Solar Panel Efficiency and Lifespan


For any new instillation of solar energy system, solar panel efficiency and lifespan plays a major roll in selection of solar panels to be used in.Use of modern technology in manufacturing and recent research in solar domain results in higher solar panel efficiency and longer lifespan of solar panel. In last decade solar panels efficiency have improved a lot from 20th century value and same scenario have seen in solar panel lifespan as well.Due to this improvement in efficiency and lifespan results into comparative pricing of solar power systems to conventional ones.Third generation solar panels which have higher efficiency and lifespan with advantage of high price per performance ratio can have ability to change whole world energy scenario.In following article we have mentioned the solar panel efficiency and lifespan of different types of solar panels which are currently available in market or will be.


polycrystalline solar panel have more than 55% share in photovoltaic systems around the world.Polycrystalline silicon, or multicrystalline silicon cells are made from cast square ingots—large blocks of molten silicon carefully cooled and solidified. They consist of small crystals giving the material its typical metal flake effect. Polysilicon cells are the most common type used in photovoltaics and are less expensive, yet less efficient than those made from monocrystalline silicon.highest efficiency for polycrystalline cell is registered around 20.4% but for polycrystalline solar panel it ranges from 15 to 17%.polycrystalline silicon have very high stability in natural environment which result into longer polycrystalline solar panel lifespan ranges around 25 years.


monocrystalline solar panel have more than 35% share in photovoltaic systemsaround the world which is second largest than polycristalline solar panel. Due to use of pure monocrystal which have wide spectral absorption band results higher efficiency and longer lifespan of monocrystalline solar panel.Which also results in higher cost of this type solar panel Highest efficiency for polycrystalline solar panel registered is 25% but for monocrystalline solar panel efficiency it ranges from 19%-22%.monocrystalline solar panel lifespan is also one of the highest among the others and recorded around 30 years.


Copper indium gallium selenide solar panels are manufactured by a thin layer of copper,indium,gallium and selenide on glass or plastic backing, along with electrodes on the front and back to collect current.higest cigs thin film solar panel efficiency is registered around 20.9%.many energy laboratory confirmed 13.8% module efficiency of a large-area production panel, and 13% total-area and 14.2% aperture-area efficiency with some production modules.CIGS thin film solar panel lifespan  is comparatively very low then crystalline solar panel and ranges around 12 years.


Cadmium telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic describes a photovoltaic (PV) technology that is based on the use of cadmium telluride, a thin semiconductor layer designed to absorb and convert sunlight into electricity. CdTe has the optimal band gap for single-junction devices, efficiencies close to 20% may be achievable in practical CdTe cells.Highest CdTe thin film solar panel efficiency is recorded around 17.4% and module efficiency ranges around 12%. Due to high degradation in conversion efficiency of solar panel over the  years results into lower lifespan of cadmium telluride solar panel.


Amorphous silicon solar panel is made from non-crystalline, allotropic form of silicon and the most well-developed thin film technology then other thin film. Thin-film silicon is an alternative to conventional wafer crystalline silicon but still many miles to go for that. While chalcogenide-based CdTe and CIGS thin films  have been developed in the lab with great success, there is still industry interest in silicon-based thin films because of toxicity and humidity issues with CdTe thin films and low manufacturing yields of CIGS due to material complexity. However, the efficiency of an a-Si cell suffers a significant drop of about 10 to 30 percent during the first six months of operation. This is called the Staebler-Wronski effect. In this effect a typical loss in electrical output due to changes in photoconductivity and dark conductivity caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight. Due to this effect and other losses amorphous silicon thin film lifespan ranges around 15 years. amorphous silicon thin film efficiency ranges around 10%.


A dye-sensitized solar panel is a low-cost solar panel belonging to the group of thin film solar panels. It is based on a semiconductor formed between a photo-sensitized anode and an electrolyte, a photo-electrochemical system. The liquid electrolyte presents a serious challenge to making a panel suitable for use in all weather. Overall peak power conversion efficiency for current DSSCs is about 11%  and for solar panel it ranges around 8%.  DSSCs degrade when exposed to ultraviolet radiation which is highest losses compare to other losses such like oxidation losses of solar panel and due to this lifespan of dye sensitized solar panel considerable low and ranges around 6 years. Due to very low cost solar industry looking as bright option for future.


Multijunction solar cells are solar cells with multiple p–n junctions made of different semiconductor materials. Each material’s p-n junction will produce electric current in response to different wavelengths of  light. The use of multiple semiconducting materials allows the absorbance of a broader range of wavelengths, improving the cell’s sunlight to electrical energy conversion efficiency. Multijunction solar panel is made from this cell also have highest efficiency then any other type solar panels. Cells made from multiple materials have multiple band gaps. So, it will respond to multiple light wavelengths and some of the energy that would otherwise be lost to relaxation , can be captured and converted. highest efficiency of multijunction solar cell recorded is 44.7% and for multijunction solar panel efficiency ranges around 30%. Due to use of high purity multiple material and high quality manufacturing process increase multijunction solar panel lifespan and ranges around 25 years. This achieved at high cost of production for solar panel.


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