How To Increase Your Solar Panel's Efficacy and Output
Solar energy is one of the best sustainable sources of energy available that converts light to electricity. It is the safest source of energy with zero emissions that can power buildings and allow people to go on with their daily tasks while keeping their carbon footprint as low as possible.
Not only is solar power great for the environment, but it can also help lower our greenhouse gases emission rate.
Solar panels have many photovoltaic cells that help collect the sun's energy. Therefore, before installing your solar system, look for multiple ways to increase its efficacy and maximize its output.
After all, the efficiency of some of these panels changes with a change in climate and temperature. There are many factors that can affect your solar panel's efficiency.
Solar panel's efficacy shows the panel's productivity and relates to a wide range of things. So here are a few practical ways to increase your solar panel's efficiency.
8 Ways for Increasing Your Solar Panel's Efficiency
Hire a Professional to Install Your Panels
If a solar system isn’t installed correctly, it won’t receive the optimum amount of sunlight; therefore, it will produce less electricity. Some of the critical things to consider when installing your panels are the angle and orientation.
Hiring professionals like RMS when installing your solar panels is very important especially if you don't have any idea on how to properly place the solar panels.
For maximum exposure, install your panels at an angle ranging from 10 to 36 degrees. If you live in the southern hemisphere, your panel should be oriented towards the north. Likewise, if you're in the northern hemisphere, it should face the south.
And if you already know your home's energy requirements, you can purchase the right number of panels and the right, pure sine wave inverter that can power all your electric appliances. This unique inverter will reduce the need for you to switch off some devices in your home to keep the consumption low.
Never Install Your Panels in a Shaded Region
The solar system generates electricity from direct sunlight; therefore, putting it in a shaded area can affect its output. Unfortunately, many homeowners are not aware of how the shade affects their series of panels. But, if one of your PVC (photovoltaic cells) is shaded, it reduces the amount of energy produced by the next cells. And that is because it will become a resistor.
Some of the fundamental things that can prevent your solar panels from receiving direct sunlight are tall buildings and trees. Therefore, spend some time during the planning stage and look at the site and ensure that nothing will prevent the sun from reaching your panels.
And if the trees grow with time, make sure that their branches are pruned. If your neighbor builds a taller building that shades your panels, then it's time to move the panels to another site.
Get Solar Panels With High CPV (Concentrated Photovoltaic) Cells
Just like the traditional panels, the CPV panels generate electricity from direct sunlight. But unlike the conventional panels, the CPV uses curved mirrors or lenses to focus sunlight on a highly efficient solar cell.
The cells used in a standard panel peak at 22% efficiency, while the CPV panel can attain 46% efficacy. But with high efficiency comes a huge price tag. The CPV panels cost about four times more than the traditional panels. So if you have the cash, then purchasing CPV panels will be the best option.
Clean Your Panels
Since this system has no movable parts, it needs very little maintenance. But make sure you clean your panels occasionally as dirt and dust accumulate on their surface and affect their efficiency.
Unfortunately, the number of times you will have to clean the panels will depend on many factors like the price of having them cleaned and how often it rains in your region. Make sure you remove debris every week.
In one year, dirt and dust can cause your panel's output to reduce by up to 5%. And in dry places where it rarely rains, the dust can reduce your panel's output by about 20%. So make sure you clean your panels at least once every year.
Keep the Temperature of the Solar Panels as Low as Possible
Other than maximum exposure to sunlight, the temperature of the panels will also affect their efficiency. The efficacy of your solar panels can be affected by an increase in temperature, so they will produce less electricity when the temperature rises.
Unfortunately, panels function differently when the temperature increases. Some function properly, while others reduce their efficacy. So it would be best if you left a sufficient gap between the roof and panels when installing them to allow effortless movement of fresh air and prevent the panels from overheating.
If installed on the ground, ensure that nothing is blocking the flow of air over and under the solar panels.
Install a Solar Concentrator
A solar concentrator is a device that allows the panel to maximize solar energy losing no power. So when purchasing your solar panels, make sure you get a concentrator. This device will concentrate on sunlight and easily convert it to electricity. A solar concentrator concentrates all the light that falls on the panels and generates electricity.
Concentrators can help maximize your panel's efficacy making sure it suits all your needs perfectly and save you a few dollars. You can also double the advantage by using some mirrors.
Monitor Your System's Output Using Energy Management Software
Most solar installers install the panels perfectly, and if they are happy with the output, they don't do any follow-up. Unfortunately, this can be a significant problem because if your system is not monitored, you won't notice when the output and efficiency drops.
Therefore, connect your solar system to energy management software like Surple and monitor its output. This software can help you detect any drastic decrease in output and solve the problem before it becomes a more significant issue.
Purchase More Efficient Solar Panels
Solar panels are made using many photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into electricity. Unfortunately, these cells don't convert all the solar energy they receive to electricity. So your panel's efficacy refers to the percentage of sun energy reaching the panel that is actually converted to electricity.
Luckily, the technology has evolved over the last few years, and the average efficiency of solar panels has increased to about 20%. But solar panels are not built equally, and the structure and materials used to make them differ in quality. So high-quality materials can increase the efficacy of a solar panel, but high-quality panels can be pretty costly.
But if you have the cash, then purchasing the high-quality options can be one of the best investments you ever make as they have a high efficacy level. Some of the most efficient panels in the market by 2020 were produced by Sunpower and LG. These panels have an efficacy of about 22%.
Going off the power grid means depending on your solar system to power all the electrical appliances in your home. Therefore, you must monitor your system's efficiency and do everything possible to increase its output. Increasing their efficiency means that your solar panel system will be highly maintained and monitored regularly for any change in output.