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Home Solar Power, 5 Tips to Boost Efficiency

home solar power

Home Solar Power

The production capacity of solar panels depends highly on the numbers of bright, cloud-free days they are getting. Tampa, Florida, for instance, has the perfect climate for utilizing the solar panel systems, as this coastal city enjoys 246 sunny days every year on an average. However, exposure to sunlight alone cannot ensure the optimum output; you can boost the efficiency further by using these following tricks:

Consider Direction and Angle of the Roof

To get the maximum output from your solar panels, keep them in a perpendicular position to the sun’s rays. In case of roof-top installations, you have to follow the roof orientation. For other types of fixed installations, keep the panels south-oriented and tilt so that they are adjusted for the winter sun. In the winter, the system gets the daylight for a limited period only. As a result, solar panels generate lesser than normal electricity. Therefore, the tilted position of panels will let you get constant output in the winter days also. During the summer months, the loss due to the tilted position is compensated by longer daytime.

Solar Cell Coating

A single layer silicon cell can facilitate 32 percent energy conversion. It can be increased further using Anti-Reflection Coating (ARC). These titanium oxide or silicon nitride coatings reduce the reflection and help solar cells to absorb more light, which ultimately increases the efficiency. Not only the solar cells, but the glass surfaces also can have AR coatings. Coatings on glass improve the light transmittance, making the solar module more efficient. Apart from increasing the performance, the coatings on glass surface reduce the glare from solar panels, making them blend easily with the surrounding, which is another bonus.

Keep the Temperature in Mind

The efficiency of the solar panels decreases with the rise in temperature. Higher temperature tends to increase the current very slowly but causes a rapid voltage drop, which, in turn, reduces the net power. The negative effects of the heat on the efficiency can be calculated from the temperature co-efficient. Usually, the silicon panels come with a temperature coefficient of -0.4 to -0.5 percent. For instance, if you have a 40-watt panel with -0.4 temperature coefficient, then at 113 degrees Fahrenheit, the output will be less than 37 watts. Installing solar panels few inches above the roof allow for better airflow and it keeps the module cool. Fabricating solar modules with light colored components also helps in keeping the temperature low, as this technique reduces the rate of heat absorption.

Avoid Shady Areas

The operating efficiency of a solar system depends on how much sunlight it is getting. So, if the module is placed in the shady area, the output is likely to reduce. Solar panel units consist of multiple cells. When you keep the panel in shades, the cells will not get enough sunlight and, as a result, will stop producing electricity. If the shade covers 20 percent of the panel, the generated power will also get reduced by the same percentage.

Keep the Dirt Away

When the solar panels are covered with dirt, it receives less sunlight, and the generated electricity reduces. Washing the panels twice/ thrice a year ensures the maximum output. There are several ways to remove dirt from the cells. You can use a soft brush and liquid soap for the purpose. However, it may damage panels if proper care is not taken during the wash. Nanocoatings provide a safer option. They are typically eight nm thick and come with hydrophobic and self-cleaning properties, which do not allow dirt and water to accumulate in the cells. Solar panels offer a reliable source of electricity for Tampa homes, as they can produce a steady output throughout the year. You can enhance the solar cell efficiency further by keeping your panels clean, controlling the temperature and reducing the reflection.

About The Author

Article written for by Sara Watson, freelance content writer.

One comment

  1. I want to try green energy, so I’m planning on converting to solar energy to better help our environment. I like the tips you provided in this article to further boost the solar panel’s efficiency by keeping it in a perpendicular position to the sun’s rays. In so doing, we will get optimum output from our solar panels. I’ll be sure to discuss this with my husband so that we can start reducing our carbon footprint!