If you’re thinking about installing a solar panel system into your home or business and are wondering about the effect of shade on your solar panels, we’ve got you covered. Read on to discover whether your solar panels will still be able to produce energy even if they are partially shaded during the day as well as what other factors can contribute to your solar system performing poorly and how you can avoid shading on solar panels for maximum performance.
How Harmful is Shade To My Solar Panels?
Will your solar panel system still work if it isn’t in direct sunlight during the day? While full sun is always ideal, the short answer is yes. Standard solar systems are made up of the solar panels and an inverter. When panels absorb sunlight during daylight hours, the inverter converts this sunlight into electricity that you can use to power your home, charge a battery or sell back to the state’s electricity grid. If your panels are partially shaded, your solar system will still work but at a reduced rate. Keep reading to understand what factors can affect your solar system’s performance and how you can lessen the impact.
Things that can affect your solar production include:
Orientation of the Roof
The orientation of your roof is possibly the most important factor in your solar system’s performance. A roof facing north, east or west is ideal for maximum sun absorption. A north facing roof will receive the most direct light during the day, while east and west facing roofs will receive sun earlier & later in the day respectively. A solar system expert will ask detailed questions about how and when you use your power to design a system that will provide optimal solar production at times when your power usage is at its peak.
From other buildings to trees to clouds, shading will affect your solar system and reduce its efficiency. A comprehensive assessment of your roof by a solar system expert before installation will tell you where the best positioning will be for your solar panels to avoid shade now & into the future. Install your panels in an area that’s free from nearby obstructions. Monitor the vegetation around your home – a small tree that’s no problem now can grow into a big tree in the future and throw your panels into shade. A solar panel expert can use mapping tools to identify how much shading your roof receives all year round.
Solar panels produce less energy in the winter season than in the summer. When the days are long and the sun is high, your panels will be able to produce more energy. However, extreme temperatures can cause panels to work less efficiently. Choosing a quality panel with a low-temperature coefficient will allow them to perform better on a blazing hot summer’s day.
Types of solar panels:
Once not too long ago, partial shade on even one panel meant a dramatic decrease in the output of your system. This is due to panels being grouped together in what are known as strings. Partial shade on one panel would cause a dramatic decrease in all the panels that it is grouped within the string. Think of a hose filling a swimming pool, a partial blockage inside the hose will slow the rate of the water passing through the hose, therefore slowing the speed that the pool will fill.
This is not so true these days. With the introduction of better panel technology over the past few years such as N-type panels, multi-busbar panel tech & half-cut cell tech, panels can handle shade much better without having anywhere near as much of the negative impact on the panels that they are grouped together with in a string.
Essentially these panel technologies work of the same theory, the more paths for the electricity flow through the panel, the less impact shade will have on the whole string. Think multiple hoses filling the swimming pool, a partial block in one hose will only slightly slow the rate of the pool being filled with water.
The best way to combat shade on your roof while maximising your solar system’s performance is with either DC Optimisers or Micro Inverters. Both these types of solar solutions work extremely well at combating shade as they individualise each panel in the system. Essentially each panel is in a string of one. A partially shaded panel will not have a negative effect at all on the panels it is grouped within a string. Micro Inverter and DC optimised systems come with a host of other great features and are by far the best option to maximise your solar investment if the shade is an issue for you.
Trust the Experts in Solar Panel Installation
Now that you know ‘what is the effect of shade on my solar panels?’, let Solar Energy Adelaide install a solar system that works for you. We use the latest tools and technologies to determine the best position to place your solar panels for maximum sun absorption all year round. Give our friendly team a call for more information.