Solar powered systems are an excellent source of energy and have provided the Australian population with an excellent option to switch from the traditional source of power that is heavily dependent on non-renewable resources like fossil fuel. Solar installations are gaining a lot of popularity by homeowners and businesses alike due to the benefits this source of power provides in terms of finance and in helping the environment.
However, there are some important things to keep in mind while making the plunge and switching to this “green” power source. Making sure that your home is suitable for solar production and has the appropriate conditions to aid the solar PV panels to work most efficiently is one of the crucial factors to consider when making the decision to get a solar powered system installed. The size and the geographical direction your roof faces plays a very important role in determining whether or not it is worth getting solar for your property or not.
As a rule of thumb, as long as there is no shade from surrounding trees or homes/buildings next to your property, the solar panels that you install on your roof will function optimally. As long as there is enough sunlight with no obstruction like shade from trees, etc., the solar panels will be able to work most efficiently. However, if there are factors affecting the production of the solar panels due to shading, etc. there are ways to help ensure that you are still able to maximise production in spite of all the setbacks that shading causes.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems for homes and businesses consist of solar panels (the collection of which is referred to as the ‘array’) and an inverter which together works to convert the power from sun to energy that you can use to power your homes. The solar panels catch sunlight and convert it into DC (direct current) electricity, and the inverter in turn converts the DC electricity into grid- and appliance-compatible AC (alternating current) electricity which can then be used to power your home and business and relieve you from depending on the grid for all your energy needs.
Some of the most common system sizes that a large population in Australia are interested in installing are either a 6.6kW, 10kw or a 13.2kw system. In case your home is situated in such a location that is affected by shade, here are some of the strategies that you can adopt to deal with this issue to help you provide an efficiently functioning solar powered system. Although the performance and therefore the return on investment (ROI) from a solar power system can be severely affected by shading – especially shading that occurs regularly due to an object like a tree or a high story building next to the property that casts a shadow at the same time every day as the sun passes through the sky – there are a number of ways to help lower these effects. It is crucial to consider all times of the day and for all seasons of the year when working out whether some nearby object might cast a shadow onto your roof through a software like Near maps which provides a timeline of how the roof get affected at various times of the day and year with objects around it.
Contact Sunmate solar today for expert advice on whether your roof has ideal conditions for providing you with maximum return on your investment. Our solar experts will be able to tell you if shading will be a problem for you using a range of mapping tools. However, at the same time it is recommended that Solar system owners should be vigilant in making sure that there are no nearby trees which might grow tall enough to eventually cause shading issues. The lifespan of a solar powered system is typically expected to be over 25 years, during which time trees have plenty of time to grow.
As long as the shading on your roof is not extensive, there are technologies developed by the solar industry to help combat the power loss that receiving “partial sunlight” can cause. If your roof only gets partial shading from trees around your roof and you do not have the option to cut off those trees, then microinverters or power optimisers might be the right option for you. These devices get around the problem of partial shading by eliminating the need for or importance of strings in the first place. Both microinverters and power optimisers essentially allow every single solar panel in a system to operate independently and individually, so that the overall system’s energy production is not disproportionately affected by just one or two shaded panels.
The only drawback to these technologies is that they tend to be a bit more expensive than a system with a standard string inverter. It is therefore not recommended to install microinverters or optimisers if your roof get optimal sunlight and there are no issues with shading.
Get in touch with our solar experts at Sunmate to help you find the right system for your home.