Why Aren’t Solar Panels More Efficient?

Last Updated on July 11th, 2023

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Solar panels are not more efficient due to scientific and technological limitations. While the theoretical limit is high, technology has not yet caught up to that limit. Even the limit itself for efficiency is not very high.

It will take a long time to move past these limits. However, when we eventually do, it will make solar power accessible and a more realistic solution to our current energy problems. Keep reading to find out more about these limitations and if solar is still right for you.

Many solar panels set up near a forest - Why Aren’t Solar Panels More Efficient?

What is Limiting Solar Panels?

The current thing limiting solar panels is technological advancements. Currently, solar panels can only convert certain types of sun wavelengths.

Even with the sunlight wavelength that we can convert into energy, there are limitations that we still need to figure out how to surpass.

The solar system produces a variety of wavelengths that we could theoretically convert into energy that would be more efficient and reliable. Currently, these wavelengths cannot be absorbed and are simply reflected back or lost altogether.

With our current solar cell limits, we typically lose the majority of energy in the conversion process. There is a defined limit currently, but scientists are currently trying to discover how to overcome these issues.


What are the Biggest Flaws of Solar Panels?

The biggest flaws of solar panels currently include conversion limitations but also storage and accessibility. Of course, the point of solar power is that it converts sunlight into power.

The issue with that is what we do for power when the sunlight is not strong enough, such as on overcast days or at night. With the current conversion rate, it is difficult to store enough power to get through a night at a typical home, even with proper energy storage.

This gets even more difficult if you live in areas that are typically overcast or do not get sufficient direct sunlight in general. The accessibility increases with initial costs, and some homes not being able to install solar panels at all.


Will Solar Panels ever Reach 100% efficiency?

No, currently, it does not seem we will ever be able to get solar panels to anywhere close to 100% efficiency. Currently, there is a theoretical upper limit to solar efficiency that we might be able to achieve, but that is still not even close to 100%.

Even with the current upper limit theory, we have not been able to achieve this limit either. In fact, we are only able to have solar efficiency of about half of the theoretical maximum efficiency. We have a long way to go to make solar panels more efficient.


Is Solar Still Worth it?

Yes, solar is definitely still worth it. Even with all of these limitations and flaws, solar panels are highly beneficial. Personal benefits include things like monetary kickbacks and cheaper electric bills. You will save way more money having solar even after the initial investment.

On a societal level, you can benefit your community by having any excess energy used by the city. You are helping the environment by using renewable energy as well. If you can get solar panels, you should.


Are There Any Developments in the Solar Panel Industry?

The latest developments in the solar panel industry include more high-powered and long-lasting solar cells. Solar cells are the thing in your solar panels that actually converts sunlight into electricity.

With new developments, they have made new kinds of solar cells. These are easier to produce and could result in solar panels eventually being cheaper. These solar cells are also higher powered and more efficient at converting energy.

These new solar cells will make the distribution of solar power more accessible. It will also make solar power more convenient and realistic as a new source of renewable energy.


Final Thoughts on Why Aren’T Solar Panels More Efficient

Solar power is far from perfect in its current stage. There are a lot of developments that need to be made to make it both more accessible and more efficient. Solar power is still the best alternative energy form at the moment, however.

Solar power continues to be developed and implemented worldwide as a new form of energy. Eventually, solar power could be our main source of energy. We need to be patient with these scientific developments and implement them where we can until then.

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