Solar Panels are installed to generate electricity by using sunlight. Thus, power generation is highly dependent on the amount of sunlight they receive.
A shadow from a pipe, a tree, or, any other object that comes between the sun and the PV system decreases the power output. Not many of the users are aware of this shadowing impact. This is a problem with adverse effects and needs to be taken care of while getting the installation done.
Even a small shadow on any part of the PV system can substantially decrease the output of the whole. Most of the installers are not aware of it, and as a result, faces problems after the installation.
Let’s discuss the problems faced by the shadowing on solar panels in brief. In this article, we will provide you with solutions to mitigate this problem and handle it wisely.
What are main problems faced due to shadowing?
In a book by Stanford University’s Gil Masters, named, ‘Renewable Energy and Efficient Electric Power Systems’, it is demonstrated how the shading on one out of 36 cells in a small PV module can reduce power output by over 75%.
Hence the foremost problem due to shadowing is the reduced power generation.
1. Reduction in Power Generated
Shadowing impacts the desired power expected to be generated by a Solar panel. This disheartened the owners of the panel. However, if the proper installation is done, such a problem doesn’t arise.
2. Approving Net Meters
A very common problem faced due to shadowing is getting the net meter bills approved by the Electricity Board. In the case shadowing arises, the Electricity department doesn’t approve the net meters creating a huge problem for installers.
For deriving the solutions to this problem, first, let’s see the internal architecture of a solar panel.
Internal Connection of Solar Panel
A solar panel is a combination of multiple cells that together define the power of the PV system.
The cells are connected in the form of either Series or Parallel.
1. Impact of Shadowing Series Connection
In a series connection, the power loss of up to 50% are faced due to the shadow effect.
2. Impact of Shadowing Parallel Connection
Shadow effect in parallel connection results in up to 90% power depletion.
The shadows are mainly of two types, Horizontal and Vertical shadow. A shadow of about 1 foot can stop the working of up to 6 feet of the PV panel.
Experiment Video of Shadow Impact
Thus, a small shadow can severely affect the entire setup.
Solution to Shadowing
1. Twin Design Solar Panel
Twin Design Solar Panels are likely to be launched in 2021. They are designed differently in comparison to the standard panels. A standard panel of 6 feet is divided into two 3-3 feet twin panels.
The twin-panel ensures durability and reduces the installation cost. They are highly efficient as compared to the standard panels.
In the case of shadowing, Twin panels have a minimum power loss of up to 25% in series connection and 50% in parallel connection.
2. Proper Installation
During Installation, it is quite convenient to check for the shadows and the possibilities of them in the future. Installers should take care of the positioning as per the shadowing. House owners should consider all seasons of the year.
How to Install Solar Panels (Step-by-Step Guide)
Suggestions for Installers and Owners
We recommend the house owners as well as the installers to select the location wisely by checking for the shadows for a successful long term of your solar panel.
Also, check the solar panel distance among solar panel series and other important factors.