Some people automatically assume that higher wattage panels will produce more power, when in fact it means more roof real estate is required, because the panels are often enormous (commercial size)!
Many solar panel manufacturers have started producing high-wattage solar panels for the residential market, but because they are much bigger than standard-size panels, this presents two immediate problems:
First, these oversized panels often won’t fit on many residential rooftops.
Second, getting them onto a roof is challenging and often requires additional machinery like a scissor lift or panel lifter.
There are only a couple of panel manufacturers that go by the ‘better, not bigger’ approach, including REC (Alpha Pure R) and SunPower (Maxeon).
Wattage vs efficiency?
It’s not just the size of a panel that matters, but its efficiency. Solar panel efficiency refers to its ability to convert sunlight into electricity. There are physically smaller solar panels that are more efficient, meaning they will deliver more watts per square metre than some panels.
Which solar panels are good?
One of the panels we recommend is produced by REC, which manufactures all of their panels in Singapore. Their motto, ‘better, not bigger,’ has led them to create highly efficient panels that generate more power but with a smaller rooftop footprint than most other panel manufacturers.
Most solar panels have an efficiency of 18-20%. REC solar panels use heterojunction technology that provides a higher power density that bumps the panel’s efficiency up to 22.2%, making them one of the most efficient solar panels in the world.
How to determine what capacity solar system your home needs
Several factors influence the size of solar system required for your home:
- The energy usage of your home. If you have a pool, spa, electric vehicle, etc or you regularly use a clothes dryer or air-conditioner.
- How much of your free solar energy you’re able to use during daylight hours
- How much suitable roof space you have available
- How your energy needs will change in the future
- Your budget
- Your desire for energy independence (ie. How little you want to rely on the national grid)
If you’re not sure how to work out the required solar system size, we can analyse your electricity bill and guide you on the right size system for your current and future needs, based on the above factors.