Power and Longivity

by | Mar 13, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments

The efficiency of a solar energy system is determined by several factors, including the efficiency of the solar panels, the inverter efficiency, shading, orientation, and tilt angle of the panels, as well as environmental conditions such as temperature and sunlight intensity.

For standard solar panels, the theoretical maximum efficiency is around 33.7%, known as the Shockley-Queisser limit. This limit is based on the physical properties of the materials used in the solar cells and represents the maximum efficiency that can be achieved under ideal conditions.

In practical terms, the efficiency of commercial solar panels is typically between 15% and 22%, with higher-end panels reaching efficiencies of around 22% to 23%. Inverters also have efficiency ratings, typically ranging from 90% to 98%.

To maximize the power output of a solar energy system, it’s important to use high-efficiency solar panels, optimize the system design for the specific location, and use high-quality inverters and other components. Additionally, regular maintenance and cleaning of the panels can help ensure that the system operates at peak efficiency.

An 82% efficiency for solar panels would be exceptionally high and significantly surpasses current commercial solar panel efficiencies. While advancements in technology may eventually lead to such high efficiencies, as of my last update, typical commercial solar panels have efficiencies ranging from 15% to 22%.

However, combining such high-efficiency panels with a power tracking system and efficient Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) would indeed result in a very efficient solar energy system. The power tracking system would help optimize the overall energy harvest by adjusting the panels to operate at their maximum power point, while an efficient MPPT would further enhance this process, ensuring that the system extracts the maximum amount of power from the panels under varying environmental conditions. Such a system would be well-suited for applications where space or weight constraints limit the available area for solar panels.

A solar panel and system that can last 100 years would be quite challenging to achieve with current technology. While solar panels are known for their durability and long lifespan, most commercial panels are typically designed to last 25 to 30 years or more. Factors such as exposure to the elements, temperature fluctuations, and mechanical stresses can affect the longevity of solar panels.

To design a solar panel and system that could potentially last 100 years, several key considerations would need to be addressed:

Panel Construction: The panel would need to be constructed from highly durable and long-lasting materials, such as high-quality tempered glass for the front cover and a robust frame material like stainless steel. The panel would also need to have effective protection against environmental factors such as moisture ingress and UV radiation.

The panels of the system are of a different design. The components of the panel are stainless steel, monocrystalline photovoltaic cells, safety glass, foam seals,  tabbing and bus leads.  The components and arrangement are chosen for endurance, 100 years.

Component Selection: The selection of components such as junction boxes, connectors, and cables would need to prioritize durability and longevity. These components would need to be rated for long-term outdoor use and be resistant to corrosion and degradation.

The electrical and electronic components do have a limited service life. They will fail but it should take years before they fail. Good news they are replaceable.

Design Considerations: The system design would need to account for potential degradation over time and incorporate features such as over-sizing of components to compensate for any performance loss. The system should also be designed to be easily maintainable and repairable over its lifespan.

The support for the array and the array are made of stainless steel. Stainless steel has properties that enable it to survive environments. However extremes like tornados, explosions, meteor strikes might cause system failures. Everything is replaceable or repairable.

Environmental Factors: The system would need to be installed in an environment that minimizes exposure to extreme weather conditions and other factors that could accelerate degradation. Regular maintenance and inspections would also be crucial to ensure the system remains in optimal condition.

The system is intended to be installed in a backyard or in a field. Consideration should be given for shadowing that might occur from trees or buildings. The array needs to ‘see’ the sky for operation. Snow and ice build up will require removal for best operations and power production.

While achieving a 100-year lifespan for a solar panel and system would be challenging, advancements in materials science and technology may eventually make it possible.

However, as of my last update, such a long lifespan is not yet achievable with current commercial solar panel technology.

Now you know we have done our best to build our solar energy system.

Interested? Contact us. Enjoy!