The main focus in the development of solar energy is increasing the efficiency of solar panels. That is really the only thing that is holding it back from already being much more widely used by homes and businesses. That’s why it’s good news that Schott Solar has been able to make a monocrystalline solar panel which has an efficiency of 20.2%.
Is 20.2% Efficiency High?
This is all relative of course, as to whether around 20% efficiency is high or not. For most systems, it would be low. And indeed, solar cells have been produced which have much larger efficiencies. However, they were not meant for commercial use.
When it comes to commercial solar panels that ordinary people will be able to buy, anywhere around 20% is high. Somewhere around 15% is average.
Are They Available Yet?
This is just a recent announcement from Schott Solar, declaring what they have been able to achieve. They have not produced any actual solar modules using the new production techniques which provide solar panels with this high efficiency.
However, Solar Energy UK does offer the installation of solar panels with a high efficiency already, they are the Sanyo HIT solar panels. What makes them more efficient is the fact that they have a thin layer of amorphous silicon sandwiching the crystalline silicon, which makes them more efficient because means there is less energy lost on the surface.
What Is Silicon?
Silicon is a semiconductor, it’s the substance that makes it possible to create solar energy. One of the most important features of semiconductors, certainly in the production of solar power, is that when light hits them it causes electrons to move. Since electricity requires, or actually it is, the flow of electrons, without being able to use a substance with this quality creating solar energy would be a lot more difficult. It certainly couldn’t be done with solar panels on a roof.
There are a number of forms that the silicon can come in though. As mentioned, there is the crystalline and the amorphous. Generally it’s the crystalline form which is used though because although the amorphous form is better at retaining efficiency on the surface, overall it is much less efficient.
The crystals can be formed in two ways. Either singly, grown to a large size and then cut to order (this is the case with the monocrystalline solar panels), or else lots are grown together in a space that is the right size for a solar module. These are the polycrystalline solar panels.
Traditionally speaking, the “monos” are more efficient but also more expensive, whereas the “polys” are less expensive but at the same time they are less efficient. Although this is still somewhat true today, the gaps have been closed to a great degree so that there is now little difference between them.
Solar Energy UK
If you are interested in getting a solar installation of solar panels for your roof, then get in touch with Solar Energy UK for a free quote. By using our MCS accredited solar installers you will also qualify for the feed in tariff, a lucrative financial incentive from the government.