Solar Panels – Effects of shading & how to avoid it?

Solar Panels help in maximum utilisation of solar energy during the day. However, shading can have a huge impact on the performance of solar photovoltaic panels. A common misconception is that partial shading does not affect the output of solar panels. In fact, the solar photovoltaic panels consist of a number of cells which are wired together into a series circuit.  Because of this, the performance of the solar panel is significantly reduced even if a smallest section of the panel is in shade.

Another possible issue from partial shading is overheating. Because of partial shading one part of the solar panel generates lower amount of energy as compared to the other non-shaded part. As the amount of power generated in shaded & non shaded parts differs, it leads to overheating which in turn reduces the total power output of the solar panel.

Setting up the solar panel where there is no shade is the best way to avoid the loss of output. But this is not always possible.

Therefore, here are some of the ways in which you can avoid the effects of shading on your solar panels.

1. Bypass Diodes – Bypass diodes can be connected between the cells in the solar panels. This restricts the power loss only from the shaded portion of the solar panel as compared to the entire solar panel. The bypass diodes creates an alternate route for the currents from the unshaded part of the panel and avoids passing through the shaded part of the panel. As a result of this process, some amount of power is lost because of the voltage drop, however the overall output is still higher that the power generated without the diodes. Also, when the solar photovoltaic panel is not shaded, the diode is blocked. This way, the bypass diodes are able to reduce the effects of shading & protect your solar panels as well.

2. Micro Inverters – Micro Inverters are the next-generation of solar system technology. Unlike the conventional systems which have only one centralised inverter for the entire solar panel array, the inverter systems couple a micro inverter with each solar panel. The advantages of using a micro inverters include – greater system power yields, protects the solar panel against potentially more dangerous outgoing high-voltage DC electricity and flexibility to monitor individual solar panel performance.

For more tips & information on solar panels, contact Total Solar Solutions Australia today. We are a fully owned and operated Australian company for solar power, working with trained and licensed technicians and installers.