Solar panels capture the sun’s rays and convert this energy into clean electricity for your home. The more sun your solar system gets, the more power it produces. If you reside in a home that is surrounded by trees, can you still have solar panels? Yes, you can!
When solar systems were new, shade did have an impact on energy production. If a cell was covered, it would block electricity from the entire panel. Not only did this affect the cell’s output, but also it could damage the panel since the other cells had to compensate for the one that wasn’t working.
Today, most panels have devices called bypass diodes that let the electricity bypass any shaded solar cells. As a result, whatever amount is being blocked by the shade is the amount of energy the panel will lose. So, if 30% of the panel is shaded in the late afternoons, it will produce 30% less energy when it’s in full sun.
Improving Panel Output in Shaded Areas
Even though modern technology allows homes without direct sun to take advantage of solar power, the panels are still not operating at 100%. Because you want the biggest return on investment, there are a few things you can do to improve the amount of sun your panels get.
● Trim back trees. Trimming back branches or even removing a few trees can make a huge difference on how much direct sun your home gets. You can always replant trees in a different part of your yard!
● Installation spot. If your roof doesn’t get a lot of sun and you can’t remove trees (or nearby homes/buildings), it’s possible that you can install the panels somewhere other than your roof, such as with a ground-mounted solar system.
● Solar cell type. Talk to a qualified solar panel installer about which solar cell type is right for your home. For example, amorphous silicon solar cells are ideal for cloudy weather but are not as efficient as mono- and polycrystalline silicon cells.
● Microinverters. If one panel isn’t performing well, the microinverter will prevent the panel from losing its full capacity. With central inverters, the entire system would stop working. You can learn more about microinverters and their benefits in our previous post.
Each property is unique, which is why it’s best to speak with a reliable solar installer about your options. AllSeason Solar offers a free residential consultation, and we’ll be happy to explain our no money down programs to you. If you have a property that is well-shaded, you can still benefit from a solar system!