Comparison of solar panels in Mexico
Which is the best solar equipment for my project in Mexico?
We are aware that it is not easy to compare solar panels, purchasing a solar photovoltaic system is a big investment that requires extensive research before committing with any given company, doing your homework can save you thousands of dollars and headaches in the near future, this is the sole reason why we took the time to put together this p of our website to try to provide you with the right tools and knowledge so you can make the best decision when acquiring a solar power system.
We are talking here about a big investment with the sole purpose of economizing your daily operations, a solar power system that needs to run for at least 20 years for the investment to fully flourish and generate a stream of positive cash flow after the system has paid itself (typically 4 years for residential users).
To start comparing different options currently being offered in the Mexican market is it important to take into consideration many more aspects than just efficiency or the origin of the solar panel. Here we present some very important aspects to take into consideration when comparing solar modules.
Rationalization of the REAL performance of a solar module:
Daily production in Wh = WH = (PN*TP)*HS)/ (CT*-(TR>25)
- PN: Rated power of solar module
- TP: Power tolerance
- HS: Average annual number of hours of sun where the solar system is being installed
- TC: Solar cell temperature coefficient according to the data sheet
- TR: Ambient temperature
Technical aspects that need to be considered when selecting a solar module
The efficiency of a solar module refers to the usable solar energy module receives and transforms into voltage, ie; with solar radiation of 1,000 Watts per square meter, a solar module with an efficiency of 15% will produce 150 Watts instantaneously in an area of one square meter, in theory the more efficient a solar panel is the most power it will produce per the same area covered.
As you can observe in our module performance rationalization formula, this factor (efficiency of solar cell) is not taken into account when trying to calculate the REAL performance of a solar panel system, other much more important factors such as panel power tolerance and how resistant a solar cell is to the high ambient temperatures (temperature coefficient) are accounted as these dictate the REAL on the field performance of a solar panel.
Usually the first question asked by our clients is always the same: Which solar panel is the most efficient?, and often that is the wrong question to ask, here we present a comparison of some of the most popular solar panels commercialized in Mexico taking into consideration the real important factors that affect electricity production:
- Type: There are various materials which can build a solar cell from, as are crystalline mono-, poly-crystalline, thin film, etc. For this case the comparison is only between poly crystalline modules.
- Model: Trade name of the product in question in this case are modules with a nominal power of 250 Watts.
- Tolerance Power: The tolerance is that manufacturers use between the nominal and the real power of the solar module.
- Efficiency: Production capacity of electricity per square meter (m²)
- Temperature coefficient PMAX: Percentage loss per degree above the maximum temperature that supports the panel before developing a power drop after 25 degrees Celsius (standard laboratory temperature)
Based on this table you can observe that not all solar panels are made equal, there are many variations that can tremendously affect the REAL field performance of a solar panel despite them having the same nominal rating which in this case is 250 watt.
One of the most important aspects to consider when purchasing a solar panel or a solar system is the power tolerance that the manufacturer offers as this determines the REAL performance of a solar panel and not its nominal capacity, for example:
Based on data from the above table, a solar module from the manufacturer Solartec has a power tolerance of (+7.5Wp -7.5Wp), this means that a solar panel with a NOMINAL rating of 250 watts can have a REAL rating between (242.5 to 257.5 watts) and leave the factory's production line with a 250 watt nominal label on it.
Another important factor to take into consideration and one that very much affects the performance of a solar cell is its resistance to extreme heat. Crystalline solar panels are typically composed of 60 cells, these cells are made from a semiconductor wafers which degrade its performance when exposed to high ambient temperatures. A solar module with a cell that degrades or looses power more quickly under heat will have a lower performance compared to a more resistant technology, for example:
A solar module with a temperature coefficient of -0.46%/C will produce less energy in the warmer months of the year than a solar module with a temperature coefficient of -0.38%/C.
On this graph we can observe that as irradiation rises the ambient temperature also rises causing a loss of voltage in the solar cell. This particular feature is extremely important in solar systems designed with string inverters as losses in a single solar module can have an adverse effect on the overall performance on the chain of modules in series or string.
Manufacturer warranties: Performance and manufacturing defects warranty
The following table shows the differences in the warranties offered by each manufacturer which are divided into two categories:
- For manufacturing defects: When a fault is within the integrity of the module as a result of a manufacturing defect, the same is replaced over a period of time determined by the manufacturer after detecting the failure or imperfection.
- For performance: Each solar module has a margin of expected production over its lifetime, if the production of this module is offset within this period you are eligible for a replacement or refund from the manufacturer.
Based on the table above, we can see that not all solar panel manufacturers offer the same commercial conditions and there are some companies that offer more than others making their offer more favorable to the consumer.
Now is when the question comes up, which module is right for my solar plant?
And the answer is very simple, the one that fits your needs and budget.
The important thing is to consider all options before making a decision and be aware of what the product your are purchasing, as you can see, not all solar panels are made equal, some offer a better REAL performance and overall warranties than others. With this simple comparison we hope to capture the differences between the different products on the Mexican market today for you to make the decision that you feel is most appropriate.
For more information about our products or services please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 664 607 1545
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