How Do I Maximize The Output Of My Solar Panels?

The Most Comprehensive DIY Solar Panel GuideQuestion: I have a large household with relatively high energy bills each month. I’d like to save as much money as I can each month with a solar energy system. How do I maximize the output of my solar panels?

Answer:
There is no one way to maximize the output of you solar energy system, but rather a series of measure you can take to ensure your system is operating at optimum efficiency.

First, avoid installing solar panels where they will receive any shade or falling debris. If this is unavoidable, do the best you can. When one panel in your solar system is receiving significantly less sunlight than others, it can affect total output of your entire system.

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Second, tilt the angle of your panels seasonally, so they are best positioned to face the sun during its peak hours. Typically you can tilt your panels to match the latitude of your geographic region. So if you live near the 25th latitude, tilt your solar panels 25 degrees.

During the winter months, this angle may increase dramatically since the sun is in the opposite hemisphere. As a minimum you should tilt your panels once for summer and again for winter. Some solar systems come with automatic seasonal tracking devices that tilt themselves gradually throughout the year. There are many websites that can help you determine what your optimum angles should be.

Third, be sure and perform routine maintenance on your solar panels. This should be nothing more than cleaning, checking the glass cover and looking for other obstructions. Dirt and debris can collect on the glass coating the covers each panel, and with time this could block enough sunlight to decrease the overall voltage of your system.

Lastly, be sure your solar system is installed and wired properly. A system that isn’t set up correctly in the first place may not produce optimum efficiency.

Fortunately, DIY kits are available for the mechanically-inclined person with easy-to-follow instructions on how to install your solar energy system properly.

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