They are various Solar Panels available in Zimbabwe and the average solar consumer can have a difficult time choosing from the various Solar Panels. At Aurora Energy we have taken our time at looking various outlets and the variety of Solar panels they have to offer. These ranges from what Bloomberg NEF classify as Tier 1 panels through to Tier3 and many unclassified panel manufacturers.
So how do you differentiate Panel Manufacturers?
BloombergNEF developed a tiering system for PV Module makers based on bankability to create a transparent differentiation between the hundreds of solar panel manufacturers on the market. The important distinction though is this listing rank of manufacturers not the panels themselves, although it is a good indicator of quality and reliability.
So how do I choose a Panel?
Solar Panel efficiency is a good starting point as this is the measure of irradiation (sunlight ) which falls on the surface of a panel and is converted into electricity. It is determined by 2 main factors the PV Cell efficiency and the total panel efficiency, based on cell layout, configuration.
Cell efficiency is determined by the cell structure and base silicon material used which is generally either N type or P type. CE is calculated by the fill factor which is the maximum conversion efficiency of a PV Cell at the optimum voltage and current.
Panel Efficiency is measured under STC standard test conditions based on a cell temperature of 25deg, solar irradiance of 1000w/m2 and air mass of 1.5, and is given by max power rating (W) at STC divided by the total panel area in meters. Overall panel Efficiency is influenced by these factors: temperature, irradiance level, cell type, and interconnection of the cells.
Why Efficiency Matters?
Faster payback, as panel efficiency increased the payback period has reduced
Efficiency does play a huge part in the amount of BOS used
The area required to mount the solar panels also decreases the more efficient the panles
Panel Efficiency being a good starting point the most efficient Solar Panel Manufacturers are from premium solar manufacturers which are generally
However these are very expensive and are rarely available in Zimbabwe. Value Solar Manufacturers and their products are more available locally and most of these manufacturers are rated Tier 1 manufacturers.
Are your best bet for reliable, service and warranty support. For purchasing decision a lot of information on manufacturer and the particular panel have to be researched but to get the best from your buck shop wisely.