Solar panel system design is a critical aspect of a successful solar panel installation. The design of your solar panel system has a direct impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of your solar panels, which in turn affects the amount of energy that your system generates.
In this blog post, we will look at some of the key factors that you should consider when designing your solar panel system to ensure that it is as efficient and effective as possible.
- Panel orientation: One of the most important considerations when it comes to solar panel design is the orientation of the panels. Panels that are facing north and angled towards the sun will generate more energy compared to panels that are facing in a different direction. However, if you don’t have battery storage it is important to generate power when you are using it. For many households, installing panels on a western roof will ensure you get enough solar power in the afternoon right through to sunset, this is also a time where electricity can be more expensive if you have time-of-use billing.
- Panel tilt angle: The tilt angle of the panels is also critical to the efficiency of your solar panel system. If the panels are tilted at an angle that is too steep, the sun will not reach the panels for an extended period during the day, especially during summer. We normally recommend installing solar panels in line with the roof, even if it is flat. Basically, tilting panels pushes output from summer to winter, so it will depend on your usage patterns. A lot of households use more electricity in summer due to air conditions, pool pumps and the like. Installing solar panels flat to the roof also minimises the risk of damage during storms.
- Panel shading: Shading from nearby trees, buildings, or other obstructions can have a significant impact on the efficiency of your solar panel system. When designing your system, it’s essential to take into account any potential shading and to ensure that the panels are installed in an unshaded location. If you have patchy shading, we recommend using Enphase Microinverters. This allows each panel to output power independently of the other panels, compared to a standard inverter where the panels are hooked up in series. This means that if one panel is shaded, the entire string drops down to the level of the worst-performing panel – both over time and at any one time. Check out the 10 key benefits of an Enphase system here
- Panel type and efficiency: Another important consideration when it comes to solar panel design is the type of panels that you use. Different types of panels have different efficiencies, and it’s essential to choose panels that are suitable for your specific energy needs. Additionally, it’s important to choose panels that are of high quality and that have been tested and certified to ensure that they are reliable and efficient. As an example, REC Alpha Pure R panels are guaranteed to produce 92% of their rated output after 25 years. Cheaper panels typically come with a power output guarantee of only 80%. Over the 25-year life of your panels, premium panels will output significantly more power.
- System sizing: Finally, it’s critical to choose the right size system for your home. The size of your system will depend on your energy needs and the amount of space that you have available. We have detailed information on how to size up a solar system, otherwise our experienced team of Solar Power Experts can help give you personalised advice over the phone.
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