8 Tips to Improve Solar Panel Efficiency

Last updated on June 15, 2021

Using solar panels for green energy at home? Here are eight tips on how you can improve their efficiency. Read on!

Environmental sustainability is more important than ever due to the increased pollution caused by businesses and households worldwide. Because of this, many governments have put in place strict regulations to try and lower carbon levels by using renewable energy. One alternative energy source is solar power, which is usually harnessed using solar panels containing numerous photovoltaic cells that collect the sun’s energy.

If you’ve bought solar panels, you now must be thinking about maximizing their efficiency. After all, these panels aren’t cheap, and you also want to cut down your electricity cost while simultaneously reducing your carbon footprint. Your concerns have been answered, as this article is a detailed look at different ways on bettering your solar panels’ efficiency.

Table of Contents

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Buy Quality Solar Panels

solar panel

There are many different kinds of solar panels available in the market, which you can find at Smart Solar Energy and other reputable suppliers. However, take note that each panel may differ in efficiency, even if they’re identical in size. This includes monocrystalline solar panels, crystalline silicon solar panels, and polycrystalline solar panels. The monocrystalline panels are usually the most efficient solar panels and have circular edges and a unique and even color. However, they’re expensive and very bulky, so installing them could be tedious.

For crystalline silicon panels, their output and efficiency usually depend on the silicon cells’ purity. In between the monocrystalline and crystalline silicon solar panels, when it comes to price and efficiency, are polycrystalline solar panels. Polycrystalline panels are an ideal choice if you have adequate space to place them, and their production process is a lot cheaper.

Besides the type of solar panel, you also need to find out which ones can provide you with the greatest value to lower your electricity usage. You can do this by identifying their power capacity, checking out various models of solar panels, and inspecting other features that offer improved energy conversion.

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Correct Installation   

solar panel roof

After buying your solar panels, it’s important to make sure they’ve been installed correctly. Otherwise, your panels won’t absorb as much sunlight as possible, which means they generate less electricity. Therefore, it’s best to hire a licensed and qualified expert to install your solar panels.

For optimal efficiency, solar panels should always be placed at the right angle and orientation. This is essential in ensuring they’re getting as much sunlight as possible throughout the year. If you live in the north, you’ll have to position your solar panels south. In contrast, the solar panels need to face the north if you’re from regions in the southern hemisphere. Additionally, the solar panels need to be positioned at strategic angles, which ideally should be between 18 to 36 degrees, to harness as much sunlight as possible.   

The efficiency of solar panels is also affected by varying temperature levels. This means increased temperatures lead to lower efficiency of solar panels. With this in mind, it’s important to be mindful of the space left in between the roof and solar panels. Ideally, you’d want to leave enough space between the roof and solar panels to promote the free flow of air. This promotes the smooth flow of air, thereby ensuring the solar panels don’t overheat.

Because of such detailed guidelines, you should always hire a professional to install solar panels to achieve optimal efficiency.

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Avoid Placing Solar Panels In Shaded Areas

Sunlight is your solar panel’s primary energy source, so you should never place them in a shaded area. This is one factor often overlooked by many first-time users of solar panels but has a considerable impact on the efficiency of solar panels. Therefore, you should constantly inspect to confirm your solar panels aren’t being shaded.   

The cells of the solar panel are usually wired in a series. This means if one cell doesn’t get enough sunlight or is shaded, then the efficiency of the other solar cells in the series is reduced as it acts as a resistor.

The most common causes of shade are infrastructural barriers like vents and chimneys as well as high-rising trees. Therefore, you need to take your time determine which best positions to place your solar panels. You can hire a solar panel installer to help you out to determine what are some of the ideal spots. If nearby tall trees are causing the shade, it’s advisable you trim these trees or, better yet, cut them down altogether. This ensures nothing is blocking sun rays from reaching the solar panels, which boosts their efficiency.

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Ensure Your Solar Panels Are Clean

Although solar panels are self-cleaning, oils, dirt, and dust over time accumulating on it reduces its efficiency. This is especially the case if you haven’t positioned your solar panels at a more inclined angle.

Fortunately, cleaning solar panels is easy and simple as they’re built with glass materials. Therefore, you shouldn’t struggle to remove the dust and dirt from your solar panels for optimal output. When cleaning your solar panel, make sure to use a soft sponge and warm water. It would be best never to use a harsh sponge as this might cause scratches on your solar panel’s surface. These scratches can then be a passage through which rainwater gets inside the module and destroys the entire panel.

You shouldn’t worry about the task of cleaning your solar panels; it doesn’t need to be done daily but only once or twice annually. During winter, you should also clean the panels as snowflakes accumulate over their surface as time passes, thereby blocking sun rays from reaching the photovoltaic cells. Hiring a solar panel professional is recommended if you’re afraid of heights, and these experts will do a superb job cleaning your panels without compromising your safety.

Other than improving your solar panel’s efficiency, cleaning solar panels also boosts their durability. And because solar panels aren’t cheap, you should prioritize cleaning them to get maximum value from your purchase.

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Buy A Solar Concentrator   

Another excellent strategy for boosting your solar panel’s efficiency is by installing a solar concentrator. A solar concentrator is a gadget that concentrates solar light on the solar panels for conversion into electricity. Having a solar concentrator is recommended as it ensures the solar panels are generating the maximum power possible. It does this by ensuring that light falls across the entire surface of the solar panel.   

Examples of solar concentrators include huge mirrors and other reflective surfaces that increase the output of solar cells. Other than producing more energy, solar concentrators also help you in saving money. With that said, you first need to do your exhaustive research before installing a solar concentrator as there’s a concern that they might increase your solar panels’ temperatures, thereby reducing their efficiency.

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Prevent Temperature Increase

How well your solar panels work usually depends on the temperature levels at which they operate. This is because higher temperatures usually lead to decreased efficiency, contrary to what most people assume (i.e., more sunlight translates equals more electricity). To ensure the temperature doesn’t exceed the desirable levels, always leave adequate space between the solar panels and the roof. This allows the free and smooth flow of air, thereby preventing the photo voltaic cells that are usually affected by heat from heating up and decreasing efficiency.

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Install Backup Batteries

After buying solar panels, you should also consider getting solar batteries available in different types depending on your budget. Besides investing in a high-quality battery, you also need to buy items such as solar umbrellas, solar lamps, and solar lights that all feature built-in solar panels. Therefore, you can recharge them by placing them out in the sun during the day to be used in the event of a blackout instead of using energy from the primary solar batteries.

With a solar backup battery, you’ll always be able to ensure your home has electricity even in the event of a power outage.

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Use One Gadget At A Time

Are you using solar energy to power several appliances? If so, you need to start calculating your needs when using power with a chart to reduce the number of gadgets running simultaneously on solar power. You should also remember that how many gadgets you can charge using your solar panels depends on their size and the amount of energy being used by such appliances.   

For example, it’s best not to use your dishwasher, vacuum cleaner, hairdryer, TV, electric razor, and other devices simultaneously. Instead, use them one at a time, and this is an effective strategy of boosting the efficiency of your solar panels. When you do this, you ensure you get the ideal voltage and enough energy for your different appliances the whole day and, better yet, more power to use at night.

Takeaway

Thanks to technological advancements, solar panels are nowadays more effective and efficient. However, you still need to play your part to help boost the efficiency of your solar panels to get maximum solar energy to power your gadgets. By following this simple guide, you can now go ahead and use your solar panels, fuss free, while guaranteeing optimal output.  

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