Everything You Need to Know about the Highest Wattage Solar Panels
There is a growing belief that the highest wattage solar panels are always the best. But is this really true? Does a highest wattage solar panel offer the most value to a buyer?
The answer may surprise you because it’s neither simple nor straightforward. In short, highest watt solar panels offer the most value to a specific type of customer that can use these panels effectively, while ignoring their disadvantages. For most people, buying a panel with the industry’s highest wattage may not be the best choice. Having said that, anyone, including you, can still purchase and enjoy the benefits of a highest watt solar panel.
In this article, we look at the following:
- What is the highest wattage solar panel?
- How do highest wattage solar panels work?
- Pros and Cons of highest watt solar panels
- Pros of highest wattage solar panels
- Cons of highest wattage solar panels
- Are higher wattage solar panels better?
- Highest Wattage Solar Panels vs. Standard Wattage Solar Panels
- Who are the highest wattage solar panels designed for?
- Are highest wattage solar panels worth it?
- The best solar panels for your solar installation - Renogy’s solar panels
What is the highest wattage solar panel?
Solar technology is improving at a rapid pace. What was once thought impossible is being proven possible only a few years later.
This is especially the case in regards to the wattage of solar panels as before 400W solar panels were not available but now, they could not be more common.
Solar panels can be divided into two categories, which are:
1.Commercial solar panels
2.Residential solar panels
Currently, for commercial panels, the highest wattage solar panel available on the market is 700W. These 700W panels, with a whopping 144 half-cut solar cells that maximize the power output while minimizing the resistance, are being produced by several manufacturers.
It’s important to note that 700W solar panels are mainly geared towards commercial use such as in solar farms and other large-scale businesses.
For residential panels, the highest wattage solar panels available are around 500W, which is more than enough for residential use. The wattage for residential panels is limited to 500W due to the need to ensure that the panels’ size will fit on most rooftops.
How do Highest Wattage Solar Panels work?
Highest wattage solar panels work the same way as other panels. So how other solar panels work? Check out more details in this article: How Solar Panels Work: Breaking It Down For Beginners. The biggest difference between higher wattage and lower wattage panels these days is the number of solar cells fitted onto the solar panel.
In other words, higher wattage panels have higher wattage simply because they are bigger (more solar cells). Not because they are technologically superior.
But this wasn’t always the case. Before, improvements in solar panels depended upon the technology and not the size of the panel.
So if somebody wanted to improve a solar panel's wattage, they improved the efficiency of the panel. In doing so, they increased the panel's power output by reducing the energy lost during conversion.
Now manufacturers are increasing power output using three methods:
1.Increasing the size of the panel to accommodate more solar cells.
2.Reducing the size of solar cells. The panel size can accommodate twice as many half-cut solar cells.
3.Double-siding solar panels so that both faces of the panels can generate electricity. Double-sided panels, AKA bifacial solar panels, are not suitable for rooftop installations.
4.Slightly increasing the panel’s efficiency. The efficiency of solar panels is currently capped at around 23%.
Pros and Cons of highest watt solar panels
As previously mentioned, highest wattage solar panels are attractive to a certain kind of customer because of the benefits they provide. These benefits include the following:
Pros of Highest Wattage Solar Panels
● Highest Wattage: Buying the industry’s highest watt panels means you can enjoy the latest technology it has to offer.
● Reduced Number of Solar Panels: The panels' higher wattage means that you use a smaller number of panels. For example, to generate 6000W of power you would need 12 x 500W solar panels instead of 16 x 375W panels.
● Reduced Wiring: The reduced number of panels in your solar installation means that you have fewer connections to make. For example, if you set up a 60000W solar farm, you would only have to connect 120 x 500W panels instead of 160 x 375W panels.
● Bifacial Solar Panels Produce More Power: The double-sided nature of bifacial panels means they produce more electricity while occupying the same space as a mono-facial panel. As a result, it takes a smaller amount of solar panels to produce the same wattage
On the other hand, highest wattage solar panels have a couple of disadvantages.
Cons of Highest Wattage Solar Panels
● Expensive: On average, the industry’s highest wattage solar panels cost more than the average panel.
● Heavy: Due to their increased size, higher wattage panels are also heavier. Some might find the added weight hard to maneuver for rooftop installations.
● Large and unsuitable for rooftop installations: Their size and weight make them unsuitable for installations on residential rooftops because they are hard to carry and may not fit on some rooftops.
● They are not technologically superior to smaller panels: Higher watt solar panels work on the same technology as smaller panels.
As you can see, highest wattage solar panels are just the same as other panels. The only differences are that higher wattage panels are bigger, heavier, and have a higher output.
Maybe you can have a better understanding by having a look at what solar panels are made out of.
Are higher wattage solar panels better?
The question remains if higher wattage panels are always better.
But to answer this question we have to understand what ‘better’ means clearly. Let’s compare the two kinds of panels to find out which are ‘better’ in terms of the technology used, cost, power output, and ease of installation.
Highest Wattage Solar Panels vs. Standard Wattage Solar Panels
1. Technology Used
Highest wattage solar panels are not technologically better than lower watt panels. Higher wattage panels work using much of the same technology used in lower wattage panels. So higher watt panels are not better technologically; they are only bigger.
What does this mean?
Highest wattage panels have the same efficiency, temperature coefficient, and other metrics as their smaller counterparts. So you will be paying a steeper price for the same technology that’s not proportional to the increase in size.
2. Cost of Panels
Compared to standard wattage panels, highest wattage panels are much more expensive due to several reasons like the higher cost of production.
So if the price (cost per watt) is a major concern for you, highest wattage solar panels are not better for you. For more information on average solar panel costs, you can check out this How Much Does A Solar Panel Cost.
3. Power Output
Highest wattage panels are better than standard panels in terms of their power output. For instance, the highest wattage panels range from 500W to 700W of power output, whereas the power output of standard panels is below 400W.
4. Ease of Installation
This one’s a tie because the two types of panels excel in different areas.
Highest wattage panels are easier to install for large-scale use or on-the-ground installations. In contrast, standard solar panels are easier to install on residential or smaller rooftops. You may click here for information on ground-mounted solar panels.
After comparing higher wattage panels to their lower wattage counterparts, it’s hard to say if higher wattage panels are better. The best assessment that can be made is that it depends on the situation. Bigger solar panels might boast a better wattage but they certainly don’t guarantee a better installation.
●If you only care about getting the most wattage per panel without any regard for cost or space, higher wattage panels are better for your needs.
●On the hand, if you are concerned about the overall cost and limited installation space, standard wattage panels might be better suited for your purposes.
Who are the highest wattage solar panels designed for?
Highest wattage solar panels are most suitable for commercial use due to their large physical size, high cost, and top-tier wattage.
Examples of situations where highest wattage solar panels provide the best value are:
●Large-scale commercial installations.
●Off-grid residential complexes.
Highest watt panels are ideal for such situations because of the large amount of space, solar panels, and power involved.
That being said, if you still desire to use the highest wattage solar panels for your home or business, we recommend our space-efficient panels like the Renogy 550W Monocrystalline panel or the Renogy 450W Monocrystalline panel. You will find that these panels provide the highest wattage while making efficient use of your limited space.
Are highest wattage solar panels worth it?
Highest wattage solar panels are worth it if your situation fits any of the following criteria:
●If you plan on building a high-output solar farm.
●If you plan on using bifacial solar panels.
●If you are designing a solar installation for large-scale commercial usage.
●If you’re going to do an on-the-ground installation instead of a rooftop installation.
On the other hand, if your situation fits the following criteria, highest wattage solar panels are not the best idea:
●If you plan on doing a rooftop solar installation.
●If the available space for solar panels is not suitable for large panels. For example, the space might be irregularly shaped so that only smaller panels can fit and make efficient use of the available space.
●If you are looking for the most affordable solar panels.
Overall, highest watt solar panels are worth it if your intended system will have many solar panels.
The best solar panels for your solar installation - Renogy’s solar panels
Across the world, companies and residentials are switching from fossil-fuel energy to renewable energy sources such as solar, hydro, and others.
In fact, the increasing frequency of power cuts makes solar more attractive to homeowners and businesses because it’s affordable and easy to set up.
So if you are thinking of getting solar or upgrading the system you already have, your timing couldn't be better. The cost of solar is at an all-time low but before you take advantage of these great savings, here's what you need to know:
1.The wattage of your panels doesn’t really matter at the end of the day. What matters is the wattage of the whole system. So whether you use 12 x 500W panels or 20 x 300W panels to create a 6000W system. The total power of the system is still the same.
2.If installation space and cost of panels are not an issue, you can get the highest wattage solar panels that will still be relevant a few years later as solar technology continues to improve. We recommend Renogy 550W Monocrystalline panels or the Renogy 450W Monocrystalline panels that will still be ranked among the best high-performance panels in the years to come.
3. On the other hand, if you are concerned with the cost of your panels and getting the best value for your money, we recommend getting the affordable Renogy 200W panels or Renogy 320W panels that currently offer you the perfect blend of cost, wattage, and space usage you could ever need.
Good news! Hot sales are on the way on Renogy store. Up to 40% discounts are offered. Check them out right now.