Top 10 Most Efficient Solar Panels 2019 - SUAOKI's List
Posted on January 25 2019
Ever wondered about the most efficient solar panels in the market? With the growing solar market, many people want to have a slice of this cool technology: converting sunlight into electricity. PV-magazine predicts that the solar market will grow by a massive 621GW in 2019-2022. Although the answer to, "the most efficient solar panels?" is very easy to find, however, it is worth noting only the efficiency of a solar panel might not be the deciding factor when shopping for Solar Panels.
Portable Solar Charger 60-watts SUAOKI via. @osamuichigo (instagram)
Efficiency of a Solar Cell
The efficiency of a solar cell is measured under STC (Standard Test Conditions) in a controlled environment. This test determines how much energy is generated by a solar panel in a given amount of time, and thus solar panels are then rated accordingly.
The most efficient solar panel in the market is also the most expensive one too, and thus many customers do not go for it. If you have ample space to install solar panels on your property, then even low-efficiency solar panels, which are usually inexpensive (comparatively), with a long life cycle are a better shot than just getting the most efficient solar panels.
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Following is a countdown list of the most efficient solar panels in the market as of January 2019! Each technology is briefly explained and their respective highest efficiency recorded is mentioned below.
10. The quantum dot solar cells
Coming in on the 10th spot on our list of most efficient solar panels is the quantum dot solar cells (QDSC) is a comparatively new technology that uses quantum dots as the solar radiation absorbents to generate electrical power. This technology is aimed to replace the heavy and bulky crystals of silicon, CIGS, and CdTe. Although QDSC has an efficiency of only 13.4%, but their comparatively cheap price makes them very well suited for the future solar industry. Furthermore, stand alone it might not have the best efficiency yet, but when used in in combination with the multi-junction solar panes, it can drastically up the game.
Quantum dots would enable roll-to-roll solar cell fabrication - nanocluster.mit
9. Dye-sensitized solar cells
Second-last on the list, but with an amazing technology, the dye-sensitized solar cells are known for its energy conversion process that is very similar to the natural photosynthesis process. It can convert natural and artificial light into electrical energy. Energy from light photons is used to excite electrons, and nano-crystalline titanium dioxide conducts these electrons. This amazing technology has an energy conversion rate of 14.1% achieved by the G24 power advisory board member prof. Michael Graetzel and his team.
Organic and dye sensitized solar cell. via sinovoltaics
8. Organic solar cells
These types of PV cells use the conventional photovoltaic effect to generate electrical power. It uses conductive organic polymers to absorb light, carry and transfer charge, and generate electricity from the sun. Recently Chinese researchers have claimed that their organic solar cell has an efficiency rating at 17.3%.
7. Unstable Perovskite solar cells
No, don't get it wrong, it has nothing to do with Russia. This type of solar cell uses perovskite structured material unstabilized the light harvesting component in the cell. A perovskite is any material that has the same crystal structure as of calcium titanium oxide. Because of its low-cost production and easy to modify-according-to-needs crystalline structure these cells can be a great alternative in the future. When these solar panels were invented in 2009, it only had an efficiency of 3.8%, but today the most efficient perovskite solar panels has an efficiency of 22.1%.
Perovskite solar cell crstal structure. via sciencenews
6. Cadmium Telluride solar cells
Hitting the 6th spot are cells that uses cadmium telluride as the photovoltaic material to convert sunlight into electrical energy having an impressive efficiency of 22.1% as well. This technology is currently the second largest in terms of its use in solar panels in the world. This thin-film solar-cells are a major factor in increasing its low-cost market.
Flexible CdTe solar cells. via solarconsultants
5. C.I.G.S solar cells
Halfway through our list of the most efficient solar panels, CIGS is ranked 5th. Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) solar cell, also known as CIS, is another thin-film solar cell. The current record for CIGS efficiency is at 23.35% on a cell measuring 1 cm2 by Solar Frontier, a Japanese solar module maker. The record was confirmed by the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. These thin-films can be placed over glass, aluminum and flexible material, but their high cost makes them less attractive to the general public.
CIGS solar thin-film. via industrytap
4. Monocrystalline silicon solar cells
4th most efficient solar panels are the single-crystalline silicon solar cells are the most productive commercial grade solar panels. These PV cells are made of high-grade silicone ingots that are efficient in terms of space as well, making them a good choice for urban properties. The latest recorded efficiency by monocrystalline single junction cell in lab testing was 26.7%.
Monocrystalline silicon solar panel. via indiamart
3. Tandem Perovskite solar cells
2 is always better than 1; so is the case with tandem perovskite solar panels. The first semi-opaque solar cell layer converts larger energy photons into electricity and the lower layer converts the remaining low energy level photons; combined they give a stunning result. These cells were only used in space-crafts due to their cost, but now research is well underway for commercial grade tandem perovskite cells. Recently the Oxford PV's 1 cm2 perovskite solar cell achieved an efficiency of 27.3% which is also certified by the Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy Systems ISE. Tandem solar cells are really shaping the future and making towards the most efficient solar panels amongst the rest.
2. Gallium Arsenide solar cells
Ranked second on our list for the most efficient solar panels is not something ordinary!. Alta Devices, a subsidiary of Hanergy Group in the USA has recently claimed that their gallium arsenide (GaAs) solar cells are capable of converting solar radiation into electrical power at a rate of 29.1%. With such high conversion rate, NASA is using it to test it in outer space and explore potential future uses.
Alta Devices GaAs solar cell. via pv-tech
1. Multi-junction III-V
Ranking number 1 on our most efficient solar panels list is the multi-junction solar cells made of 2 or more than 2 p-n junctions combined together to generate electricity from the incoming solar radiation. Using multiple layers of semiconductors, it absorbs a wider range of energy wavelength that maximizes the conversion rate as a whole. There are several tandem solar panels in the market, but a recent breakthrough has made the multi-junction III-V solar cell to demonstrate an efficiency of a whopping 46%! These results are also verified by the Fraunhofer Institute of Solar Energy Systems ISE.
Multijunction solar cell consisting of III-V semiconductors and silicon. via pv-magzine
Wrapping it up
Although the method to rate a solar panel on its efficiency is quite straightforward, but you have to consider the size available for installing solar panels, the price of the module and the energy conversion rate. These factors combined can give you a better idea of what solar panel you want to buy. The most efficient solar panels in the market today are also the most expensive ones, and they only fit best for research and use in space where the spacecraft has very limited space available.
Foldable Solar Panel 60-watts SUAOKI via. @tatsu_and_ai (instagram)
SUAOKI is a rekowned brand famous for its efficient and portable Solar Panels that reaches up to an efficieny of 20% and more. Click here for check out SUAOKI's Solar Panel series.
So if you have ample space on your property, then getting the most efficient solar panels might not be the ideal choice to make, well, unless you really want the most efficient solar panels on your property. Still confused, and have some more questions? No worries, leave a comment down below with your query, and we will help you with it.