When it comes to just pure efficiency, concentration photovoltaics (CPV) are your best bet. They use mirrors to direct concentrated beams of sunlight onto solar panels, significantly boosting the efficiency of each cell in the process.
The only problem is that CPV modules not only require expensive materials, they are also significantly more challenging to manufacture than other commercially available options because of the complexity of the system, which needs to be able to track the sun to work.
So, what’s the better option?
Well, there’s a reason—three actually—silicon solar panels make up about 95% of all solar power systems sold today:
Reason #1: They’re inexpensive to produce
Their main component silicon is one of the most abundant materials on the planet, making it pretty inexpensive to acquire.
In addition, since silicon solar panels are so much simpler than CPV modules, they require significantly fewer materials and time to manufacture.
All this translates to a much lower cost of acquisition for homeowners.
Reason #2: They are highly durable
Silicon solar panels are designed to function in peak condition for up to 25 years, provided they are installed correctly and well maintained throughout their lifespan.
And they should still perform at about 85% capacity after 25 years, so you should still be able to enjoy significant energy cost savings from the 26th year onward.
Reason #3: They get the job done
While not as efficient as CPV, which in some cases can reach 50% efficiency, silicon solar panels more than make up for it by allowing you to easily get more panels, thanks to their significantly lower cost.
At the end of the day, you’ll still get the results you want but without having to spend a fortune on a super efficient but extremely costly system.
What does all this mean?
The bottom line is that efficiency is just one of the factors that dictate the viability of a solar power system. You also need to take into account how much it would cost to acquire it and how long you’ll be able to use it.
This is exactly why silicon solar panels are so popular right now. Even though they are significantly less efficient than, say, a CPV module, they’re so much more affordable, they last a really long time, and they get the job done just as well.
Want to find out more?
Book a no-obligation free consultation with one of our solar panel consultants today so we can answer all your questions and help you find (and install) the perfect solar power system for your home.