If you are wondering how you can use solar energy more effectively and maximize the efficiency of solar panels, the guide below will walk you through 15 ways that you can use your solar power and make the most out of them.
How Can I Use Solar Energy and Maximize the Efficiency of Solar Panels – 15 Ways
1. Have a Professional Install Your Solar Array
The good news is that many homeowners can install their solar arrays with help from the internet and some handy friends. But, in general, it is best to leave the actual installation to the professionals. This ensures that your solar array is installed correctly. Still, it also means that you will be able to take advantage of all of the incentives available for a professionally installed system. In contrast, you might not be able to if you install it yourself.
2. Clean Your Solar Panels Regularly
Cleaning your solar panels is critical to ensuring your solar panels are working at their optimum. Dirt, dust, and other debris can build up on your solar panels and reduce their efficiency. If you live near a factory or in an area with a lot of pollution, your solar panels might require cleaning more frequently than those in less polluted areas. If the surface of your solar panels is dirty, it would not be able to capture as much energy from the Sun as it would if it were clean, and you might end up questioning yourself, why are my solar panels not working properly, and how can I use solar energy more efficiently.
3. Track Your Energy Data with a Smart Inverter
Today’s vast majority of inverters are smart inverters with built-in communication capabilities. This allows them to communicate with the utility grid, track performance data, and optimize your system’s output. Without these features, you would not be able to take full advantage of the benefits associated with solar energy, including reducing your electric bill. Solar systems are generally installed with a certain amount of space or panel count. By tracking daily performance data from your system, you can ensure that it performs at its best and generates as much electricity as possible.
4. Install Panels in the Right Direction
The angle at which you mount your solar panels is the most important factor in terms of optimizing performance. Solar panels have to be positioned at the same angle as your latitude to receive direct sunlight from the equator. Tilt the panel too far north or south, and it will not receive enough sunlight directly from the sun. To get the best performance from your solar panels, you should point them both north and south for maximum coverage during different times and seasons. This way, you will not be worried and thinking, “how can I use solar energy to maximize the efficiency of solar panels?”
5. Use Smart Battery Storage System
The best new way to save on your solar energy is to use a smart battery storage system. Smart battery storage systems are designed to store the extra energy produced by your solar panels for future use. This allows you to be self-sufficient and not rely on the grid as much. It also allows you to store the energy from your solar panels that would have otherwise been wasted. Smart battery storage systems save that extra power when you need it most — at night or on rainy days.
6. Check for the Shade to Make the Most Out of the Solar Panels
Most people do not pay attention to how much shade their rooftop gets during the day, but it can make a big difference in how much electricity your solar system produces. Shading even a small part of your roof can significantly impact the amount of power generated by your solar system. Look at where the shade falls on your rooftop and make sure that none of your solar panels are affected.
7. Consider Painting Your Roof White
One of the first things you can do to make sure your solar panels are working at their best is to paint your roof white. This may sound bizarre, but darker colors absorb the sun’s heat while lighter colors reflect it. By contrast, cool roofs reflect much of the sunlight hitting them instead of absorbing it. Therefore, by painting your roof white, you will help keep your home cooler, thus reducing the amount of energy your air conditioner needs to keep you comfortable. This means that solar panels on such a roof would not get as hot and generate more power.
8. Remove Any Nearby Obstructions
If you have trees or buildings near your solar panels, they could be blocking some of the sunlight from getting through. Try pruning back trees and trimming bushes so that they do not cast shadows on your solar system during the day. If any nearby buildings are causing shadows to fall on your panels, you may need to contact the property owner and ask them to work with you to resolve the issue.
9. Install Your Panels in a Gaseous Environment
Installing your panels in a gaseous environment such as a greenhouse or enclosed patio can significantly impact how much energy they produce over time. This is because air is less dense than water and therefore does not absorb as much light, which means there will be more light reflected onto your panels, making them work harder to produce electricity at any given time.
10. Do Not Overheat Your Panels
Solar panels are designed to operate under a range of temperatures and conditions. However, once the temperature of the solar panels climbs above a certain point, their electricity output will drop. This is due to the temperature coefficient – basically, above a certain temperature, additional heat would not increase the panels’ output.
To deal with this, you can use fans to help cool your solar panel, reducing heat loss and preventing overheating. Some models have built-in fans, but many people prefer not to use these because they do not provide adequate cooling. Instead, you may want to install a fan on the outside of the panel itself so that it does not overheat and does not have to work as hard as it would without the fan in place.
11. Invest in a Battery Backup
Solar panels offer a promising way to save money and get off the grid, but your solar panel system could be more trouble than it is worth without a battery backup in place. Solar panels are only effective when the sun is shining, which means that at night or on cloudy days, you will need an alternative power source. Without one, you will be forced to use power from the electrical grid, which is exactly what you are trying to avoid. It is also incredibly wasteful to let any excess energy produced by your panels go unused. It will just dissipate back into the atmosphere.
Your solar panels will be much more efficient if you have a battery backup system installed to store extra energy for future use or during dormant periods of sunlight. Battery backups are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, and they can even save you money on your energy bill by letting you pay lower rates for nighttime electricity usage.
12. Do Not Oversize Your System
The amount of power you need your solar array to generate depends on how much electricity you use daily and how the sunlight hits your rooftop. It is important not to oversize the system you install because this will mean that you are spending more money than necessary on equipment that would not be utilized to its full capacity. In fact, it is better to have a slightly undersized system than one that is too large for your needs because it will still provide you with many benefits.
Take a look at your utility bills over the past 12 months to determine the total kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity you and your family consumed. If you have never been very diligent about keeping track of such things, do not worry; most utility companies can provide you with an estimate upon request. Using these figures, you can estimate what size solar panel system you will need to meet all or part of your energy needs.
13. Change Your Energy Consumption Habits
One of the best ways to get the most out of your solar panels is to stop consuming as much electricity. This can mean washing clothes in cold water and unplugging appliances when they are not being used. You can also use energy-efficient light bulbs or install timers on your electrical equipment to turn them off at certain times of the day, such as when you are asleep. With a few simple changes to your daily routine, you can maximize the efficiency of solar panels and the benefits of going solar without thinking about “how can I use solar energy without keeping fossil fuel use to a minimum.”
14. Use High-Quality Wiring
Solar cells are like any other piece of technology: they work better when they have high-quality components. If you are looking to generate as much power as possible from your solar panels, choosing the best wiring will help you do just that. The gauge of the wire is the cross-sectional area of the conductor, or how thick the wire is. A larger gauge means more copper in the wire and more space for current to flow. Solar panels produce a lot of power, so good wiring is important. Use at least 14-gauge copper for any wiring inside your house, and use 12-gauge copper for outdoor wiring.
15. Get Black Frames on Your Solar Panel
Black frames on your solar panel will help you make the most out of the solar panels by ensuring that it is always producing at their maximum potential. The reason why this type of framework is because it blocks some light from being absorbed by the panel itself. This makes it much easier for your panels to generate electricity without absorbing as much sunlight as they would normally be able to do without these frames.
Though going solar is generally a good idea for the environment and a decent investment, there are several ways that you can do it in such a fashion to improve your return on investment and be more environmentally friendly. The fifteen suggestions above tell you how you, too, can ensure that you make the most out of the solar panels and go solar immediately while helping the planet and without overthinking about how “can I use solar energy in the best possible way.”
The team at Firefly Solar is ready to answer your questions and give you a no-obligation price quote. Feel free to call us at 864-252-7858 or book a consultation online. And we’ll get in touch within 24 hours.