The widespread adoption of solar panels has revolutionized how we generate electricity, offering an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to traditional energy sources. There are distinct differences between residential and commercial solar panels, each tailored to meet the unique energy needs of their respective settings.
This blog will look at the contrasts surrounding residential and commercial solar panels. By understanding the characteristics of each system, we can better appreciate how solar energy empowers homeowners and businesses for reliable, cost-effective electricity.
We’ll answer the following questions:
- What’s the key differences between commercial and residential solar panels?
- Are commercial solar panels better than residential?
- How efficient are commercial solar panels over time?
- Which type solar panel has the highest efficiency?
- Is it better to oversize solar panels?
What’s the Key Differences Between Commercial and Residential Solar Panels?
Commercial solar panels are larger than residential solar panels. They comprise 96 solar cells with a dimension of 78 inches by 39 inches, while residential solar panels have up to 65 solar cells with dimensions of 65 inches by 39 inches. The key difference between the two is that commercial solar panels have higher initial costs and lower costs per watt, and residential solar panels have lower initial costs and higher costs per watt.
Are Commercial Solar Panels Better than Residential?
The best choice for solar panels will depend on the needs of the building. Commercial solar systems are usually more costly due to requiring larger panels. Commercial solar panel systems are more productive, averaging 19.6% efficiency, and residential solar panels at 18.1% efficiency.
Both types of solar panels have similar lifespans, between 25 to 30 years. Businesses typically use commercial solar panels because they provide a larger roof coverage and higher energy returns, although initial costs will be higher than residential systems.
How Efficient Are Commercial Solar Panels Over Time?
Commercial solar panels have a solar cell efficiency between 15% to 20%. Recently, researchers have developed PV cells with efficiencies approaching 50% though these are not common. Solar cell efficiency refers to the amount of sunlight converted into renewable energy.
Over time, solar panels decrease in efficiency, regardless of the type. On average, commercial solar panels have a degradation rate of approximately 0.5% to 1% annually. Solar panels have an average lifespan of 25 years; by this point, they’ll likely decrease by 12.5% to 25%.
Which Type Solar Panel has the Highest Efficiency?
Monocrystalline solar panels offer the highest efficiency and power output. They’re made with a single-crystal structure, allowing for more effective electron flow. That said, monocrystalline is also the priciest of solar panels due to long-term return on the investment with 15% to 22% efficiency.
Is it Better to Oversize Solar Panels?
During installation, choosing panels that are 10% to 20% larger than your inverter allows more sunlight absorption and energy efficiency. Likewise, if you anticipate you’ll need more energy down the road, larger panels will prepare you ahead of time and save on needing future extensions.
In regions where net metering is available, excess electricity generated by oversized solar panels can be fed back into the grid, and you can receive credits or compensation for the surplus energy.
Even with the benefits of oversized solar panels, it’s important to consider that you’ll pay higher upfront costs. They may limit your ability to adjust the system’s capacity in the future. If you generate significantly more solar energy than you consume, it may be challenging to efficiently store or utilize the surplus electricity without additional equipment like batteries or grid-tied solar power systems.
Our World Energy For Reliable, Cost-Effective Electricity
Our World Energy offers cost-effective solar power options that empower you, giving you energy independence from your utility company through renewable energy that works.
Contact us today to learn more about who we are and how we can serve you.