What makes a high quality and efficient solar power system?

When you install solar PV system to generate electricity, you are actually investing for long term.

Will it last? How long will it last? These are some questions which you invariably ask the solar energy solution provider.

All solar energy companies will tell you the same thing i.e. once you get the solar power system installed, apart from occasional cleaning and maintenance, it is a fit-and-forget system.

But don’t miss the context here. It’s a fit-and-forget system if the quality of the components and installation is of high quality. And by that, don’t limit your imagination to just using best quality solar panels only. There’s more to it.

Let us pin some aspects which make a good solar power system.

Solar Power System Quality Parameters

>Solar panel efficiency

about high quality best solar panels

Efficiency of solar panels: More efficient, more power in less space

  • The solar panel efficiency refers to its power generation ability per unit surface area. A high efficiency solar panel system would require comparatively lesser area for installation.
  • A solar PV system relies on heat from the sunlight. The intensity of sunshine doesn’t usually affect its efficiency. Moreover, you can expects almost same power generation efficiency even after years of a good quality solar installation.


Higher efficiency solar panels tend to cost more

  • Consider installing solar panels which will give the best return on investment rather than simply the most efficient solar panel.


Factors impacting performance and efficiency of solar panels:

  • Type of solar PV modules: There are two important types of solar PV panels available –  Crystalline Silicone (C-Si) modules and Thin film modules. Crystalline silicone modules capture 80-85 % of the solar plant market. The average efficiency delivered by solar PV panel is 14%.
  • Solar Radiation: As solar PV modules work on the amount of sunlight incident on them and not on the heat from the sun, greater solar radiation over a particular areas means higher solar panel efficiency. Pyrheliometers and pyranometers are used to calculate solar radiations at radiation stations or through satellite data. Some of the radiation data sources are- Meteonorm, NASA, WRDC, IMD, RETScreen, and 3TIER. Different states in India has different solar radiation.
  • Solar PV losses: These are the losses that hamper the power generation efficiency of the solar panels. It includes Reflection losses, Soiling, Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) losses, Inverter efficiency. Typically  the manufacturers guarantee 90-95 % power output for the first 10 years; 80-85 % power output for the next 15 years and more covering the mentioned losses.
  • Solar plant design: The solar plant design factors that affect PV panel efficiency are- mounting position, inclination angle, and temperature at which the panels are supposed to operate. the solar panel efficiency decreases with the increase in temperature.


Sample calculation of output power for two solar panels with different efficiency

The output power generated through solar plant = Solar Radiation per hour * Efficiency * Area of Solar Panel

For this example, let’s consider:

Solar Radiation per hour = 6.0 kWh/m2*/day ( According to NREL insolation data 2016, the solar radiation in Maharashtra state ranges between 5.5 and 6.0 kWh/m2*/day)

Area of solar panel = 1.5 m2

Calculation #1: When solar panel efficiency is 14%

Taking maximum insolation, the output power generated through this plant is calculated as-

6 kWh * 14 % * 1.5 m2 (solar radiation per hour * efficiency * area of solar panel) = 1.26 kWh

If the solar plant is generating power for 5 hours at least, then the total power generated in a day could be-

1.26 kWh * 5 hours/day = 6.3 KW

Calculation #2: When solar panel efficiency is 9%

The output power generated per hour =  6 kWh * 9 % * 1.5 m2 (solar radiation per hour * efficiency * area of solar panel) = 0.81 kWh

If the solar plant is generating power for 5 hours at least, then the total power generated in a day could be-

0.81 kWh * 5 hours/day =4.05 KW


>Durability or life of solar PV panels


The system should be durable enough to sustain environmental impact and mild human mishandles. Instead of covering the solar PV panels with ordinary glass, use the tamper proof glass to enhance durability and tolerate heavy winds.

The supporting metal rim should also be made from stainless metals to avoid rusting and chemical reaction with silicon due to it. The rusted rims could even lead to seeping water inside, which certainly could affect the life of the panels. The malleability and ductility of the material used, can withstand the marginal change in dimensions of the panel due to temperature variations. That protects the panels from becoming brittle.

>Temperature endurance of the solar panels


Most of the times, environment affects rooftops of residential or commercial buildings. Once can feel maximum temperature variation of summer or winter on the terrace.

Using silicon and other materials with high purity in the panels can respond positively on the rapid temperature variation. Also, the body of a good solar PV system should be made of high quality materials. That prevents unwanted impact due to sudden temperature variations and helps avoid cracks on the surface.

>Certifications for authenticity and warranty from PV panel manufacturers


The solar PV manufacturers can be classified from tier 1 to tier 3 categories. It depends on their scale of manufacture and the time they have been in the industry.

  • The tier 1 manufacturers are vertically integrated organizations, i.e. they control each stage of the manufacturing process. They have been manufacturing the solar panels at least for more than 5 years. Tier 1 companies invest substantially in R&D and use advance robotic processes in the manufacture for greater precision and finishing of panels. They use the best material, ensure longer life of the panels and can deliver the products at a reasonable price.
  • The tier 2 manufacturers are small to medium scale manufacturers with limited automation in their manufacturing. They have been in the industry for around 3 to 5 years and can produce good quality panels. Sometimes you can challenge the reliability.
  • The tier 3 manufacturers are short term players, also known as assemblers without a complete manufacturing unit. Their product might not match the benchmarks. Many times they might miss on the authentication certificates.

Before buying the solar power system, make it a point to obtain the components from trusted manufacturers. That is important to deliver max efficiency and system output. If your solar installer is purchasing, you can always check with them about the component brand and quality.


>Supporting solar installation structures and equipment


To derive maximum benefit from the installed system one should not just take care of quality of solar panels only. The mounting structures, connecting cables, inverters, batteries, grid connection facility, and other system components should be of good quality.

Reliable rooftop solar companies, like Insolergy, use galvanized iron mounting structures to prevent any rusting or corrosion. Additionally, Insolergy equips all solar PV systems with safety features such as surge protection device. That almost reduces the chance of equipment damage or system breakdown to zero.

>Reliable solar solution providers or installers


The system becomes perfect when you have a reliable solar EPC company to take care of every minute details associated with the installation, operation, and maintenance of the solar PV system.

You may also like: How to select a good solar energy company?

Insolergy Technologies is a solar EPC company in India that provides turnkey solution for your rooftop and commercial solar installation.  Before landing into the installation, the company would perform the tech-aided site survey, plan the best suitable solar infrastructure for your premises, and take care of your (client’s) requirement, government approvals, state-of-art equipment, financing, operation, and maintenance of the system.

Quality checks at every stage of solar PV system installation improves its reliability.

On paper, usually the life of the solar panels is claimed to be around 20 years, but in reality, it can be functional for many more years than the said period. Just to mention, the oldest solar PV system installed at the University of Oldenburg in 1982 is still operating and fueling the energy requirement of the building.

Contact Insolergy to get free site survey for solar installation

Hope you found this post informative. Leave your thoughts as comments in section below. For any questions regarding solar, please feel free to contact Insolergy Technologies or Call / WhatsApp9082786504

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