How to Boost Your Solar Energy Output
For those who are considering buying a solar system for their home or business or who already have an existing setup, we all wish to obtain maximum benefit from our systems. This is achieved through a process known as maximising, a procedure which involves raising the ratio of arrays to inverters.
Maximising occurs when a solar power company installs a solar array (also known as a photovoltaic array) that is capable of producing more power than an inverter’s max output. So for instance, you could have a 3kW inverter and combine it with a 4kW array (Provided that it’s functioning within the inverters voltage restrictions).
Solar Panel Efficiency
To learn how maximising works, it’s first necessary to understand the efficiency of solar panels on a daily and yearly basis. Although your solar array may be rated at 3kW, it’s unlikely that it will ever yield this amount. This is because solar panels typically generate around 80% of their advertised capacity during the brightest time of the day in the summer months, and less than this in other seasons of the year. This efficiency will further decline over time at the panels begin to lose their effectiveness.
The following is list of factors that determine the effectiveness and power output of your solar system:
- The amount of daylight
- Excess debris on your panels
- The positioning of your solar panels
Solar Panel Outputs
A solar panel’s advertised max output is achieved under ‘regular test conditions’. These ‘regular test conditions’ consist of 1000W/m2 of light being focused on the panel at a perpendicular angle within a room that is operating at an ideal temperature. Such conditions provide an optimal cell temp of 25 °C and ensure that the panel is free from any debris that would ordinarily be collected by a solar panel over time, such as leaves, dust and so on.
Furthermore, the panel is brand new, guaranteeing maximum light absorption efficiency. Needless to say, these aren’t ‘real world’ conditions, so the power rating is a theoretical value that is unlikely to be obtained by your own setup under ordinary, day to day conditions. Knowing all this, it becomes easier to understand how a concept such as maximising could help to optimise the yield of your solar system.
Optimising Your Inverter to Improve Its Power Output
Solar panels produce DC power which an inverter then converts in to AC power. As most people’s solar systems will only yield up to 80% of the inverter’s max output – under ideal conditions, it’s a great idea to upgrade your solar array to a more powerful unit to help improve the efficiency and output of your inverter.
High quality solar inverters are able to handle more DC energy than the max AC they are designed to output. In fact, some of the best brands are able to handle up to twice the amount of DC energy than the max AC they are designed to output. When the inverter is maximised, it will raise the voltage while lowering the current of the DC energy from the array, ensuring that the output does not surpass the max AC output levels of the of the inverter.
What Are the Benefits of Maximising Your Solar System?
Solar power is about saving money and the environment. The more efficient your system is, the more you’ll save on electricity bills. Maximising your setup is particularly valuable if you are able to make use of ‘Time of Use’ tariffs, as a more efficient system will be able to generate electricity for greater lengths of time, including times of the day where electrical power is in high use.
Savings are at their highest for new installations, as solar panels continue to become more affordable and setup costs are counteracted by the enhanced efficiency of a higher capacity array.
Maximising your Own Solar Inverter
Whether you have an existing solar power system or are considering to buy one, our trade-certified technicians will gladly come out to your location and provide an onsite inspection to help determine your best possible options for obtaining a maximised setup that delivers the ultimate in solar energy efficiency for your home or business.
Start saving money on your power bills today. Get in touch with us on 1300 356 881 or visit our contact page.