Testing your solar panels properly is a very important, yet often overlooked and ignored process. Many people skip testing solar panels and fail to check their panels’ output.
By learning how to test solar panels, you can ensure that they can give the output they are meant for, hassle-free.
Solar cell efficiency is understood as the output of a panel vs. the input solar energy from the Sun. How much of the Sun’s energy hitting a panel is eventually converted into electricity is what is measured by efficiency. The efficiency depends on factors such as the intensity of the sunlight, the solar cell’s temperature, and other external factors.
The electrical power produced is a product of current and voltage.
WHY IS IT NECESSARY TO FIND OUT THE SOLAR EFFICIENCY?
However minor the issue is, non-detection becomes problematic when you lose out on the output of your solar panels.
It is found that most of the asset owners have no idea if their panels are malfunctioning, even though they have real-time data from their solar installer. Optimizing the existing solar assets is crucial, not only to maximize financial opportunity but also to ensure long-term reliability of energy infrastructure.
SIMPLE MEASURES TO CHECK YOUR SOLAR CELL’S EFFICIENCY
Solar rooftop systems are an investment that will last for decades. Here are a few essentials that you can do to ensure your solar panels are functioning correctly and that you are receiving the greatest possible output from your device.
1. Check the colour of light on your inverter
A simple health check for your solar is checking the light on your inverter – is there a red light or a green light?
A green light on your inverter means your system is working perfectly. A red or orange light during daylight hours means there is a system fault. The older generation of inverters may use yellow light to indicate a fault instead of a red one.
2. Check for shading on panels
The shading on panels or panels being dirty can reduce the output of the panels.
Along with the shading and dirt, consider checking your panels regularly; is there any sign of delamination or peeling of plastic?
This can be more troublesome when the panels are string mounted or connected together, what affects one panel will affect the output of all panels, meaning even the shading on one panel can reduce your panels’ efficiency.
When you feel that the issues cannot be resolved by yourself and the simplified testing procedures do not apply, please contact your contractor for safety measures.
3. Check the meter for generation numbers
Keeping a regular record of the numbers allows you to compare them over time and identify any potential issues.
The data and graphs presented online are more comprehensively detailed, easier to understand and compare the expected performance. They give you the kWh output – the amount of energy it produces in kilowatt-hours.
4. Common factors that can affect the efficiency of the solar cells’ output
Even the best solar panels may have environmental factors significantly impeding their efficiency. Losses can occur with the inverter or the cabling. The performance of the panels can be affected by these common factors too.
Temperature significantly impacts the performance of the solar panel efficiency. You may not believe it, but high temperature can have an adverse effect on the production. Sure, more sunlight is good, but prolonged and excessive exposure to heat can prematurely degrade solar cells.
It goes without saying that as opposed to other seasons, there will be more generation in summer due to more accessible sun hours.
The amount of solar radiation obtained in an area is determined by the factors, such as local weather, the time of the year and most significantly the latitude at which your area falls.
ABOUT MAHINDRA SUSTEN
Mahindra Susten’s in-house EPC and O&M Team are always working with a focus to attain the goal of sustainability with effectiveness and efficiency. Mahindra Susten develops and builds projects that create an enhanced brand value, and manages assets in an optimized manner that can generate maximum revenue.
We have an efficient construction team that makes thorough quality checks, and our customers can also enjoy the benefits of advisory services to get clarity on policies relating to finance, land and fiscal benefits to successfully install solar power plants.
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