Low-Efficiency Solar Panels are a Waste of Money

Buying low-quality, low-efficiency solar panels results in poor long-term outcomes for buyers

residential solar PV
Buying low-quality, low-efficiency solar panels results in poor long-term outcomes for buyers as it will prevent them from expanding their solar system to incorporate battery storage and electric car charging. Solar panels come in 60 and 72 cell versions and inefficient solar panels have a rating of 250 watts to 270 watts in the 60 cell and around 320 watts in the 72 cell. To buy a future-proof solar power system right now, consumers need to consider keeping a reserve capacity available on the roof for future expansion. At present, most consumers are interested in investing in clean and renewable electricity. In the future, owning battery storage systems and electric cars will be easier and more viable than current electricity and transport options. One of the fastest and easiest ways to counter climate change is to move from traditional fossil fuelled cars to electric cars within the next 5-8 years. The change will only truly make a difference if the power of these cars is gained through renewable energy. So it’s no surprise that many car manufacturers now have electric cars in their model line-up. LG has recently signed up with 14 of the top 20 car manufacturers for future battery supply to be used in their electric vehicles currently under development. As you may know, Tesla has been very active in promoting and developing electric cars for many years now. Most people will require about 80km to 100km of everyday use from their electric car and with the current line-up of electric cars, you would need a minimum of 12 to 14 kW/h of electricity to travel this distance. Households with 2 cars would need to generate at least 24 kW/h for their cars and they would also aim to produce a further 20-25 kWh for use in their home, as this is the average home’s electricity consumption. In the very near future, many households will likely have their own solar batteries that can be used to power their homes or sell excess electricity back to the grid and recharge their cars at night. If this trend continues, many people may actually choose to be disconnected from the grid to operate within micro grids. If the minimum energy requirements are added up (with a comfortable buffer for cloudy days) one would need a solar system that can generate at least 50 kW/h every day. To create 50 kW/h of electricity, one household needs a 10-14 kW solar system, depending on the location in Australia. At present, most solar systems are around 3-5 kW. Cheap 250-275 Watt panels will not allow big systems to be installed on residential roofs. One would need to install over 50 solar panels to get the ideal system size and most residential roofs are simply not big enough to fit so many inefficient panels. Therefore, many experts believe consumers should be investing in solar future and choosing the highest output panels today to experience the long-term benefits. Some manufacturers are already working on a 360/400 Watt 60 cell panels and 400 plus 72 cell panels in the very near future. One of the stand-out companies with a strong background in high-efficiency research for battery storage and solar panels is LG Electronics. LG also offers some very good battery storage products within the RESU range. The products are designed to last 20 years and have recently started to arrive in Australia. Featured Image Credit: Elliott Brown

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Written by Jon Capistrano

Jon specialises in research and content creation for our outreach campaigns. He’s worked as a technical support representative for Dell, America Online, Xbox and Dodo Australia. He’s an avid scooterist and musician.

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