The ability of solar panel to convert the sun’s radiation into usable electricity translates to its efficiency. It is the most common criteria that consumers use in assessing the quality of solar panels. Take, for instance, two PV modules under the same amount of sunshine for an equivalent amount of time. The two solar panels differ in efficiency ratings; the more efficient one generates more energy than the other.
In a practical comparison, consider that one of the solar panels has 24% while the other has a 16% efficiency rating. The 24 percent efficient solar panel can generate half more kilowatt-hours (kWh) while in the same conditions as the 16% efficient panel. Therefore, solar panel efficiency plays a significant role in making the best use of energy and saving on cost.
Once you decide to install a solar panel system, there are various ways to enhance its efficiency. In short, it is possible to take measures that will see you maintain or improve the output level of your solar modules. Before you look at the tips to enhance output, here are some factors that impact the efficiency of solar panels.
Tips to Improve Solar Panel Efficiency
1. Hire a Professional Solar Installer
Solar modules absorb the maximum amount of the sun’s radiation when you install them correctly. That way, the panels generate more electricity. When carrying out the installation, orientation and angle are two major factors to consider. Typically, solar modules receive optimal sunlight when at an angle of 18-36 degrees. For those in the northern hemisphere, solar panels should be on the south-facing slope. In the southern hemisphere, you should install the solar panels on the north-facing slope. The main idea is to have maximum exposure to sunlight.
Though ironical in some way, you should note that temperature levels impact the efficiency of solar panels. An increase in temperature may result in a decrease in the effectiveness of solar modules. There should be adequate space between the roof and the panels to prevent overheating of the system by allowing airflow. All that requires skills and knowledge, and an expert understands all that and how best to do it.
The parts of a solar panel are fixed thus do not require a lot of maintenance. But dirt tends to collect on the surface, which lowers the efficiency. Of course, there is less absorption of sunlight when there is dirt on the surface.
Some factors determine how frequently you should clean your solar panels. First, consider the frequency of rain in your area. Rainwater significantly washes away the dirt, meaning you don’t have to carry out cleaning. Additionally, the cost of cleaning the solar panels may determine the number of times you carry out the task. Dirt and dust do not impact the efficiency much though you should not ignore it as it could be around five percent in a year. Depending on your area, the output may lower by more than 20%.
3. Use More Energy During Sun Peak Hours
Solar panels usually generate from the sun rays. In other words, it can only produce energy during the day. For maximum results, try to use the much power you can during the day time, and that way, you will be enhancing the solar panel efficiency. You do this by:
- Ensuring all electrical appliances are fully charged like laptops, phones, lamps when there is sunlight.
- Make sure to take all your solar devices out during the day for them to be fully charged so that they will be fully charged by night.
- Always ensure you have adjusted the heating and cooling devices using solar energy to your desired temperatures during the day. By night, you with them off to reduce the usage of electricity.
- In case you have inverters that have storage capacity for energy, ensure they are well charged to minimize wastage of power.
Another great way to enhance solar panel efficiency is tracking. A straight beam of radiation form the sun carries more raw energy than an indirect one. That is why afternoons are hotter than mornings since the sun hits the earth with a direct beam.
You achieve tracking through use of exceptional devices known as solar trackers. As it is the standard, solar racks remains stationary. That is even as the radiation of the strikes from different directions throughout the day. However, solar trackers trail the sun as it shines across the sky. With tracking, the solar panels face the incoming beam of light directly at all times.
Tracking allows exposure to large amounts of sun’s energy. Therefore, there is more production of electricity due to conversion of a greater percentage of sun’s radiation into power. Solar trackers come in two models. There is the single axis model which is cheaper but less efficient. A dual axis model is more accurate in tracking the position of the sun. Although it is more expensive, it produces more electricity. But either way, tracking is crucial in enhancing solar panel efficiency by increase the amount of sunlight available for conversion.
5. Use One Device at a Time
The size of your solar panels and power consumption of the devices determines the number of devices you charge. Therefore, using a single device separately will be the sure way of using less or electricity. Here are ways to achieve this:
- If not watching, switch off your television.
- Make sure that the dishwasher and the vacuum cleaner is not running at the same time.
- Also, the hairdryer and electric razor should not run at the same time as well.
6. Make the Right Choice
The solar panel that you go for determines the efficiency it offers you. It is the most vital thing you should always put in your mind because if you want to maximize your solar panels’ efficiency, make sure you make a sound decision.
This helps you get all the information needed for that specific panel by determining the solar system, which will deliver results, and value in your investment makes it possible to avoid excessive electricity use. Check out different solar panels models before settling with one. Please get to know and ask more questions regarding its power capacity and those other features for the enhanced energy conversion levels.
Monocrystalline types have the highest efficiency and tend to cost more. Besides, they are heaviest on the roof. Thin-film types are very cheap, but they have less efficiency. There is a lot of research about their technology and thus have great potential in the years to come. Although they consume a lot of space, they are very light.
Polycrystalline solar panels are intermediates in terms of efficiency, price, and even weight. There is little waste during their manufacture, which does not have a significant impact on the environment.
7. Always Have a Backup Energy Storage System
Solar battery systems are there in the market. There is need to invest in them as they will go a long way through maintaining the total budgets. Solar panel systems such as solar lamps and solar umbrellas usually have their storage facilities, allowing you to save more energy during the daytime.
You can then use this stored energy at night to reduce the high electricity; the best thing about us using solar energy is that you can always have power even when faced with a power blackout. The secret is to keep it charged. A backup battery helps in increasing the use efficiency of the solar modules.
8. Install a Solar Concentrator
This device enables you to maximize that power that is on your solar panel. It helps in concentrating the solar light the converting it to electricity. The co reason for having it installed is to concentrate most of the radiation that falls everywhere on the solar panel.
This process also includes using other devices such as a mirror to give a double advantage. For that reason, the concentrators can be used to enhance solar panels’ efficiency. Other than offering you improved energy, they will help you a lot in saving your money.
9. Proper Placement of the PV Panels
Another way to enhance solar panel efficiency is by installing the photovoltaic panels very wisely. The angel and orientation of the panel must be right. Then ensure you set your photovoltaic panels in a manner that will enable them to receive maximum light from the sun for a whole year. One more important thing this, you should focus on the angle tilting of the panels to make sure they are exposed directly to the sun all day without interruption.
10. AVoid Installation on Shaded Areas
Putting the panels under a shade is one of the main factors affecting enhancing the solar panel efficiency. These panels need this light from the sun rays for them to function. Therefore, to get maximum output, ensure they are not anywhere near shades. They can’t work well without enough solar energy. Having a shadow in one corner of the solar panel will significantly affect the whole solar system’s output.
There is no doubt that having a solar panel is one of the most significant assets any humankind should have as it will serve him by producing enough energy. The energy can be used when doing several daily activities with much ease. By using the stated tips, you will enhance solar panel efficiency. The tips will also save you substantial electricity bills when doing your daily tasks and, at the same time, have enough power for all those tasks. Besides, you will also be reducing the carbon footprint hence contributing to a safer environment.