How to increase your Solar Power Output 2022

With the entire world shifting towards renewable energy solutions, more and more people see the benefits of installing solar power in their homes. Not only will you gain more savings on your power bill, but you also have the potential to earn more credits through the feed-in tariff. Of course, this is assuming that your solar PV system is working at its optimum efficiency.

At first glance, going solar may seem like the best solution to all your power concerns – and it probably is. But like any other investment, it’s vital that you first understand the factors involved in ensuring you’re getting the most out of your system. 

Solar power is an intermittent energy provision; for obvious reasons, it needs to have optimum exposure to the sun to perform at its best. One of the first things you need to understand about installing a solar power system is that the numbers you’re getting are the maximum values more often than not. You need to keep in mind that you’ll rarely ever hit the maximums, if at all, due to many factors, including the efficiency of solar energy itself.

Let’s break it down to the significant factors that affect a residential solar power system. 

Where You Live

Australia experiences one of the highest amounts of solar irradiation – exposure to sunlight – globally. This means there’s an average of 3 – 6 hours of peak sun hours a day. That’s a lot of potential energy. When we break it down to compare areas, New South Wales and Victoria tend to have the lowest peak sun hours, whereas Western and Northern Territories can have much higher averages.

Even with minimal sunlight, solar power systems can still produce energy – only it’s at a bare minimum compared to when it has direct exposure to sunlight. Peak hours are around noon and early afternoon, when the sun is strongest in the day. For a southern city like Adelaide, January sees the most sunshine hours while the average is about 5 hours a day throughout the year. Of course, winter can be the big problem with June having the least sun in the year. But even so, you can still expect about 19% output during winter days in Adelaide – which is honestly still better than nothing.

Facing The Right Direction

Since you’ll always get a lot of sunshine no matter where you are n Australia, roof orientation is the more significant factor that affects your solar power production. Everyone knows that the sun moves across the sky from east to west. That means a roof facing true north would be the best orientation so that the solar panels always get a direct line of sight to the sun no matter what time of day.

On top of its directional orientation, solar panels also need to be angled for optimal sun exposure. As a general rule, the best angle is the same as your location’s latitude. For example, Adelaide would require an angle of about 34 degrees, whereas Darwin way up north would only need about 12 degrees. 

Picking Quality or Value

Residential solar power system design is similar, with panels, an inverter, a connection to the grid, and battery storage. But like everything else, there are quality and performance differences between brands. Any reputable solar system installer will always provide you with the best option for your home and budget, so it’s not something you need to worry about.

As a reference, the one solar brand that comes highly recommended in Australia is LG. Following very closely in second place are the panels of REC and SunPower. But being well-known brands with top-quality materials and production, these come with a hefty price tag.

Chinese companies such as Trina and Longi stand out on the budget spectrum since China is the number one producer of solar panels globally. They are affordable but excel in providing the best value for every dollar. 

Q Cells is a South Korean producer of solar panels with an outstanding track record of providing a balance between quality and affordability. So even if you have the money to spare, Q Cells still provide excellent cost-efficiency without sacrificing quality.

Keeping it Clean

Residential solar power systems are becoming cheaper to install but also improving durability. They’re designed with minimal maintenance and can be washed by rainfall. Even in Adelaide, considered the driest of all Australian capitals, you can still expect rainy days about a third of the year.

Even though residential solar power systems are self-cleaning, it’s still a good idea to have a general inspection at least a couple of times a year to check for damage and other issues. Cleaning may need to be more regular, especially after extended dry days or extreme weather. That’s because the biggest enemy of solar power is dust and particle build-up that can block the panels from absorbing sunlight.

Trust Your Installer

Solar panels are becoming much more efficient. With the abundance of sunshine you get in Adelaide, or anywhere else in Australia, there’s little to worry about solar power production. South Australia has even set a world record in solar-generated electricity.

The only problem you may run into when installing a solar power system is the orientation of your roof. But even if it’s not at an optimal facing direction, there is a lot of data that shows some east or west-facing solar panels can still benefit to about 80% efficiency in a day. And even if you want to maximize your production potential, installers can provide some options such as ground-mounted solar panels – provided there’s enough land area.

When in doubt, you can always talk to your installer or go to us; we can guide you through what options best fit your home and budget.

Still Have Questions?

If you still have some lingering concerns, here are some answers to frequently asked questions.

How are my panels affected during winter?

A common misconception is that solar panels don’t work without the sun. Although true to an extent, it’s more accurate to say that it won’t work without sunlight. As long as sun rays can get through cloud cover and other weather obstructions, solar panels will still be able to produce energy – albeit at a much lower output.

How often should I clean my panels?

Solar panels are sort of self-cleaning since they’re designed to be cleaned by rainfall. But it’s a good idea to check and clean your solar panels at least 3 t o4 times a year to ensure there isn’t any dust build-up or other obstruction. It’s important to clean them after extreme weather, such as heavy snowfall or a series of very dry days.

Who makes a good solar panel for Australia?

Many installers would say that LG is a top-of-the-line producer of solar panels, but it does come at a premium. Q Cells provide great quality for outstanding value, making it an all-around great choice even if you have extra to spend.

How much does a panel degrade in performance each year?

The best thing about residential solar panels today is that they are both highly efficient and built to last. On average, panels would degrade in power output by 0.5% per year, meaning it would be long past a decade before you even need to consider replacing your panels.

About Us

Natural Technology Systems are solar providers that have been in business for over 30 years; we are a business that South Australia trusts and provide expert, obligation-free quotes and advice. We provide customers with the most cost-effective way to slash those power bills for your home or business.

Click here for a quick quote for your solar power needs, or contact us today at (08) 8344 7298. You can also email us for expert, obligation-free advice

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