Question: How efficent are solar panels?
Answer: The efficiency of solar panels depends entirely on the type of solar cell being used. There are a few different groups of photovoltaic cells each with their own efficiency, these groups are multijunction, single junction, crystalline silicone, thin film, and emerging technologies. Multi- and single junction refers to the number of P-N junctions in the cell. Currently the most efficient solar cells are three-junction cells attaining 42.4% efficiency, two-junction cells have attained an efficiency of 32.6%. Single junction cells have reached 28.5%, crystalline silicon (what most residential, non-utility, or high performance installations use) are currently recorded as reaching 27.4% efficiency. Thin film technology efficiency has been tested as high as 20.3%. Emerging technology such as dye sensitized solar cells (11.1%) and organic cells (9.7%) are expected to reach higher efficiency levels as further research and development is done.
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