First let’s consider what we mean by Efficient Solar Panels. Efficiency is a measurement of the output divided by a certain factor. When talking about solar pv panel efficiency, we are generally looking at output per given area.
Therefore more Efficient Solar Panels will either give more power or be smaller than a less Efficient Solar Panels will. This does not mean that a more efficient panel is more economic, in-fact the reverse may be the case. More Efficient Solar Panels may be easier to mount, particularly if space is limited, or a tracking system is being used.
There are several separate areas to consider here concerning the Efficient Solar Panels, concerning the inherent efficiency of the cells in the panel you buy, the panel construction, and how your installation may affect how well the Efficient Solar Panels work.
For home owners setting up there own system, Efficient Solar Panels are likely to be less important than the cost per nominal watt output.
Researchers are continually striving to improve the efficiency with which solar cells convert light energy to electrical energy. The record at the moment stands at an efficiency of around 40%, using multi-junction cells (multiple layers of silicon), each layer tuned to trap different frequencies (colors) of light. This type of cell will however be expensive to produce and in the past has been mainly used in space where efficiency may be more important.
Researchers also strive to increase the amount of light entering the cell. Silicon is a naturally shiny substance and Efficient Solar Panels are coated with non-reflective layers to ensure that as much light as possible enters the Efficient Solar Panels.
Cells used in photovoltaic panels for electricity production are usually single junction type with an efficiency of somewhere around 15%.
Solar Panel Construction
Efficient Solar Panels will normally have a layer of glass (protecting the cells) through which the light must pass before entering cells. There is scope for reducing light reflected from the glass and also to trap light that is not striking the panel at 90o. Some research centers on trapping light from a large area from various angles and directing it onto a relatively small cell. Panel Mounting and Positioning
The two important factors here are the angle at which the panels are mounted and the amount of sunshine falling on the particular location/avoidance of shade. Small areas of shade on a panel can have a significant effect on the power produced by the Efficient Solar Panels.