of a panel is given from “Standard Test Conditions.” So factors such as shading are not taken into account when using these calculations.
MONOCRYSTALLINEMonocrystalline or ‘Mono’ solar cells are manufactured by cutting single sheets from a silicon bar. These single solar cells allow for greater movement of electrons resulting in higher panel efficiency. Monocrystalline panels as a result tend to be more expensive and are recognisable by their all-black finish.
POLYCRYSTALLINEJust like monocrystalline solar panels, polycrystalline cells are made from silicon. However, Polycrystalline or ‘Poly’ solar panels are made from wafer sheets of silicon, which have been melted down from fragments. Often considered the mid-range panel, Polycrystalline PV panels although less efficient, are more affordable. Polycrystalline solar panels tend to be your traditional blue modules.
PERCPERC or ‘Passive Emitter and Rear Cell/Contact’ solar panels, have an integrated passivation layer. This layer helps to increase panel efficiency, meaning your panels can generate more electricity in the same size area. This is particularly useful when you only have a small roof area suitable for solar.
HALF-CELL TechnologyHalf-Cell PV modules can be recognised by the busbar running across the centre of the panel. By effectively separating the solar panel, the number of cells is doubled and made smaller. Smaller cells reduce mechanical strain, meaning microcracks occur less frequently. The half-cell technology also reduces negative effects from shading and ‘hot spotting’. Improving the panel’s overall output, efficiency, and chances of ‘hot spots’.
BIFACIAL Solar PanelsBifacial panels are designed to absorb light from both the front and back of the panel. By having solar cells mounted onto the rear of the solar panel, any light that is reflected by surrounding surfaces can too be absorbed. This allows the solar panel to absorb as much light as possible. Bifacial solar panels are best installed on a flat roof, surrounded by light-coloured roofing.
Shingled TechnologyShingle solar cells are solar cells which are cut into typically 5 or 6 strips. The strips of solar cells are joined together using an electrically conductive adhesive (ECA) that allows for conductivity and flexibility. Shingled Solar Panels provide ultra-high efficiency with better performance in low irradiation.
Traditionally, solar panels used to have 72 or 60 solar cells. The 60 cell panels were 1.65m tall and weighed around 20kg, while the 72 cell panels were much taller at 1.95m and weighed 28kg. This made the 72 cell panel harder to install, but more powerful.
Nowadays, thanks to Half Cell Technology, Solar Panels usually have 120 or 144 half cells. As by cutting the solar cells in half they discovered they could increase efficiency as well as longevity and heat dissipation. This is why most solar panels utilise half cell technology now.
If your roof space is fairly limited or fragile, then the size and weight of the solar panel you choose will be a high priority. The average size of a solar panel is approximately 2 m squared, but some manufacturers have managed to make some compact models. It is important that your solar panel installation can accommodate for your energy usage. So if more energy is required to power your home, you will either need more panels or higher wattage or efficient panels.
Integrated/in-roof systemsAn integrated solar panel system will give your home a stylish modern addition of green energy. Here at Deege Solar, we install integrated solar PV panels using the GSE in-roof system. In order for a solar panel to be compatible with the GSE in-roof system the solar panel of choice must be within the following dimensions:
- Panel Height Range: 1670mm – 1780mm
- Panel Width Range: 1015mm -1020mm
Flat roof/GROUND-MOUNTED systemsIf you are considering installing your solar panels on a flat roof, the module length for a solar panel to be compatible with the Renusol ConSole buckets is between 1550-2150 mm. However, extension bars can be fitted at an extra cost to fit larger panels. If is always worth discussing your options with a solar advisor first. If you are a UK home or business owner call our green team today on 01322 479369 or click enquire now to discuss solar!
Solar panel efficiency is the percent of sunlight a solar panel is able to convert into usable electricity. Essentially meaning the more efficient a solar panel is the more of the sun’e energy that will be converted into solar energy! Unfortunately, solar panel efficiency is no where near 100% as of yet. The majority of solar panels in the market have a panel efficiency of between 15 to 20%. The highest efficiency you’ll find on the market at the moment is around the 25%, and the majority of ‘high-efficiency’ solar panels fall somewhere between 18% and 23%. To be expected, the higher the efficiency of a solar panel the more expensive the panel. It is also worth noting that a solar panel is only as efficient as the components working with them. This is why it is also important that an efficient solar inverter is also used. If you have a smaller roof area, then having a more efficient solar panel is likely to be more of a priority.
Product WarrantyProduct Warranty refers to the seller’s guarantee that if the product proves to be defective within a specific time period, it will be repaired or replaced. The product Warranty of a solar panel tends to be shorter than the performance warranty, at around 15 years.
Performance WarrantyA solar panel’s ‘performance warranty’ or ‘linear output warranty’, is a guarantee that the PV panel will operate at a certain percentage of its original output after a certain number of years. This is typically somewhere between 80-90% after 25-30 years.
Solar Panel Comparison
Below our green team have put together a comparison table for some of the solar pv panels available on the market. If you would like to find out more information regarding solar panels contact our team on 01322 479369.