Are Solar Panels Truly Efficient?

People exploring the potential of switching to renewable energy via residential or commercial solar often have many enquiries before making that commitment to go ahead. When it’s not a matter of solar panel cost, it calls for clarity on the question, ‘are solar panels efficient’ and are they worth investment.

How efficient your solar panels are is equivalent to how much sunlight the system can directly transform into usable electricity. With the need for renewable energy increased by a larger margin over the past few years, understanding of maximising solar power production through the system and other external factors that can affect your efficiency is very important.

Factors such as time of year, time of day, orientation and weather play a lot into the consideration, but other contributing factors play into the performance and efficiency also.

Environmental

Living in the UK, we are generally victim to its unpredictable weather patterns – with changes in the day being the norm.

Temperatures can directly affect solar panels if they are above 25 degrees, which can see a slight reduction in efficiency. They will still produce electricity, but the best output is produced in colder temperatures. The good news about that is that the UK has colder temperatures than hot ones. Under usual circumstances, snow has no major effect on solar efficiency. The panels can thrive and light through snow can still benefit the system and be converted into electricity.

Large build-ups of ice can affect the efficiency by around 25%, whilst wind can affect them positively by being able to cool the panels by a degree. By helping to reduce the temperatures on sunny days, wind can remove the warm air around the panels.

The greater forces affecting your efficiency would be shade cast from nearby trees or buildings, as well as larger build-ups of dust or debris. These can be combatted by discussing where best to place your panels with the installer and taking time to occasionally water down your panels if you go a period where no rain has fallen.

Orientation

When having your solar panels installed, where it is situated greatly affects your output. Many may incorrectly state that direct sunlight is required for them to be operational when in truth daylight itself is powerful enough to produce electricity in the system.

The difference is that direct sunlight has a better increase in the overall efficiency. Having a south-facing system provides the greatest sunlight exposure for maximum output, but you can still have sufficient energy production with east or west facing rooftops to make them worth the investment.

Whilst much is written about the worth and efficiency of solar panels on the home or business, the best way to know for sure is to engage with a professional in solar installation to find exactly where you stand and the solutions available.

Contact the team at Positive Energy Solutions today to explore the green energy alternative, or if you’re still wondering ‘are solar panels efficient’.

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05.10.21-positive-energy
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