How to Get the Most out of your Solar Panels

Read our advice on how to get the most out of your solar panels with a little TLC.

cleaning solar panels

Solar panels have enjoyed something of a peak in popularity in recent years, but how can you be sure that you get the most out of your solar panels?

People who fitted solar panels a couple of years ago will by now have reliable figures to compare to those they had prior to installing the technology, and seeing that they appear to be using similar amounts of units as they did before installing the panels, might wonder how they can get more from the system.

Generation can be made to look higher by a few things. Solar operates more cost effectively if you use appliances in the daytime, during daylight hours as they use the energy directly as it is produced. For people mainly using their electricity in the evenings, it would be a good idea to try to use appliances earlier on. Perhaps try switching on washing machines, dishwashers and the like during the day rather than the night.

Degradation

Over time, solar panels will degrade and generate less power, but this does depend on the model panel you choose. In most cases, degradation will occur at a rate of less than 1% per year, with higher quality panels suffering even less. Even so, the greatest jump is in the first few years following installation when you will see a difference in your energy production and consumption.

Cleaning

Cleaning is a great way to make sure you get the most out of your solar panels. Following very bad weather, it is a good idea to give the panels a clean to remove debris and therefore allow more light to reach them.

Why does energy consumption increase?

The main reasons for a solar panel’s energy consumption rising are natural degradation, dirt build up, and higher energy use over time. Some of these issues can be solved, such as by removing dirt and using appliances during the day rather than at night, but you should expect production of energy to fall over time.

Many solar panel installers are able to review the health of your panels, so try contacting your installer from time to time to get a better idea of how your system is operating and what you can do to improve it.

Image by Brian Kulser

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