Solar panels use solar energy to produce electricity. Solar panels generate electricity from the sun by converting solar energy into direct current electricity. Solar panels absorb light from the sun and turn it into electrons. For this to take place, the sun's rays have to be beamed onto a semiconductor, usually silicon. The electrons then fuse with the silicon and release their energy as a current and voltage.
Rain and snow will affect the performance of a solar panel because they can reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches the panel. A solar panel is most effective when it is exposed to direct sunlight, which is on a tilt at a 90-degree angle from your roof. As rain and snowfall, they will reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches the panel. The amount of solar energy a solar panel absorbs is also related to how much surface area is available for exposure, which you can maximize by installing your panels on a south-facing wall.
The amount of energy a solar panel generates depends on its efficiency. As solar panel efficiency increases, so does the amount of energy produced. This means that the same amount of solar radiation will generate more electricity. Decreasing your monthly bills by increasingly producing more electricity means having a higher electric energy reserve.
Other steps help you increase solar energy absorption by solar panels. Check out Surple's post about it here.
1. Buy one of the more efficient solar panel models
Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic cells, and it is these cells that convert solar energy in the form of sunlight into usable electricity. Although it would be awesome, a solar panel can’t transform all of the solar energy it receives into electricity.
Therefore, a panel’s efficiency is the percentage of energy hitting the panels that the photovoltaic cells actually convert into electricity.
Solar cell technology has come a long way in the past five years, and average solar cell efficiency has increased from about 15% to 20%. However, not all solar panels are created equal, and the material and structure of a model determine its efficiency (and price).
Although the initial cost will likely be more expensive, buying one of the more efficient models of commercial solar panels is arguably the most important thing you can do if you want the best results.
2. Buy panels with High Concentrated Photovoltaic (CPV) Cells
The principle of CPV is to focus sunlight onto an extremely high-efficiency solar cell that would be otherwise too expensive to use directly. The best traditional solar panels peak at 22% efficiency, whereas the cells used in CPV panels can reach 46% efficiency!
However, with great efficiency comes an expensive price tag. CPV panels can cost up to 4x more than traditional PV panels.
There’s also not as many models of CPV available as traditional PV. But, it’s certainly worth considering CPV if you can find a supplier and have the money to spend upfront.
3. Avoid installing solar panels in shaded areas
Since solar panels generate electricity from sunlight, it makes sense that shade harms the electricity output. However, many people aren’t aware of the effect of shade on a series of solar panels.
If even one photovoltaic cell is shaded, it can impact the energy generated by its neighbour cells. This is because it acts as a resistor.
Tall trees and other buildings are the two main offenders when it comes to shading solar panels. Make sure you spend time during the planning process to analyse a site and ensure that shade isn’t going to be an issue. (Continue reading here)
You can always count on us at Roper Roofing and Solar to provide you with the best solar panel installation services in Golden, CO. Contact us today to learn more about everything that we can do for you.