Costly Solar Mistakes to Avoid-Misdesigning Your PV System
If you are just starting out with your research, you might think it\’s as simple as looking at your latest energy bill, then buy enough coulee solar panels to cover that usage. But that will ignore factors like climate, panel orientation, shady, natural efficiency drop, and other things that impact the true output of your system.
That\’s why we recommend that you consult with an experienced solar technician first before investing in your solar system. The following things you should talk about with your technician.
First, efficiency. Solar panel efficiency drops about 0.7% every year. It\’s a good idea to design a little extra headroom to account for the 10 to 20% decrease happens over the course of 25 years. In most cases, this is an extra panel or two.
Second, weather and location. Solar panels are tested in ideal conditions, but in the real world, your system can be exposed to much harsher conditions. High temperatures can actually reduce the amount of energy your solar panels generate. Your location also dictates how many sun hours you get. The term sun hour doesn\’t mean how long the sun is in the sky. It refers to the amount of time the sun is in the right position to generate peaks energy. Most places get about three to six hours per day and the exact amount influences system sizing.
Third, the voltage. Your system needs to be designed at the right voltage based on the equipment being used and what it requires. We also account for things like temperatures that can affect voltage and system performance. If you don\’t have the right voltage from your solar panels or the battery bank, your system might not perform well. Or worse, you could damage your expensive hardware.
And finally, battery bank sizing. Mismatching your battery bank with the charging source is the most common issue when it comes to batteries. Specifically, with off-grid system sizing, your array needs to supply enough power to keep the batteries charged. But not so much that they overcharge. Too much or too little charging can ruin your batteries.
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