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# Calculating solar panel efficiency

The escalating prices of energy are coupled with a growing demand for green energy. Hence, it becomes imperative for engineers and scientists to come up with efficient energy sources. Since only a minuscule fraction of solar energy is in use, there is a need to come up with highly efficient solar PV panels. Hence, a large potential of solar energy can be harnessed to power homes and businesses.

## Why choose solar energy

The mere fact that solar energy is renewable not only makes it a cheap alternative, but also a green energy source. Whether you require power for your home or for commercial solar energy, the costs that are incurred will be greatly minimised. Nonetheless, the initial costs that you will incur when setting up commercial or home solar kits will be high. However, in the long-term, the project will prove to be a cost-effective measure.

## Terms used for calculating efficiency

To calculate the efficiency of your heating solar system, you need to understand some of the terms that are used. Solar heating equipment consists of photovoltaic materials such as silicon. This converts light from the sun into electricity. The panels produce Direct Current (DC) which is then, converted to the Alternating Current (AC) that you use at home. The current that is produced is measured in Watt (W). It is then converted into Kilowatt per hour (KWh) after it is used for a period of time. Therefore, the efficiency of your solar system will depend on how it converts light to electricity. Thus, an efficient system will convert the maximum available solar energy in your location into electricity.

## Factors that may reduce efficiency

The efficiency of your solar collector may be greatly reduced if there are obstructions. These will reduce the intensity of sunlight that reaches the panels. A photovoltaic solar panel that is experiencing a shade will affect the whole system. Thus, this results in a huge drop in efficiency. Other factors that will result in a drop in efficiency include temperature, wiring losses, panel contamination and sun latitude among others. Calculating these efficiencies will result in the production of about an acceptable
78% efficiency in your system. However, should your efficiency fall below this value, consult a professional. S/he will troubleshoot where the problem may lie.

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