It’s not just about having a few solar panels on your home anymore. As solar cell efficiency increases and solar panel technology use is on the rise, many businesses and building owners are asking us, “how efficient are commercial solar panels?”

At Captain Green, our experienced team of solar experts are committed to designing and installing the very best commercial solar solutions for Australian businesses. We separate ourselves from the rest of the pack with a passion for delivering solutions that maximise returns on our client’s investments by using world-leading solar brands. Our dedication has enabled us to be a trustworthy and reputable supplier to both families and businesses for over a decade. So, if you want to know “how efficient are commercial solar panels?” and how you can make the best choice for your solar needs, you’ve come to the right place.

To get started, let’s look at commercial solar cell efficiency.

Commercial Solar Cell Efficiency

The efficiency of a solar panel is the measurement of its ability to convert sunlight into usable electricity. How efficient can solar panels get is determined by their components, configuration, technology and composition.

commercial solar government rebates infographic

How a solar cell works

Most solar cells currently utilise photovoltaic (PV) technology, which converts the sun’s energy in the form of photons to produce a usable electrical current for our conventional electrical mains. Multiple cells are joined together to form a panel. Panels are then arranged together to form a system generating electricity for your home or business.

How Efficient Are Commercial Solar Panels?

Most solar panels operate between 17 to 19% efficiency, which is remarkable given that ten years ago, most panels were closer to 11%. When looking at how efficient can solar panels get, significant scientific research is being undertaken to improve commercial solar cell efficiency, with the potential of silicon cells to reach up to 30% efficiency and some emerging technologies demonstrating designs to reach an efficiency of almost 50%.

Why Solar Cell Efficiency Matters

It is important to consider why we are looking at how efficient are commercial solar panels. Sometimes the word efficiency can get thrown around without an understanding of why it actually matters. A higher efficiency panel can significantly increase the total energy output over the lifetime of its working use. Small percentage-based increases between panels may seem negligible. However, when we consider that most panels’ lifespan are between 15-25 years, this can result in a significant difference.

An efficient solar cell could also produce more usable energy during an extended course of the day. Particularly in the mornings and evenings when the light intensity is at its lowest, some less efficient solar cells can struggle. By having a more efficient solar panel, you will be provided with more consistent energy generation over the course of the day.

From both an environmental impact of the materials and energy used to create the solar technology and the financial cost incurred to purchase the products, more efficient solar panels will also pay themselves back quicker. The increased efficiency of solar cells has also led to solar panels increasing their output whilst maintaining or decreasing their overall size. The reduction in size and required roof space for installation has afforded greater accessibility and flexibility for commercial businesses and buildings as solar panels can fit into more diverse setups.

By understanding how efficient are commercial solar panels, you can also make more informed choices when deciding which solar products to choose. At the end of the day, it is about choosing a setup that will service your building or business efficiently and provide the power output required for your needs.

At Captain Green Solar, we stock some of the most efficient commercial solar panels in the industry, boasting module efficiency exceeding 20%. Our industry-leading products provide great solutions to service your commercial solar needs.

So how efficient are commercial solar panels? Take a look below at some of our top performers:


How Efficient Are Commercial Solar Panels Infographic

As innovations within the solar industry continue, we promise to provide our customers with second to none products for their solar energy solutions. We consistently stay up to date with the latest technology and products to ensure we maintain our spot as Australia’s leading solar company with the most efficient solar panels you can get.

Although these products provide technology with optimal efficiency, there are still many factors that influence how efficient are commercial solar panels.

Climate and Geography: 

When installing photovoltaic modules in a solar energy system, consideration regarding orientation, latitude and climate need to be made as they can all considerably determine the output of a solar panel. For example, countries closer to the equator receive the highest amounts of solar energy due to the sun’s angle and orientation. Generally speaking, the further away from the equator you move, the amount of potential solar energy will be reduced.

Cell Shading:

Total or partial shading of a solar cell can significantly reduce its efficiency and may result in lower or zero power output. This is especially noticeable when solar cells are connected in series, as the voltage of one cell influences another in this setup. Solutions such as bypass diodes or a parallel wiring structure can reduce the effects of solar shading.

Ambient Temperature:

When determining how efficient are commercial solar panels, your environment’s ambient temperature can have a significant impact. Due to the chemical composition of the photovoltaic cell, the ambient temperature directly influences its efficiency. Typically, as the temperature drops, the panel’s efficiency increases due to a reduction in voltage between cells.

In Australia, we have a very suitable climate for producing solar energy with lots of sunlight and the highest solar radiation level per square metre of any continent.

Maintenance and Condition of the Panel:

Solar panels are very durable products, often with lifespans between 15-25 years. That being said, it is important to conduct routine inspections and maintenance to ensure the maximum efficiency of your panels. Checks to ensure the maximum efficiency of panels and associated infrastructure should include but are not limited to:

  • Solar panels are clean and free of defects
  • Wiring has not been damaged
  • No parts have deteriorated
  • All electrical components are operating as intended
  • Checking inverter software for any issues

When looking at how efficient are commercial solar panels, it is also important to consider the money you spend on solar technology as an investment. We are dedicated to ensuring maximum returns in a timely manner with our customers. Solar systems can reduce your energy bills and can even provide positive returns as you feedback into the grid. The Federal Government also offer renewable energy rebates and incentives to reduce the up-front costs when installing a solar energy system.

This investment also reduces the overall emissions of your energy usage. The reduction in your carbon footprint is another step closer to achieving our national and global renewable energy targets, which is never a bad thing.

Get an Expert to Install Your Solar Panels

To ensure correct planning, installation, and function, it is essential to employ the services of a qualified solar professional. Correct installation of the panels, including their angle and orientation, wiring and software, is crucial for your solar system’s optimal efficiency. There is no point in having the best products money can buy if they are not compatible with one another, suitable for your situation or installed incorrectly.

So, looking at the above, when asking how efficient are commercial solar panels, we can see that these factors vary depending on your individual situation. The most efficient panel on paper may not provide the best solution for your needs. As such, it is important that you talk to an expert commercial solar provider such as Captain Green, who can provide you with the knowledge, guidance and premium products that you can utilise to maximise your commercial solar cell efficiency.

At Captain Green Solar, our experienced team has installed over 250,000 panels over the course of a decade. Our dedicated commercial solar division will guide you through each step of the process to ensure you get the most out of solar PV investment. Even after installation, our team will provide you with ongoing support and continual maintenance to ensure you are maximising your solar energy system’s output and performance.

To find out more about our products or talk with one of our commercial solar cell efficiency experts, call us on 1300 361 682 or leave an enquiry.