Photovoltaic cells and solar panels are steadily gaining popularity as alternative sources of energy. The energy obtained from these solar PV cells are clean and have no negative impact on the environment. For this reason, many people are gravitating towards this eco-friendly energy solution. The initial installation of solar PV can cost quite a bit and it is also essential to provide adequate maintenance to these panels to ensure a good output. Only then the cost benefit obtained from the solar energy will be high. To help you with this, we are bringing to your attention a number of easy methods that will result in increasing output and maximising solar PV efficiency.
Do proper research
This first step should be done way before you purchase the actual product. Do a market trend analysis and identify the potential panel that is bound to give the best value for your money. Newer models with two layers for accommodating different sensitivities of wavelength should be preferred. And always check the grade. The grade of the panels varies from A to D- this denotes a descending order of the efficiency of output. So if maximising solar PV efficiency is your primary goal, then go for higher grades.
The next step after buying a good panel is to set in in the right location, facing the right direction. The general thumb rule is that the solar panels must be aligned perpendicular to the sun’s rays in a place of zero obstructions. But if this is not possible, align with the roof pitch orientation for roof-top installations. In other cases, the tilt is done so as to cater the location of the sun in winter. This might slightly reduce the efficiency in summer, but the longer duration of sunlight will compensate for this. This balance cannot be achieved with the situation is vice-versa.
A layer of highly dust and water repellent, self-cleaning, heat resistant coating on top of the panels is the best way to protect it from the deteriorating effects of the weather. Companies like the Solar Sharc provide such highly advanced coatings that utilise Nano-technology to counteract the effects of the external environment and eliminate surface accumulation.
Get a solar tracker
If you are not satisfied with fixing the same tilting angle throughout the year, then you can try a solar tracker. The lower end models will follow a ‘clock pattern’ meaning that they will mechanically change the angle of the panel according to the time of day, based on pre-set conditions. The higher end models are more sensitive and automatically adjust the angle based on current situation. This way, the panel will get optimum light energy across the entire day, throughout the entire year.
If you are having a smaller unit, a concentrator may do wonders to the efficiency. The concentrator can be a Fresnel lens or a mirror. But proper precautions should be taken to avoid overheating of the panels.
And that is the end of the list. Do try these methods for maximising solar PV efficiency.