Tips and Tricks to Maximise Your Solar PV system
You might think that the way to get the best out of a PV system is solely choosing solar modules with high-performing ability to convert energy from the sun. With all the efficient solar panels in the market, it is important to learn that there are other factors that affect the performance of the whole system of solar components. Here are the tips and tricks that can improve your solar PV system for you to enjoy its maximum output.
Install Solar Panels Correctly
To maximise the sunlight on each module, panels should be installed properly. The orientation, as well as the angle it tilts at, ought to be correct. This would guarantee that the panels receive optimal sunlight from the time they were installed. The orientation of your PV modules should be more toward facing the north if you are in the southern hemisphere, like us in Australia. This ensures that they receive the maximum exposure from the sun as as it heads out east to west. If necessary, you need to install them on a solar array mounting on the ground to ensure you can get the panels angled in a northerly direction. You should also consider a location which is not shady and free from obstruction. The panels should be tilted in such a way that they get daylight specifically from 9AM to 3PM.
Another thing to watch for are temperature levels of solar panels. Power efficiency drops as the temperature gets higher if panels are not in its best position. Sufficient gaps between the panels and the rooftop should be considered. This allows air to freely move and prevents the heat from affecting solar panels. By doing so, you can be sure that solar panels have enough spaces to prevent from overheating that may affect the entire performance of the whole PV system. You can always talk and ask help from installers as they are have more knowledge about this solar requirement.
Use Reliable Solar Inverters
Aside from good brands of panels that serve as the main component of a solar system, it is also equally important to check the inverter that you need in order to maximise the whole PV system. The inverter’s primary role is to convert DC power created by the sun into usable AC power (what we plug into our walls) – its job is ever expanding. According to Clean Energy, the first thing to look for in a solar inverter is to see if it follows with the relevant Australian Standard (AS4777) to ensure security. Typically, inverters like grid connected inverters have a life span extending from 10 to 20 years. You ought to anticipate that most will last a minimum of 10 years. Clearly, the longer the warranty, the more insurance you have for your inverter and the more years you will benefit from your solar PV system.
To ensure the lifespan of an inverter, some other features could be considered such as weatherproof, expandable and high-efficiency. These inverters are made to be weatherproof, so they can be in areas that may have some exposure to direct elements such sunlight and heavy rain. Non-weatherproof inverters may require some cages that will have an extra cost. If you are intending to expand your solar power system in the future, you should consider buying multiple MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) inverter. These solar inverters have multiple MPPT trackers allowing you to add additional solar PV arrays later or install solar PV arrays at different orientations. Some solar panels have a small MPPT inverter attached to the rear of the module, usually called micro inverters.
Use Monitoring Apps
As mentioned earlier, inverters were not only made to simply convert DC power into useful energy in homes but can also be used to monitor the performance of a solar PV system. This special feature an inverter can show some of the important information such as:
- Amount of energy (kilowatt hours) you have produced daily,
- the consumption of electricity (kilowatt hours) you have produced since the unit was installed
- the amount of power (kilowatts) the unit is currently producing
- the number of hours the unit has been producing power
This empower installers and proprietors to monitor how a system is performing. You can easily identify if the system is perfectly working in order to get the most out of your investment. One of the most popular solar inverter providers, SolarEdge, offers high quality, proven solar monitoring solutions alongside their inverter products. SolarEdge utilizes power optimisers wired to a central inverter. This connects wirelessly to the internet, and in turn to a mobile application. This helps you check or monitor the performance of the whole PV system remotely and conveniently.
Clean Your Solar Panels
Solar panels do not excessively need maintenance to stay upkeep, and they don’t need in general to continue running. Nevertheless, dirt and dust can accumulate on the surface which should be removed. Cleaning your solar panels at least twice a year tends to result in a 3 to 5% increase in efficiency. When considering cleaning your solar PV panels, never use an abrasive soap or hard sponge as this can scratch the glass of the panel, which will permanently lower its generating capacity. When rain water gets into the module, it could then harm the solar PV system as a whole. Clean it regularly using just water and soft sponge and ensure that sunlight does not get interrupted.
If you have an additional money to spend, you can source for a solar cleaning company. This is positively the easiest way, perhaps the costliest. Hire a professional Solar Panel cleaner to ensure that they are expertly clean solar panels so you can trust them to do the dirty works for your system, literally.
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