Solar technology has seen exponential advancement over the last decade. Solar panels today are more efficient than they were in the past. Over the same period, the cost of solar panels has also fallen sharply, making zero-cost solar a possibility for businesses and homeowners.
If you want to install a solar energy power plant, your solar energy company will assure high efficiency, long-term advantages, and great savings. With RESCO model, if you are a commercial or industrial customer, you do not even have to pay for the solar energy plant as the solar energy company will install the solar plant at its own cost and you just have to pay monthly power charges as per your consumption and signed PPA (power purchase agreement). Even with all the advantages, as a buyer, wanting to learn about the factors that affect the efficiency of a renewable energy system and how you can make an informed decision is natural.
There are certain factors that affect the performance of solar panels throughout the year. However, with a few adjustments, you can ensure that these factors do not affect the output of your solar plant.
Factors Affecting Solar Energy Production
Many assume that high temperatures translate to high power generation. The truth is that solar panels work at full efficiency at around 25˚C, which declines by about 0.25% for every degree above 25˚C. Exposure to excessive heat causes the voltage between the solar cells to drop, reducing their optimum generation capacity. Hence when the temperature is 45˚C in summers, a 100Wp solar panel will produce electricity equivalent to a 75Wp.
If any part of your solar panels is shaded at any part of the day, we may think that the production drop will be equivalent to the shaded area. However, that’s not true. The power loss can be much higher. Solar cells (in a panel or even across panels) are connected and wired in a series. Therefore, the shaded cells obstruct the current flowing through the entire string of connected cells. Hence, solar energy companies in India suggest you avoid installing solar panels in areas where there will be shading through a considerable part of the day.
Rooftop (terrace) Orientation
Solar panels must be placed and angled in a way that allows them to get the maximum amount of sunshine during the day that too direct. As the direction of the sun changes continuously from morning to evening, ideally, solar panels needs to be adjusted regularly to ensure that sunlight falls directly on the surface and you get the most out of the sunshine hours. This is however, not possible manually. There are technologies available that can help your solar panels follow the sun.
Cleanliness of Solar Panels
Pollution, rainfall, dust, and sandstorms also affect the efficiency of solar panels. Routine cleaning ensures that your solar panel surface is not covered in dirt and delivers maximum power generation. Cleaning your solar panels at least once a month will give you higher electricity generation.
The local weather varies from one region to another in India, and so does the amount of annual sunshine. This impacts solar insolation – the amount of solar energy falling on every cm²/min. If you are getting a solar system for your business or industrial facility, make sure to consider annual solar irradiance.
Effects of Rain, Storm, and Cold Weather on Solar Panels
Many solar energy distributors in India provide high-quality solar panels that can withstand heavy rainfalls, storms, and other weather conditions for 25 years or even longer. The exterior layer of glass allows rainwater and storm dust to slip right off the panels and protects against surface heating of solar panels. However, a direct lightning strike can damage your panels and other solar system components due to a sudden voltage surge. Even during rains, storms, and cloudy days, the solar panels generate electricity at a much lower than optimum generation level.
Although the sunshine hours are reduced during the winters, it is still more than enough in most regions of India to produce the optimum level of electricity. Moreover, you can use solar power battery storage to store electricity for use in the night.
The Importance of Annual Energy Production
When installing a solar system for your business or industrial facility, it’s important to look at the annual energy production. Energy generation changes throughout the year. This means that solar electricity production can be twice as high in summer than on short winter days.
Hence, you need to factor in the solar energy production of the whole year rather than on a specific day in any season. Your panels will be working at full efficiency during most periods of the year, reducing the cost of your overall energy consumption. It’s the annual production, and not the day-to-day output, that makes solar a preferred choice of green energy investment.
Are you interested in installing a rooftop or ground-mounted solar system for your business establishment?
Amplus Solar, a solar energy company based out of Gurgaon can help you with this. Over the years, we have completed 400+ high-performing, customized solar power projects, helping commercial and industrial businesses take advantage of zero-cost solar energy. Driven by a thriving passion for green energy and years of experience in the solar industry, we help businesses make a smooth and profitable transition to clean energy.
Our team can visit your premises and give suitable recommendations about the type of solar system, and whether you need a solar power battery storage solution.
Contact us for an in-person solar consultation today.