Solar System Installation: 5 Rules for Maximum Performance of Solar Panels.

Solar System Installation

Proper installation of solar system is a very important task for reaping the maximum benefits for the investments in buying solar panels. Slight care taken while installing solar system on your rooftop can result into harnessing of 20 to 35% more solar energy. It also reduces cost of solar system. Here are important considerations, step by step starting from solar system to batteries, while installing the solar panels:

1. Orientation and Tilt of the solar system

Sun in the sky doesn’t remain stationary with respect to the earth. It rises in the east and set in the west.  During whole year, it doesn’t remain perpendicular to a head. And to get maximum electricity form a solar system, the solar rays must fall perpendicular to the solar panel. That’s why orientation and tilt of this system should be such that it get maximum solar insolation.

Orientation of solar panels

In general, the optimum orientation of a solar panel module in the northern hemisphere is true south. It means that in a country like India which is in northern hemisphere, the face of solar panel must be toward south. In southern hemisphere, the reverse is true. However, solar PV modules can face up to 45 degrees east or west of true south without significantly decreasing its performance.

Tilt of solar panels

Tilt is the angle which make solar system with the horizontal. After orientation, this factor is the second most important factor which decide the output from the solar PV system. No solar panels should be let flat on the roof. The solar panel should make an angle with horizontal which is equal to the latitude of that place. If you are installing a fixed solar system then it must be equal to Latitude of that place.

Determining latitude of a place is not a difficult task nowadays. If you own the android smart phone, then open Google maps. Switch on the location feature of your smartphone before opening Google maps. Find out your location in the map. Long touch the location on the map. You will be presented with two data set like this: (29.40338, 75.17403).  In this data set, first one is the Latitude of your place.

To get the maximum out of your solar photovoltaic system, you are advised to install a flexible solar system for your house. In this system, you can change the tilt of the system as per the season. In winters, the tilt of the system is generally kept higher as compared to tilt in the summer.

Changing tilt as easy as 1-2-3: There are some free Smartphone applications which can help you to find out required tilt as per the day in the year. One of them is SimplySolar. This is a wonderful app for solar panel alignment designed to increase the viability of solar energy. Just install this app and turn on your location. Put it on your solar panel. Move the solar panel as instructed by the app.

You can also use other apps like ISRO’s Solar Calculator AppSolar Tilt, etc.

Tilt of solar panel SimplySolar

Tilt of solar panel using SimplySolar

You should change the tilt once in a two-week period to get maximum harness of solar energy.

2. No shadow on solar system

There should not be no shade on solar panel of your solar power system. Even shade on a small part of the solar panels system can reduce it’s outcome, greatly. If the shade is unavoidable, while installation of solar system then the size of solar panels must be increased as per requirement.

Resistivity (oppose to the current flow in conductor wire) of shadowed parts on panels may get increased. As a result, it may start heating up – it can eventually burn up those areas. Such damages might not be covered under warranty. So you should be careful about the shadow while installing the solar system on your house’s rooftop.

You might want to know Solar Panel Prices in India.

3. Air circulation (Temperature) around solar panels

Air circulation around solar panels is an not an important factor as long as the temperature remains below 25°C. But in countries like India, where temperature soars in summer, it is a very important factor to be considered. At high temperature, the performance of the solar system get reduced greatly. For each degree rise in temperature above 25˚C, the solar system output reduces by about 0.25% -0.5%. In North India, where 40°C is a normal temperature in summer, results into 4%-8% reduction in power output. This factor must be taken into account while installing the solar panels.

To keep the temperature lower, air circulation around solar system is must. You are advised not to install solar system nearby tall buildings, trees, etc.

4. Electric cable material, thickness and length

The quality of electric cable which connects all of panels to the batteries or inverter must not be ignored. As we all know, copper is the best conductor of electricity, that’s why we should use electric cable made of pure copper instead of aluminium or iron wire. Next important point is cable thickness and length. Cable thickness should be high and length should be as low as possible. High thickness and short length result into lower electricity losses in the wire.

One extra feature that you can care about while purchasing electric cable is that there should be large number of thin wires in the cable. Single wire or low number of wires in electric cable result into higher electric losses.

Electric cables for solar panels

Electric cables for solar panels

Why choosing right electric cable is so important?

In solar power systems, the electricity (DC) is produced by solar panels is either 12 V, 24 V, 36 V. But in our houses, the electricity is at 240 V, ignoring the fact that it is AC (Alternating current). At 24o V, the electrical resistance of the cable wire is less. But at lower voltage like 12 V, it is high, comparatively. You might have noticed the thicker copper wire at the battery terminal of your vehicle. The reason for thick copper wire is the same. This battery is generally at 12 V.

You might be interested in Solar Panel Buying Tips.

5. Solar batteries and inverter

The last element in the solar system is solar batteries and inverter.  You will need to store the DC current from the solar panels into storage batteries and then convert it into AC through an inverter for end use.  The type of batteries and inverter for off-grid solar system also determine the overall efficiency of your solar PV system.

Batteries for your solar system: There are two types of batteries- one is solar battery (Deep Cycle) and another is Non-solar battery (Shallow Cycle) or you can say ordinary battery.

Solar batteries for solar system

Solar batteries for solar system

Solar batteries are specifically designed for using with solar system. These are deep cycles batteries which means you can repeatedly recharge them up to 80% of its rated capacity without compromising with its efficiency.

Non-solar batteries are installed in your vehicle and are shallow cycle batteries. These ones are not suitable for installation with solar power system.

Inverters for your solar system: Nowadays, solar inverters are available in the market specifically designed for solar system. A pure sine wave solar inverter (cost around 6000-7500 INR for 1100 kVA capacity) is the best choice. Electricity appliances like ceiling fans doesn’t make any buzzing sound with pure sine wave solar inverter. A modified sine wave solar inverter is cheaper but less efficient and create a buzzing sound with electric fans.

You can also use your existing inverter with solar system with a solar power regulator box (costing around 1200 INR). It means that there is no need of buying an extra inverter, if you do not want to invest more. For finding the size of solar system for your house, you may read: What size of Solar Power plant (Solar Panels) you need for your home?

If you have any questions about solar system, then please comment below.

Solar Panel Installation: 5 Rules for Maximum Performance of Solar System.
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Solar Panel Installation: 5 Rules for Maximum Performance of Solar System.
Proper installation of solar system is a very important task for reaping the maximum benefits from the investment in buying solar panels. Slight care taken while installing solar system on your rooftop can result into harnessing of 20 to 35% more solar energy. Here are important considerations, step by step starting from solar system to batteries, while installing the solar panels.
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