Recent reports suggest the detrimental effects of orientation and pitch are far lower than most people think they should be. The results of installing a system across an east and west facing elevation rather than south facing, and installing a system at a pitch of 20 degrees rather than 30 degrees, only results in a 5% loss of performance. Having tested the theory at our Solar Test & Research Facility (The EG STAR) located at our head office in Greater Manchester our findings show slightly higher losses between 10% and 15%
Shading has a much more drastic effect on solar panels, and in many cases may even stop the system from working at all. The biggest problems are trees and chimneys. Some readings have even shown that a system with just 15% of it’s array shaded had it’s output reduced to less than 5% of expected performance. These findings demonstrate how bad many solar panel installers are in this country.
“…untrained sales people have profited at the expense of the client”
You can drive along many roads and see poor installations where untrained sales people have profited at the expense of the client. It is for this reason Energy Gain UK only employs fully-trained renewable consultants, not target-driven sales personnel.
There are certain solutions to beat shading. By splitting an array into two or more suitably sized sections will allow each string to carry an independent parallel flow of electricity. This allows for the two arrays to work independently, so if one stops generating electricity due to shade, the other can continue doing so without interruption.
We can also install optimisers and micro inverters to ensure each panel works to its optimum performance, even if other panels are effected by shade (each panel works independently, no strings). Shading should be avoided at all costs. Though if unavoidable, provided the shading is limited to early morning/late evening, then the impact is reduced. If you are unsure your building is suitable for Solar PV (Solar Panels) please call us and we will be happy to help.
Craig Jones BSc (Hons) MSc Technical Director
E: email@example.com T: 0161 330 7739