What solar panels are the most efficient?

Generally, the solar panels have between 15% and 18% efficiency but can achieve an efficiency of over 21%. Brands such as LG and Panasonic are some of the most efficient solar panels on the market today. High-efficiency solar panels are more expensive, but allow you to generate more free electricity. The efficiency of the solar panel depends on how well a solar panel can convert sunlight into electricity. Thus, the more efficient your solar panels (and the more sunlight they will have), the more they will be able to generate electricity. Let’s find together what solar panels are the most efficient.

Solar panel efficiency: what you need to know

The efficiency of a solar panel is determined by the amount of sunlight entering its cells divided by the amount of electrical energy it can generate, represented as a percentage. So if 2,000 watts of sunlight hit a solar panel and from there it produced 200 watts of electricity, the solar panel would be 10% efficient (2,000/200 = 10). It is worth comparing the efficiency of different solar panels to understand how this affects the amount of energy they are capable of producing. For example, if you install a solar panel with 20% efficiency next to a solar panel with 15% efficiency on your roof, the 20% efficient solar panel would produce up to 30% more electricity in your roof, the same effective panel conditions.

The majority of residential solar panels installed are between 15% and 18% efficient, but some are above 21% efficient. Although it may seem small, modern solar panels are capable of producing enough electricity to cover most (or all) of a household’s energy use at this current efficiency. As solar technology advances, it is likely that solar panels will become even more efficient in the future.

When it comes to a large installation, efficiency can add up a lot.

What solar panels are the most efficient?

The type of solar panel you install can have an effect on its efficiency. Installers listed by The Solar Consort can almost all install multiple brands. The two most common types of solar panels on the market are monocrystalline panels and polycrystalline panels. Monocrystalline panels often have an efficiency of between 15% and 19%, while polycrystalline solar panels are generally less efficient and have efficiency between 11% and 15%.

Most efficient solar panels: 

There are top 5 most efficient solar panels manufacturers that have the highest efficiency solar panel:

Solar Panel ManufacturerEfficiency
Sun Power22.8%
REC Solar21.7%

What are the Factors that determine solar panel efficiency?

Many factors determine how efficient the solar panel is:

  • Material: The type of material impact the conversion rate-means how much sunlight converts to the electricity? The type of material includes monocrystalline silicon, telluride, and cadmium, and polycrystalline silicon.
  • Busing and wiring: The way you organize the busbars and wires on the panel can determine its efficiency. It captures and transfers the electricity.
  • Reflection:  The solar panel efficiency can be lowered if the light is reflected away from the panel. That’s why the glass layer is so important on the top of the silicon solar cells.

Bottom Line:

Currently, monocrystalline panels are the most efficient. That is to say that at equal panel surface and under the same sunlight conditions, the monocrystalline panel produces more electricity. It allows you to get the best profitability.