It is natural to expect higher generation from your solar energy system when you have spent a hefty amount on its installation. After all, everyone desires high returns on their investments.
But we all know that silicon cells available in the market have a fixed maximum efficiency of 22%. So, is there anything you can do to raise the solar panel output?
This blog will give you a brief understanding of what efficiency means, and seven ways you can use to get more out of your solar system.
What is Solar Efficiency?
When light hits the panels, most of it reflects. Only a small percentage gets transformed into electricity that can power your appliances. Solar efficiency is the amount of sunlight your solar panels can convert into usable energy.
Certain factors decide this efficiency, including temperature, orientation, shade, and type of cells used. Since silicon cells have a maximum efficiency rate of 22%, during peak production, panels can convert 22% of the sun’s energy into electricity.
Ways to Raise Solar Panel Efficiency
Now that we understand efficiency, let’s see how we can raise it. Here are seven measures you can take to ensure the highest output from the solar energy system.
We have divided them into two categories: before installation and after installation.
1. Invest in High-Quality Panels
Sounds obvious, right? You’d be surprised to know how many people opt for panels with lower-grade cells just because they are cheaper.
The kind of photovoltaic cells and technology used in the solar modules majorly impacts the system’s efficiency.
Currently, there are three types of cells available in the Indian market- Polycrystalline, Mono-crystalline, and Bifacial cells. Panels with mono-crystalline cells have higher efficiency rates and they produce more power per square foot in comparison to Polycrystalline.
Moreover, if you have the budget, you can opt for panels with bifacial cells that can absorb light from both sides.
Thus, if you are looking for efficiency and higher power generation, do not compromise on the quality of the product.
2. Opt for Better Technology
Researchers are constantly working on improving solar panel efficiency and introducing newer technologies. Innovations in solar cells and even design and engineering have started emerging in the market.
While it would not be feasible to consider all of them, here are a few options you can watch out for when purchasing your solar system.
- Half-Cut Cells- Panels use traditional silicon cells that have been separated into two parts. This boosts the performance and durability of the module.
- Multi Busbar Cell Technology- Panels are equipped with a higher number of busbars (that conduct DC power), to shorten the transportation time and increase output.
- Mono-Perc Modules- In this technology, a passivated layer is added to the rear of the module to allow more light absorption and higher generation.
- Integrated Solar Roofs– Replaces traditional roofs with a seamless roof structure made of solar panels. Employs more panels in the same space, which increases energy generation.
3. Choose Trustworthy Installers
People do not invest as much time in picking the right installers as they spend in choosing the best solar system. But, installation is one of the most critical parts of a solar plant.
A professional with proper certifications should ensure that the panels face true south, at an angle. They also have to make sure that there are no obstructions to the sunlight and that the cables are connected based on exact calculations to minimize DC losses.
Also, if there are structural issues in your roof, they will be able to detect and point them out and advise solutions for them.
4. Allow Air Flow Gaps
Overheating severely affects generation. This is because energy generation in solar power systems is inversely proportional to the temperature of the solar system.
If you are installing solar panels on tin sheds, or roofing sheets that tend to heat up, ensure that there is space between the panel and the roof. This would allow airflow beneath, thus preventing the panels from overheating.
5. Clean the Panels Properly
Solar power systems do not require frequent maintenance. What they do need is the meticulous cleaning of the glass frames once every 6 months or a year. This will improve energy generation drastically.
Usually, when the output goes down, you would know that a cleaning session is needed. Look out for accumulated dirt, bird droppings, or other debris on the modules. Moreover, for better water drainage, consider installing water clearing clamps. This will prevent water from accumulating at the corner of the panel frame, which in turn can affect the panel life and long-term generation.
However, make sure that you do not clean when the temperature is high, as it can damage the modules by creating micro-cracks.
6. Avoid Shadows
Solar panels need full sun exposure. Shaded areas bring down their efficiency. Therefore, regularly check for any shadows that could be blocking the light throughout the day.
Also, before making any new installations, such as water tanks or pergolas, on the roof, thoroughly check for possibilities of shade.
Additionally, choose panels that are equipped with shading tolerance for optimum performance.
7. Schedule Preventive Checks
For optimum performance of your solar system, schedule quarterly preventive checks. Engineers would be able to check if all modules and components are functioning properly and detect any discrepancies in the panel output that may go unnoticed otherwise.
If you have access, we strongly suggest checking the power output through the online monitoring system regularly. This would help you see which panels are producing how much energy on a daily basis, troubleshoot in case of minor issues, and seek support in case of major ones.
Important Note: We do not recommend the use of mirrors, reflectors, and other solar concentrators that aim to maximize generation by concentrating sunlight. Doing so can damage the solar modules, and void your warranty.
About Ornate Solar
Ornate Solar has partnered with leading global brands, to provide the best and latest technology in inverters and solar panels. We are the official partner of Canadian Solar panels & Renewsys solar panels in India. We are also the official distributor of SolarEdge inverters with DC optimizers, Enphase microinverters, Fronius On-Grid Inverters, and Havells solar inverters in India.
If you are exploring reliable and cost-effective solar solutions, reach out for a quote at 011 4353 6666.