How Solar Panels Are Built To Function In Real World

To understand how much solar power is produced per square foot it’s useful to know what solar panels are made of. SunPower® solar panels are the most efficient you can buy.   What sets our Maxeon solar cells apart is the copper backing and durable silicon, which can make them 30% more efficient than other traditional solar panel materials.

You might think the math is easy, but in reality it’s a lot trickier. First, you need to measure power not in watts but instead kilowatts (a kilowatt is 1,000 watts). Then you would have to calculate how big each square foot and meter is and then divide that size by the number of watts produced by the solar panel. 

A photovoltaic solar system’s real-world performance must be thoroughly tested in order to deliver the most power possible. Most importantly, solar panels need to generate power even when they’re confronted with a range of conditions such as temperature, spectrum, and angle.

Temperature: Some people associate solar power with heat because heat is associated with lots of sunlight, but if it’s too hot and over 77 degrees Fahrenheit, your solar panels may not work as effectively. Once the temperature rises higher than about 77 degrees Fahrenheit, this means you have to be careful about how much energy you produce. But with SunPower’s panels, these energy losses are reduced. They have a low “temperature coefficient,” so power production losses due to high temperatures are minimized.

It’s a known fact that cloudy days are inevitable. But contrary to what some might think, solar panels do still work on cloudy days. That’s because the light spectrum is wide; some is visible to the human eye and some isn’t, like infrared and ultraviolet. Clouds do block out some of the light, but they don’t block out the entire spectrum. The reflection and scattering of light by the atmosphere alters the composition of different wavelengths – which is why you can still get a sunburn on cloudy days. SunPower panels harvest more infrared & ultraviolet radiation than conventional solar panels.

Every home has a unique orientation to the sun and solar panels facing south is the general practice. However, even if you install your solar panels in that position they will not be catching a direct current of sunlight. This is because when the sun’s rays hit an object they scatter. In other words, even. Most solar panels are made out of “anti-reflective glass,” which means that any light that shines into it will bounce back off the panel to maximize its power. The anti-reflective glass on some panels can degrade after long exposure to weather, but SunPower’s panels are well known for their low rate. 2 Extensively tested and high-quality components like anti-reflective glass are a reason why SunPower’s panels have the most comprehensive system warranty in the solar industry.