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5 Ways to Make Sure Your Solar Panels Operate At Its Optimum

Make an informed decision and choose the best system that gives you the best value for money based on your requirement levels.

5 Ways to Make Sure Your Solar Panels Operate At Its Optimum

A recent report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) stated that renewable energy could become cheaper than the conventional fossil fuels by the year 2020. The last few years have seen the prices of solar energy fall down by 50% to 70%. As a result, there is now a highly established community of solar panel installers and service companies who are ready to invest in green infrastructure projects which would also result in a fall in the cost of energy to the ultimate consumers. In fact, consumers on their own are also installing solar panels at their residences to bring down their utility bills and in some cases, even sell the extra electricity back to the grid.

Given this background, here are 5 tips that you can follow to ensure that your solar panels operate at its optimum:

    1. Use a Solar Concentrator: Solar concentrators can be used to concentrate the solar light on smaller areas instead of the light falling on a larger area. For this, large mirrors, lens, or other such devices can be used which increase the overall efficiency of the solar cells. Lens are generally larger in size as compared to the solar panel. Such solar concentrators increase the supply of solar panel power by almost 50% however, one needs to take adequate care that the panel does not get overheated.
    2. Correct Solar Panel Orientation: For achieving the highest output, you need to ensure that the photovoltaic panels are installed correctly. As a general rule, the orientation of your solar panels should be towards the south if you live in the northern hemisphere while it should face the north if you live in the southern hemisphere. However, according to a study by the Pecan Street Research Institute who studied homes in Texas, homeowners who placed their solar panels facing west could generate 2% more electricity every day. Therefore depending on your location, consult with your solar designer prior to the installation of your solar panels.In addition, the panels need to be tilted at such an angle that they can receive direct sunshine from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The general rule to follow is to tilt the panel at the angle as your location’s latitude. For example, if you are at 50 degrees latitude, tilt your panels to 50 degrees. The tilting will need adjustments as the season changes and the sun move across the sky.
    3. Keep Your Solar Panels Clean: It is very important to keep your solar panels clean by using a translucent liquid to prevent dust coating and other menaces like bird droppings. You can either clean it yourself or get expert services to get them cleaned, especially the tricky parts. If dust settles on the panels it restricts the sunlight from reaching the photovoltaic cells and reduces the efficiency of the panel. During monsoons, the regular rains keep the panel clean, but in dryer months you can use a hose regularly to keep your residential solar panels spotless.
    4. Use Monitoring Systems: The purpose of a monitoring system is to keep an eye on the performance levels of your solar panel. If the output of the power generated by it drops, the monitoring system brings it to your attention. You can also keep track of how much energy your solar panel produces, the CO2 emissions, and any repairs it may need in its parts. Such information can be accessed using an app that gives you the detailed update of your solar panel from any location in the world.
    5. Avoid Shading: There are three different types of sunlight that hit your solar panel – direct, diffused and reflected. The direct sunlight usually occurs during summers, the diffused is when you have partly clouded sky which disrupts the direct sunlight from falling on the solar panel and lastly, reflected sunlight is when sunlight gets reflected from buildings or even trees to the solar panel (especially in winters). The solar panels should be placed in a way that they are not shaded at all as that has a negative impact on the energy output. If a solar cell is shaded, it drains the energy from its neighbouring cell as well by acting as a resistor. If more than 10% of your solar panel is shaded, then it can shut down the entire solar panel completely as panels are wired in series and connected to the same power inverter. One blockage in a cell affects the entire panel and shuts it down completely.

    Conclusion

    Keep these tips in mind before installing your solar panel and you would be able to reap its benefits for a long time. Make an informed decision and choose the best system that gives you the best value for money based on your requirement levels.