If you are in the market for solar panels, efficiency is an important issue. This allows you to calculate how much electricity you can generate on average on an annual basis. It allows you to adapt the installation to your own needs and also calculate when you can start saving with solar panels. The shortest payback period means the most efficient installation. It is the quickest way to start generating free power. The average solar panel has an annual efficiency of 250 Wp (Watt peak), which yields approximately 210 kWh per year. High efficiency solar panels generate more Wp and can therefore generate more power with a smaller surface area.
What is Watt peak?
The number of Watt peaks (Wp) that a solar panel can generate is a value that is used to calculate the efficiency (kWh) per solar panel. The number of Wp per solar panel is the same in each country, but the efficiency in New Mexico, for example, will be higher than in Michigan. This is a value that has been created by taking the number of hours of sunshine, but also the average temperature and the angle of incidence of the sun. The higher the number of Wp, the better the efficiency. High efficiency solar panels can have a Wp value of 400. This means you need fewer solar panels for the same result. However, you’ll pay more per solar panel.
High efficiency solar panels are not yet widely sold to private individuals at the moment. However, this is certainly an option to consider, as the extra yield compensates for the higher costs. High efficiency solar panels can generate 400 Wp or more, compared to 250 Wp per year for regular panels. The standard dimensions of these solar panels are also 5 x 3 foot. The following table shows the costs of these high efficiency solar panels. The prices for this are still very different. The amounts are including material and installation.
|Type of solar panel||Price per piece|
|High efficiency solar panel||$690 – $2150|
You have a small roof area: for smaller roof areas, high efficiency solar panels are ideal. You can generate more energy with a smaller surface area. If your roof is facing south, you can get a lot of efficiency out of it. Perhaps you’d like to cover the roof of your dormer window with solar panels. In that case, high efficiency panels are also very beneficial, as you can get the maximum efficiency from a small area.
You have a large household: if you have a large household and you want to generate all the energy from the solar panels, you need about 26 standard panels. If you opt for high efficiency solar panels, you can reduce this to 16. This makes a big difference in the appearance of your home.
You want to become an energy producer: are you a farmer and do you want to use part of your land to install solar panels? Then you need a large installation with the highest possible efficiency to make a profit. You can sell this electricity and make a profit. With high efficiency solar panels you can generate more power than with the same number of standard solar panels.
The price structure
Since high efficiency solar panels are slightly more expensive than standard panels, the price structure is also slightly different. On average, you pay 13% of the total price for installation and the rest for material. The best place to save money is on the solar panels themselves. You do this by thoroughly researching the market and by making a detailed calculation in which you determine the payback period. The panels with the shortest payback time are the best choice. The diagram below shows the price structure.
Choices that influence the price
The prices for high efficiency solar panels are very different. You can influence the total costs by making a number of choices during the planning process. There are also factors that you cannot change, but that do affect your total bill. Here you’ll find the biggest contributors.
The quality of the solar panels
Of course, the more you pay for solar panels, the better the quality of the product. High efficiency solar panels that are more expensive will usually have a higher yield. However, this might not always be the case and sometimes you pay more for a good brand. By comparing what products are being offered, for what price and with what specifications, you can sometimes find good solar panels for a lower price.
If you make a calculation, you should also take a good look at your own situation. For maximum efficiency, the roof on which the solar panels are installed should be south-facing. If your roof is facing north, it’s not very useful to install panels. Objects in the vicinity, such as trees and buildings that cast shade on the panels, can also have a direct influence on the yield.
The type of solar panel
There are more and more types of solar panels on the market. In addition to high efficiency solar panels, there are also 3D panels, transparent panels, sunroof tiles or plug-in solar panels. By choosing the best type for your situation, you will also achieve the highest efficiency.
Interesting savings tips
Whatever type of panel you choose, you will have to make an investment. This investment is by no means low and will hopefully give you the shortest payback time. On the other hand, you can start saving right away. Here are some useful tips to help you keep these initial costs down.
Keep it local: by choosing a local supplier/mechanic, you can save on call-out costs and sometimes avoid them altogether.
By comparing quotations, you can get the best idea of what is available on the market for your budget. You can do this quickly and easily with our comparison tool. You will then receive a number of no-obligation quotations that you can use in your planning phase. This allows you to save up to 30 percent on the total costs.