Efficient Use of Solar Panels
Now you have your solar panels lets get the highest efficiency out of them. Survey your location and locate the optimum location. What do you need to know?
Solar panels will produce most efficiency when pointed within 20 degrees of the sun.
Learn to locate where the sun is at solar noon, seldom is this due south. On a bright sunny day drive, a stake in the ground, near where you want your panels. The shadow will reach its shortest when the sun is at its highest. This is the direction to point your solar array. Don’t expect the highest efficiency at 12 noon, it will be later in the day.
Allow for seasonal tilting of the panels.
Canadian winters the sun is lower on the horizon than in the summer. Select a mount that allows tilting 3 times a year for best efficiency, keeping 20-degree angle to the sun. Therefore Top of Pole mounts are perfect for this. Don’t waste your money on trackable arrays if you’re off grid.
Prevent shadowing on your panels.
Shadow from tree branches or snow fall will reduce the array efficiency. Select a location that is free of trees and buildings. The morning and evening sun should additionally have access to your photovoltaic array. Solar arrays are in loops, shading part of a panel in the loop results in loss of the remaining panels output.
Keep your solar panels close to home.
Shorter distance from the solar array to your power system the less the loss. Cables are not perfect they can’t carry electricity from the panels great distances. Therefore short the cable run the higher the solar efficiency.
Not too high.
Snow fall in the winter reduces solar efficiency, keep them clean. Mounting them high results in snow down the back of your parka. If this is your favorite winter sport, then mount them high. Otherwise a top of pole mount with the lowest panel 3 feet off the ground is ideal.
Follow these guide lines and you will enjoy the greatest efficiency out of your solar panels. Your solar powered system family home will keep you warm all winter long.