The 10 Most Efficient Solar Panels (2023 Edition)
Not all solar panels are created equal, and efficiency rating is one factor that sets them apart.
The efficiency rating of a solar panel is based on the amount of sunlight that the solar panel can turn into usable energy. High-efficiency solar panels can transform as much as 22% of the energy from sunlight into electricity due to new advancements in photovoltaic cell technology.
If you’re in the market for solar panels, you may be looking at efficiency rating as one of your deciding purchasing factors. Which solar panel brands and models are the most efficient? And are they worth the higher price tag?
The 10 most efficient solar panels for 2023 that are currently available are:
|Rank||Solar Panel Brand||Model||Wattage||Efficiency|
|2||REC||Alpha Pure||410 W||22.2%|
|4||Trina Solar||Vertex||670 W||21.2%|
|5||QCell||Q.Antum (Available here)||480 W||21.0%|
|6||LONGI Solar||Hi-Mo4m||450 W||20.7%|
|7||QCell||G9+ (Available here)||380 W||20.6%|
|8||ZNShine Solar||ZXM7||400 W||20.5%|
|10||SunSpark||SST Mono||335 W||20.3%|
How Is Solar Panel Efficiency Measured?
All solar panels on the market are rated by their power output under standard test conditions:
- 1,000 W/m2 of solar irradiance
- Air Mass 1.5
- Cell temperature of 25°C.
Solar panel efficiency rating is determined by dividing the area of the solar panel (square meters) by the power output (watts). This means that if you are comparing two solar panels that are the same physical size, the most efficient solar panel will be rated for more watts and will generate more energy.
Additionally, the type of solar cells and how they connect within the solar panel determines the overall efficiency of the solar panel.
Here are a few other factors that can impact solar panel efficiency:
- Monocrystalline solar panels are more efficient than polycrystalline solar panels.
- Amorphous solar panels, which are typically used for RVs or boats, are thin, lightweight and flexible, but are the least efficient type of solar panel.
- Solar cell design varies by manufacturer, and this can affect efficiency. One example is solar IBC cells which are made with high-purity N-type substrate, so there are no busbars to shade the cell. Another recent advancement in solar technology is half-cut solar cells which reduce resistive power loss within the solar panel.
Read more: Solar Panel Efficiency Explained
Most Efficient Solar Panel Brands
The biggest solar panel brands that carry the most high-efficiency solar panel options are SunPower and QCell. But as you can see from the list above, other solar panel manufacturers offer comparable options, plus other types of panels with a wide range of efficiencies.
Cost of Highly Efficient Solar Panels
Solar panel costs are reflected in dollars per watt. Regular solar panels cost, on average, $0.70 cents per watt. Highly efficient solar panels cost, on average, significantly higher — at least $1.00 to $1.50 per watt.
These costs are extremely important to consider if you’re thinking about installing efficient solar panels. Many customers at GoGreenSolar find that they’re better off buying lower-efficiency solar panels versus the more efficient but more expensive solar panels. Read on to learn more about situations where solar panel efficiency matters most.
Does Solar Panel Efficiency Matter?
Solar panel efficiency matters more when you have a limited amount of space for your solar installation.
Often times, the size of a residential solar energy system is limited by the amount of space on the roof. So to get the most power output possible with a limited amount of space, you should choose solar panels with higher efficiency ratings to maximize productivity.
While you will pay more for the most efficient solar panels, some solar owners find that it is a great way to reduce their electric bill as much as possible.
If you have a large amount of south-facing roof space, or your home is on a large lot with enough space for a ground mount, then you likely won’t need to spend the extra money on efficient panels. You could get the solar power you need without worrying about the overall efficiency because you have a large area to work with.
Read more: Ground Mount vs. Roof Mount: Which Is Best?
Do I Need Highly Efficient Solar Panels for My Home?
Deciding whether or not high-efficiency solar panels are the best solution for your home can be complicated.
If you’re thinking about the most efficient solar panels in your buying journey, ask yourself these questions first:
- Is it cost-effective to choose highly efficient solar panels?
- How much space do I have for my solar installation?
- Am I looking for a roof mount or a ground mount solar panel system?
- Do I have a south-facing roof?
- What is my average monthly electricity consumption?
Starting with a solar panel calculator to determine your configurations and ballpark needs is a great place to begin. Check out this quick and easy solar panel calculator.
Then, get in touch with a solar professional at GoGreenSolar to evaluate your specific needs, so you can get an expert recommendation of which solar panels and products will work best for you.
GoGreenSolar has a variety of solar panels available, including high-efficiency panels as well as more budget-friendly options. No matter which type of solar panel or solar panel kit you choose, GoGreenSolar experts can guide you through the process of choosing and installing the best solar energy system for your needs.