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Maximize the Efficiency of a Solar Panel

Jessica PirroMarch 10, 20205030

Maximize the Efficiency of a Solar Panel

When it comes to getting a solar panel installation if you have done any sort of research you will know that there are a few important things, one being the efficiency of a solar panel.

The efficiency of a solar panel is going to be a measurement of the amount of the sun’s energy a single solar panel can convert into usable solar energy. If the efficiency of a solar panel is 19% then it’s capable of converting 19% of the sun that is hitting the solar panels into usable solar power.

There’s going to be some solar panels that are rated higher in the efficiency department than others, but those solar panels are going to cost a little more. However, if you can’t afford the solar panels that are rated higher in the efficiency department, there are somethings that you can do to maximize the efficiency of a solar panel.

Watch Out for the Shade

When it comes to solar panel installation, direct sunlight is going to be best. But when it comes to shade on a solar power system there are going to be both ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ sources of shade. Tree branches, roof vents, chimney’s or other things causing the shade to come from a distance are going to be soft sources of shade. Soft sources of shade do significantly reduce the amount of sunlight that is reaching the solar cells.

When referring to hard sources of shade it is defined as the sources of shade that completely cut off the light from reaching the solar panels. These hard sources are going to be tree branches, dirt and dust, and bird droppings that are going to sit directly on top of the glass. Even if a single solar cell on the solar panels is hard shaded, the voltage of the solar panel is going to drop to half of its un-shaded value to protect itself. If enough solar cells are hard shaded, the solar panel isn’t going to convert any energy, and then it’s going to be going to become a drain of energy on the entire solar power system.

When you partially shade even a single solar cell, the overall solar power output of the solar panels is going to significantly reduce. Because all of the solar cells are connecting in a series string, the weakest solar cell is going to bring the others down to its reduced solar power level. Regardless if 1/2 of a solar cell is shaded, or 1/2 of an entire row of solar cells is shaded, the solar power decrease is going to be the same and proportional to the percentage of area shaded, in this case, 50%. But if an entire row of solar cells is at the bottom of the solar panels is fully shaded, the solar power output might drop to zero. The best way to avoid this is going to be avoiding shade whenever possible.

Use More Sunlight

Solar panels generate energy using the sun rays, which will mean that they only produce solar energy during the day. If you want to get the best results from your solar panel installation, you should use as much power under the sun as possible.

Here are some different ways that you can use more power during sunlight hours:

- Recharge all of your electronic devices like cellphones, laptops, lamps, and other gadgets in the sun for hours.

- Place all solar devices in the direct sunlight for a full recharge to prepare them for night use.

- Adjust all cooling or heating devices to the desired temperature during the day, this way you can switch them off at night to minimize your electricity use.

- If you have solar inverters with energy storage capability, you should recharge them properly during the day to minimize wasting any power.

Install a Solar Battery 

Adding a solar battery to your solar panel installation is becoming more and more popular, and several solar battery systems are currently on the market. Investing in a solar battery to fulfill your electricity needs can help you maintain your budget.

Certain solar power systems come with a solar battery and allow you to save energy during the day. You can use this energy at night to keep your electricity usage to a minimum.

Another benefit of using a solar battery is going to be that you are always going to use it, including during a blackout.

The Angle of the Tilt

To capture the amount of solar power over a year, your solar panel installation should be tilted at an angle approximately equal to the site’s latitude, and facing 15 degrees of due south. If you want to optimize winter performance, the solar panel installation can be tilted 15 degrees more than the latitude angle, and if you want to optimize the performance of the solar power system in the summer, 15 degrees less than the latitude angle. At any given instant, a solar panel installation will maximize the available solar power when it is pointed directly at the sun.

If you want to compare the solar energy output of your solar panel installation to its optimum value, you are going to need to know the site’s latitude, and the actual tilt angle of your solar panel installation, which may be the sloop of your rooftop if that is where your solar panel installation is mounted. If your solar panel installations tilt is going to be within 15% if the latitude angle, you can expect a reduction of 5% or less in your solar power system’s annual solar energy production. If your solar power system’s tilt is more than 15 degrees off the latitude angle, the reduction in your solar power system’s annual energy production might fall by close to 15% from its peak value. But during the winter months at higher latitude, the reduction is going to be more.

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