How to boost solar panel input is critical as solar energy has brought enormous advantages in reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, lowering energy costs, and providing a reliable source of electricity for off-grid communities.
For this reason, many countries have recently put in place measures to incentivize the installation of solar panels. For example, the US Government provides a federal solar tax credit that allows individuals and businesses to claim a credit of 26% of the cost of their solar panel installation on their federal tax return.
Even with the right incentives, installing solar panels can still be very costly, so maximizing energy production is essential to achieve a higher return on investment.
In this article, we’ll provide you with some tips on how to boost your solar panels’ output.
How to calculate solar panel energy production in 5 steps
First, let’s address how to calculate solar panel energy production. This process is essential to understand the current status of your solar panel and measure any production improvement or deterioration.
Here is a five steps process for calculating solar panel output:
1) Determine the panel’s wattage:
This information can usually be found on the panel’s label or technical specifications.
2) Measure the amount of sunlight the panel receives:
You can do this using a solar irradiance meter or a solar insolation chart, which provides average sunlight data for different locations.
3) Calculate the total number of watt-hours the panel generates in a day:
To do this, multiply the panel’s wattage by the number of hours it receives sunlight. For example, if a panel has a wattage of 250 W and receives 5 hours of sunlight per day, its output would be (250 W * 5 hours) = 1250 watt-hours.
4) Convert the watt-hours to kilowatt-hours (kWh):
To convert watt-hours to kWh, divide the total number of watt-hours by 1000. Continuing with the example above, the panel’s output would be 1250 watt-hours / 1000 = 1.25 kWh per day.
5) Repeat the process for multiple panels:
If you have multiple panels, you can calculate the total output by adding up the production of each panel.
It’s important to note that the actual output of a solar panel can vary based on several factors, including the panel’s overall efficiency, the angle and orientation of the panel, and the weather conditions.
Once you identify the current energy production of your solar panel, you can put in place some measures to improve their efficiency by tackling the factors that reduce their output.
Factors that reduce solar panel energy production
Several factors can negatively impact the output of a solar panel:
Shade: If the solar panel is shaded by trees, buildings, or other objects, it will receive less sunlight and produce less electricity.
Dust, dirt, and bird droppings: A dirty solar panel can reduce its output because the dirt can block some sunlight from reaching the cells.
Temperature: Solar panels become less efficient at higher temperatures, so if the panel operates in hot conditions, it may produce less electricity.
Age: Over time, the efficiency of a solar panel can decrease due to factors such as wear and tear or exposure to the elements.
Incorrect orientation or tilt: The angle at which the solar panel is installed can also affect its output. In general, the panel should be oriented towards the sun and tilted at an optimal angle for the location.
Cloud cover: If the sky is overcast, the solar panel will receive less sunlight and produce less electricity.
Electrical issues: If there are problems with the solar panel system’s wiring or other electrical components, this can also affect its output.
Overall, it is essential to carefully consider each of these factors when installing and maintaining a solar panel system to ensure that it is operating at its maximum efficiency.
Let’s dive into it.
Six ways to increase solar panel energy production
After learning about the factors that impact solar panel’s performance, let’s see what you can actively do to boost solar panel energy production:
1) Optimize panel orientation and tilt:
The angle at which the solar panel is installed can affect its output. In general, the panel should be oriented towards the sun and tilted at an optimal angle for the location. This can be determined using a solar angle calculator or consulting a solar panel installation professional.
2) Keep the panels clean:
Dust, dirt, bird droppings, and other debris can block sunlight and reduce the output of a solar panel. Regularly cleaning the panels can help to improve their performance. Also, install an effective bird deterrent system to prevent droppings from covering the panels.
3) Use a solar panel tracker:
A solar panel tracker is a device that adjusts the panel’s angle to follow the sun as it moves across the sky. This helps maximize the amount of sunlight the panel receives, leading to increased energy production.
4) Install additional panels:
Increasing the number of installed solar panels can also increase the overall energy production of the system.
5) Use an inverter with a higher efficiency rating:
The inverter converts the direct current (DC) electricity produced by the solar panel into alternating current (AC) electricity, which is used in most homes and businesses. An inverter with a higher efficiency rating will be able to convert more of the DC electricity into AC electricity, leading to increased energy production.
6) Use a battery storage system:
A battery storage system can store excess energy produced by solar panels when needed. This stored energy can then be used when the solar panels are not producing as much electricity, such as at night or on cloudy days.
Extra tip: Prevent bird droppings from impacting solar panel input
Like dust and dirt, bird droppings can negatively impact solar panel performance by blocking some of the sunlight that the panel is designed to capture.
If the droppings are not cleaned off the panel promptly, they can build up and create a layer that absorbs or reflects some incoming sunlight, reducing the amount of energy produced.
Furthermore, the droppings can build up on the panels, leading to potential long-term damage.
The constant maintenance can be very costly for solar panel owners, so installing a long-term effective bird control solution is highly recommended.
Bird-proof solar panels with laser technology
One effective solution to this problem is using laser bird control technology. This technology uses carefully targeted lasers to create a visual deterrent for birds, preventing them from perching on or near the solar panels. With laser bird deterrents, solar panel owners can keep their panels clean from bird droppings and preserve their efficiency.
Furthermore, they can also help reduce the potential negative impact of solar panels on bird populations and prevent birds from colliding with the panels or becoming trapped behind them.
The AVIX Autonomic laser bird deterrent is the newest generation of laser bird deterrent. It is completely automated and shines a green laser beam that scares birds away immediately and cleans the area.