fbpx

Best Solar Panels of 2020 [Buying Guide]

Save money while reducing your impact on nature

Wohomen independently research and recommend the best home & garden products; you can learn more about our product review guidelines here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Do you want to get rid of the burden of your electricity bills? Solar panels do provide not only this but also reduce your carbon footprint.

Energy resources are indispensable for people. All of the systems that make up our modern life need energy, from a city’s lighting to a small battery-powered toy. Energy resources have an important place to determine the countries’ domestic and foreign policies and most of their income. Energy sources are also divided into renewable and non-renewable. While fossil fuels such as petroleum (the substance with the largest trade volume in the world) come first among non-renewable ones, solar energy comes first among renewable energy. While fossil fuels are used, they harm nature, while solar power does not harm nature. Besides, being cheaper than oil is another feature that makes it attractive. Solar energy means being energized from sunlight, thanks to solar panel systems. Today, it continues to develop and spread to be built on the roofs of houses.

With the features described above, solar panels are at the top of the choice of people who want to pay less for the energy (electricity) they use and people who want to reduce the damage they cause to nature.

Let’s take a closer look at solar panels and find out what to consider when purchasing.

LIST OF BEST SOLAR PANELS

#1 Best Compatibility: SunPower Flexible Solar Panel

Place the flexible solar panels of SunPower dominating the market wherever you want.

#2 Best Efficiency: HQST Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Choose what you need with six types of products in terms of power output and number of panels.

#3 Best Power Output: Renogy Monocrystalline Solar Panel

With a total power output of 2400 watts, it will never let you down.

#4 Best Affordable: Rich Polycrystalline Solar Panel

Experience the quality of Rich Solar solar panels at affordable prices.

#5 Best Kit: TP Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Take it wherever you want with its compact design.

#6 Best for Camping: GoerTek Portable Solar Charger Power Bank

All the power is now in your bag and always ready to use.

WHAT IS SOLAR ENERGY AND HOW DO SOLAR PANELS WORK?

What is solar energy?

Solar energy systems work by capturing solar energy and converting it into electricity. The sun is a nuclear reactor and emits small energy packets that reach the earth in 9 minutes from 150 million km. In every 60 minutes, photons sufficient to meet the world’s energy need for one year reach the ground. According to a report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) in 2017, solar energy has become the fastest-growing energy source globally, surpassing all other resources.

How solar panels work?

Solar panels consist of many solar cells. These cells are made of elements called silicon, which is abundant in the world. Each cell consists of two layers, a positive and a negative. The reason for this is to create an electric current, as in batteries. When the photons from the sun hit these cells on the solar panel, energy is released. This energy emitted causes electrons to move freely. The electrons move towards the bottom of the panel and exit the connecting cable. This current of electrons is called electricity. More panels can be obtained by combining more solar cells according to the desired amount of energy. In this way, it is possible to use it in many different areas and to produce energy. Although the panel’s size varies depending on the one to be made, the operating principle is the same.

DID YOU KNOW?

In 1839, Alexandre Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect, namely generating electric currents from sunlight. Soon, Russell Ohl invented the first solar panel cell in 1941, and Bell Laboratories made the first commercial panel in 1954. Since then, solar panel technology is continually developing.

Parts of Solar Energy Systems

1. Solar Panel

The solar panel is the most critical part of the solar energy system. Thanks to the solar panel, the sun rays are collected on the panel and converted into electrical energy. The solar panel consists of silicon solar cells that are conductive. The sun rays collected on the panel are contained in the solar cells and create a direct current. Thanks to the conductive structure, electron flow occurs, and electricity is released.

2. Battery

Battery, one of the essential parts of the solar energy system, is also called solar battery or solar cell. The battery stores the electrical energy generated in the panels for later use. For example, if the weather is cloudy and the sunlight is not enough to meet your home’s needs, the battery is activated in this case and provides you with the desired power. Since electrical energy cannot be produced from the sun’s rays at any time, using batteries is a necessity in the solar energy system. It has a higher energy capacity than regular batteries. When not used, the risk of discharge is lower than that of standard batteries. Since solar cells do not require cost and maintenance, their cost is also low.

3. Inverter

The electricity produced in the inverter panels is converted into the alternating current in terms of direct current and made suitable for use. The inverter to be used in solar energy systems should be selected according to the panels’ size. If the panels are large and many, the inverter should also be chosen with a high capacity, as the more electrical energy will be produced. Thanks to the inverter, electrical energy can be provided with suitable power for all devices that require electricity.

DID YOU KNOW?

Solar panels can capture different parts of the sunlight spectrum. Therefore, when the sun’s rays are not directly hitting the panels, they can be caught by the solar panel cells. Even on a cloudy day, reflecting lights from the ground and sky can be caught. Even if electricity production decreases, it continues.

TYPES OF SOLAR PANELS

Monocrystalline Solar Panel: Most efficiency solar panels

The monocrystalline solar panel is the most efficient solar panel with an efficiency rate of 24%, which is relatively high. This type of solar panel generates incredible energy in a small space. However, monocrystalline energy panels are more expensive than other solar panels. The unit price per watt can likewise be almost twice as much as other energy panels. The usage and electricity generation life of these solar panels is longer. Also, monocrystalline solar panels can work more efficiently in hot climates. In the case of more or less shading of these solar cells, the entire solar panel may be adversely affected.

Polycrystalline Solar Panel: Most affordable solar panels

The polycrystalline solar panel is balanced in terms of unit cost with a 14% efficiency rate, and it is the cheapest solar panel in price. They take up more space and produce less energy. Many solar power plants are built with polycrystalline solar panels. More than three-quarters of the market use polycrystalline solar cells. Besides, it is less affected by temperature changes in the air than monocrystalline.

Thin Film Solar Panel: Most appearance solar panels

Thin-film solar panels are the least used type of solar panels in the solar energy market. The most crucial reason for less use is its low efficiency. Although they take up a lot of space, their short energy generation makes them inefficient. With an efficiency rate of 7%, it can be easily seen that this situation is reflected in the productivity rate. The vital factor for their preference is that they have a very stylish design and appearance. It is generally used in design homes.

Flexible Solar Panel: Most compatibility solar panels

The flexible solar panel is flexible, as the name suggests. Thanks to their flexibility, they do not break easily; they are very durable. The structure of this type of solar cell can be both monocrystalline and polycrystalline. In other words, energy efficiency can vary according to its type.

They are very light because these panels do not have an aluminum frame and tempered glass. They are ideal panels for homes that do not have a flat roof; the roof you will mount does not have to be flat. It can be used in most areas.

BONUS: Transparent Solar Panel: New solar technology

Transparent solar panels are 40-50 times more efficient than solar panels in the market. In minimal areas, enormous amounts of energy can be obtained. This transparent solar panel is sprayed on any glass surface, and the glass surface is completely covered with this liquid. Then the coated glass surface starts to generate electricity. Also, it is almost not affected by shadowing situations. Transparent solar panels are not yet on the market and are being developed. They are expected to be released in the coming years.

WHICH SOLAR PANEL SHOULD I CHOOSE?

Energy consumption measurement

Systems are created by determining how much energy will be needed in the house or business where a solar energy panel will be installed. When calculating the energy that an enterprise will need, it is considered for how many hours it can benefit from solar energy in its location. If the enterprise receives at least 6 hours of uninterrupted sunshine per day due to its location and the daily energy requirement of this enterprise is 5 kW, a solar panel that can produce 1 kW of energy will be sufficient. The remaining 1 kW of energy can be destroyed due to adverse weather conditions, contamination of the panel windows, changing temperature during the day, and the sun’s angle. Also, this calculation should be made based on the season of the year with the least sun.

You can follow the instructions below to make a rough calculation:

  • If you want daily and hourly usage for our accounts and your bill does not show a daily average, divide the monthly averages by 30 days, respectively, and divide by 24 to determine your average hourly electricity usage hours. Your answer will be kilowatt-hours (kW/h).
  • To convert your hourly electricity generation needs to Watts, multiply your hourly usage by 1,000.
  • Divide your average hourly wattage requirement by the peak daily sunbathing time for your region. This calculation gives you the amount of energy your panels have to generate every hour.
  • For example, a house’s hourly energy consumption with a monthly energy consumption of 500kwh is 0.69kwh. If it receives an average of 8 hours of sun a day, it needs about 2000 watts of the panel.

How many panels do I need?

Photovoltaic solar panels have output power ranging from about 150 W to 370 W per panel, depending on panel size and efficiency and cell technology. Solar panels with an output power of less than 150w are also available in the market.

Solar cells without front grid lines absorb more sunlight than traditional cells and are not affected by delamination (peeling). The construction of the cells makes them stronger and more resistant to cracking or corrosion. So how many panels you will need is very relative. For example, if the panels are very efficient and generate the right amount of power, you will need fewer panels. Solar panels generally generate around 250 W per panel with different efficiency levels.

Regardless, we can roughly calculate how many solar panels you need, taking into account the energy requirement. We divide the hourly energy consumption, the calculation of which we learned above, by the solar panel’s output power. Based on the example of the house above, a home that needs a 2000 watt panel needs a solar energy system prepared with eight panels, one of which has an output power of 250 watts.

Efficiency

The ratio of the amount of energy in watts obtained from a solar panel to the solar panel’s surface area determines the system’s efficiency. And higher efficiency means generating more energy in a smaller space. A smaller footprint also means fewer installation costs. It is important to remember that the most significant cost incurred by a solar power system is the installation cost. For this reason, highly efficient solar panels are the ones that generate high amounts of energy in small areas with low installation costs.

The place to be installed

One of the most important factors is where to install the solar panel. If you have limited space for solar panels, you should choose solar panels that offer high efficiency. One of the sensible options in such cases would be microcrystalline solar panels because they are highly efficient and generate excess energy in a small space. However, their prices are also higher than the others. If you have a large enough space to install solar panels, then you may want to consider polycrystalline solar panels, which are the most common on the market. This choice is also cheaper than the others.

Weather conditions

Solar panel, after the name, means taking advantage of the sun’s rays. The weather conditions in your region also determine how efficient solar panels will be for you. For example, you may be living in a place that has little sunlight. Considering this situation, you will need more solar panels, plus these panels should have high efficiency.

Solar power stands for clean energy generation, and by installing a home solar power system, you can significantly reduce your carbon dioxide emissions. A solar-powered home can reduce CO2 emissions by 100 tons in 30 years. The pollution emitted by fossil energy sources never happens in solar panels.

BEST SOLAR PANELS

#1 Best Compatibility: SunPower Flexible Solar Panel

It is a known fact that SunPower produces the most efficient solar panels on the market. Wood Mackenzie Energy Research has named SunPower the number one commercial solar energy provider in the US over the past three years.  SunPower’s solar panels we are currently promoting, which are also used on uneven floors thanks to their flexibility, are generally positioned at the vehicles’ top. It has a shorter life compared to regular solar panels. It cannot be used for the energy of an entire house.

Power output:

110 Watt

Dimensions:

117cm Length x 56cm Width x 0.25cm Height (2cm including J-Box)

Weight:

1,81 kg – Lightweight, Portable, and Easy to Stow

Up to 30 degrees – suitable for non-straight surfaces

Warranty:

5-Year power warranty

2-Year product warranty (not including saltwater exclusion)

#2 Best Efficiency: HQST Monocrystalline Solar Panel

It is a microcrystalline solar panel, which is one of the most efficient solar panels. The product has many types in terms of power and number of panels. These are as follows:

  • 1pc 50w
  • 1pc 100w
  • 1pc 175w
  • 2pcs 100w
  • 4 pcs 100w
  • 6 pcs 100w

You can choose the package you want according to your energy needs. Note that prices will vary accordingly.  The following explanations are based on the 1 pc 100w model. To find the values in multiple 100watt panel packages (such as 2 pc 100w or 4pcs 100w), multiply by how many panels there are. The dimensions vary in packages with 1 panel and different wattage (such as 1pc 50w or 1 pc 175w).

Power output:

100 Watt

Dimensions:

90,50 cm Length x 66 cm Width x 3,5 cm Height

Weight:

6,5 kg Average value according to microcrystalline solar panels

Warranty:

25-year power output warranty:

  • 5 year/95% efficiency rate
  • 10 year/90% efficiency rate
  • 25-year/80% efficiency rate

5-year material and workmanship warranty

#3 Best Power Output: Renogy Monocrystalline Solar Panel

If you own a house that consumes a lot of energy or wants to provide solar energy support to an office, Renogy’s 8 pcs 300watt solar energy system will give you enough power. Renogby produces the best panels for outdoor use on the market. It allows you to use electricity with sustainability and without a grid.

Power output:

Only for one panel: 300 Watt

Total output: 8×300 = 2400 Watt

Dimensions:

164cm Length x 99cm Width x 4cm Height (only for one panel)

Weight:

18,5 kg (only for one panel)

Warranty:

25-year power output warranty:

  • 5 year/95% efficiency rate
  • 10 year/90% efficiency rate
  • 25-year/80% efficiency rate

5-year material and workmanship warranty

#4 Best Affordable: Rich Polycrystalline Solar Panel

Rich Solar company, which has been on the market for 15 years, has always offered quality solar systems to its customers. The 87% five-star rate of this product (According to Amazon) can also be cited as proof of the quality. This polycrystalline product is the most widely available solar panel on the market and one of the cheapest types. However, its efficiency is lower than monocrystalline panels. Besides, you can choose according to your energy consumption with both 1 pc 100w and 2 pcs 100w (200w) packages.

Power output:

Only for one pane:100 Watt

Total output: 2x100w = 200w

Dimensions:

100,5 cm Length x 67cm Width x 3,5cm Height (Only for one panel)

Weight:

8kg – A little more massive compared to monocrystalline solar panels (Only for one panel)

Warranty:

25-year limited power output

5-year material and workmanship

#5 Best Kit: TP Monocrystalline Solar Panel

This solar panel, produced mostly for street lighting, water pump, or small systems such as boats or cars, can be carried easily as it is both small and light. With the use of monocrystalline technology, it can generate more energy with less space. Since its price is meager, your first step into the world of solar panels may be this model of TP-Solar.

Power output:

20 Watt

Dimensions:

48cm Length x 34cm Width x 1,8cm Height

Weight:

2.10 kg – Extremely light and easy to transport

Warranty:

Protection for 3 and 4 years with an extra fee

#6 Best for Camping: GoerTek Portable Solar Charger Power Bank

We are introducing an excellent bonus product for campers and those who love long journeys. The Powerbank / Chargers that we charge our phones or other electronic items can now be charged with solar energy. This product of GoerTek provides electricity to your electronic devices with 3 USB outputs and charges it with solar energy thanks to the solar panel on it. You can also illuminate the surroundings with a high level of LED light on it.

Power output:

20 Watt

Dimensions:

18cm Length x 10cm Width x 3cm Height

Weight:

0,5 kg

WANT TO CHECK MORE PRODUCTS?

We have determined five products for you with certain researches among many products. If you want to take a look at the remaining products, we share these products for you below. You can reach the details of the products with one click. Here are other products for you:

Renogy

100 Watt Solar Panel

Newpowa

100 Watt Solar Panel

TogoPower

Foldable Solar Panel

EcoFlow

Portable Solar Panel

Eco Worthy

Solar Panels

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN

You have learned what you need to pay attention to while buying a solar panel. Finding out how many panels you need and how solar panels work will help you be more conscious when choosing a solar panel and make the best choice. Now you can consider the products you find yourself with the information you learned in this article. If you found this article useful, you can find reviews of many other products by regularly following our site.

Do you think solar panels will become more common in the future?

Have you experienced any disadvantages of using solar panels?

Do you think the use of solar panels should be more?

Your ideas, corrections, or additions are invaluable for us. You can leave a comment by taking seconds.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

The Best DXRacer Gaming Chairs [Formula, King, Racing]

.ugb-0af060d .ugb-notification__item{border-radius:0px !important;background-color:#ffffff !important;border-width:2px !important;border-color:#db8d29 !important}.ugb-0af060d .ugb-notification__item:before{background-color:#ffffff !important}.ugb-0af060d .ugb-notification__description{font-size:13px !important;line-height:22px !important;color:#222222 !important}.ugb-0af060d .ugb-inner-block{text-align:left}@media screen and (min-width:768px){.ugb-0af060d > .ugb-inner-block > .ugb-block-content > *{padding-top:0px !important;padding-bottom:0px !important}}@media...

The Best Baby Monitor for Twins & Multiple Rooms (2020)

.ugb-2b38677 .ugb-notification__item{border-radius:0px !important;background-color:#ffffff !important;border-width:2px !important;border-color:#db8d29 !important}.ugb-2b38677 .ugb-notification__item:before{background-color:#ffffff !important}.ugb-2b38677 .ugb-notification__description{font-size:13px !important;line-height:22px !important;color:#222222 !important}.ugb-2b38677 .ugb-inner-block{text-align:left}@media screen and (min-width:768px){.ugb-2b38677 > .ugb-inner-block > .ugb-block-content > *{padding-top:0px !important;padding-bottom:0px !important}}@media...

The Best Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals [2020]

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday approaching, it's time to keep your loved ones happy and collect points with deals! It is possible to...

The 6 Best Ceiling Paint Reviews & Guide (2020)

.ugb-9dcb964 .ugb-notification__item{border-radius:0px !important;background-color:#ffffff !important;border-width:2px !important;border-color:#db8d29 !important}.ugb-9dcb964 .ugb-notification__item:before{background-color:#ffffff !important}.ugb-9dcb964 .ugb-notification__description{font-size:13px !important;line-height:22px !important;color:#222222 !important}.ugb-9dcb964 .ugb-inner-block{text-align:left}@media screen and (min-width:768px){.ugb-9dcb964 > .ugb-inner-block > .ugb-block-content > *{padding-top:0px !important;padding-bottom:0px !important}}@media...

The 5 Best Table Saws for Beginners (2020)

.ugb-41122cc .ugb-notification__item{border-radius:0px !important;background-color:#ffffff !important;border-width:2px !important;border-color:#db8d29 !important}.ugb-41122cc .ugb-notification__item:before{background-color:#ffffff !important}.ugb-41122cc .ugb-notification__description{font-size:14px !important;line-height:22px !important;color:#222222 !important}.ugb-41122cc .ugb-inner-block{text-align:left}@media screen and (min-width:768px){.ugb-41122cc > .ugb-inner-block > .ugb-block-content > *{padding-top:0px !important;padding-bottom:0px !important}}@media...

Best Humidifiers: What to Know Before You Buy

One of the most complained problems in winter is low humidity. Humidifiers, which have become more and more widespread lately, seem to be a...