Want to turn the free power of the sun’s rays into savings on your monthly energy bill? Go solar. Along with creating a comfortable environment in your home, you will also be helping the Earth by using a pollution-free renewable resource — and you might be eligible for a tax credit.

When purchasing a solar system, keep in mind these important factors that help determine the efficiency rating of your panels:

  • One measurement, known as peak watt, tests panels under laboratory conditions that typically do not occur in the real world. Extreme levels of light, air mass and low cell temperature are all inflicted onto the panels to determine their ultimate efficiency and energy output.
  • The normal operating cell temperature is a somewhat more accurate and realistic measure, as it tests a module’s operating temperature under standard operating conditions: an average of 68 degrees and wind velocity of 2.24 mph. The problem with this testing procedure is that the panels are not attached to a roof like they typically would be after installation. Air is allowed to hit the backs of panels instead of allowing heat to build up underneath.
  • The AMPM standard is the most realistic measure of a panel, as it takes into account an entire day of typical sunshine, rather than just the peak hours of sunlight. Findings are calculated based on light levels, surrounding temperature and air mass.

Contact Wolff Mechanical for more information on solar efficiency ratings. Understanding the process of calculating efficiency can help you make a more educated decision when investing in solar energy for your home.