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Category: solar panels

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5 Quick Tips On How To Keep Your Solar Panels Clean

5 Quick Tips On How To Keep Your Solar Panels Clean

The only maintenance required for the solar panels at your location is routine cleaning to minimize dust buildup and the resulting shadow, which would reduce solar effectiveness.

Many people think cleaning solar panels will be difficult. Additionally, it is presumable that maintaining a panel will take a lot of your time and effort.

We, at SunEdison, in this article are here to help you dispel that myth.

The simplest approach to determine whether your solar panels require cleaning or maintenance is to monitor their energy output. It might be a good idea to check on them whether there is a sharp decline or a gradual decline over time. The dirt accumulation could reduce solar panel production by 5% or more. Dust and haze may further reduce output, by up to 20%, if you reside close to a highway or airport.

Quick Tips to keep your solar panels efficient:

  • The most effective way to wash solar panels is with a hose or a bucket of warm water. Essentially, in the same manner, you would wash your car at home.
  • Be careful about using harsh soaps & detergents as some soaps can leave a film or residue that not only leaves a mark but also attracts dirt to stick to the surface and manifest longer.
  • Never use an abrasive sponge or soap for your solar panel rooftop cleaning as it may hamper the anti-reflective coating and scratch the glass. Both these conditions will render the panels void of their warranty. The best way to clean solar panels is by using a soft rag or non-abrasive sponge.
  • Clean solar panels when they are moist or wet to ensure any dirt or residue stuck on them can be wiped off easily.
  • It is important not to use harsh materials when cleaning solar panels as they could cause damage. 
  • Running a hose along with the panels for dirt removal on a regular basis would be highly beneficial.
  • Avoid extremely high-pressure water sprayers when washing off your solar panels. A high-pressure attachment discharging water at pressures greater than 35 bar can damage the solar panels.
  • Stains which solidify and stick to the panel e.g. bird droppings, need to be removed at the earliest.
  • Do not overclean your solar panel system. Unless there is a significant amount of dust in your area, a weekly cleaning should suffice.
  • The best time for cleaning the panels is early morning or late evening. During peak hours, not only are the panels too hot, but you may also lose a significant generation.

Tips: Before cleaning solar panels:

  1. Avoid solar panels cleaning during bad weather conditions.
  2. Verify that the roof can support the weight of the person cleaning the panels.
  3. Before ascending the roof, it’s crucial to follow all safety precautions; check that your shoes have adequate grip, wear a helmet,  etc.

For any further queries or information on solar panel cleaning and recommendations from experts, you can reach out to us at SunEdison.

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How to Protect Your Solar Panels Against Birds, Falling Trees, and Other Hazards

How to Protect Your Solar Panels Against Birds, Falling Trees, and Other Hazards?

You have just made a sizable investment in installing solar panels for your home or office in the hopes that these provide better returns than fixed deposits and empower you to lead a greener lifestyle. That’s wonderful.

But what if the unpredictable natural elements outside cause damage to your precious solar panels? Your returns would diminish, and the payback period would increase.

That is why it is vital to protect your solar panels against birds, falling trees, and other hazards out there.

In this article, we will take a look at some of the ways you can safeguard your solar panels.

1. Use Bird Spikes

One way to protect your solar panels is by using bird spikes. Bird spikes are metal or plastic points that are installed on the surface of buildings or structures to prevent birds from landing or perching.

Spikes are a physical barrier that will not only keep birds away but also prevent them from causing any damage to your solar panels. They are an effective solution for keeping birds away from solar panels, as well as windows, signs, chimneys, and other areas where they might cause damage.

You can find bird spikes at most hardware stores or online.

2. Cover Your Solar Panels with Mesh

Another way to keep birds away from your solar panels is to cover them with a mesh that is installed on the panel’s frame. This will create a physical barrier that will make it difficult for birds to land on or perch on your solar panels.

The mesh will also prevent small animals and insects from getting into the solar panel and causing damage.

3. Install Guards on Your Solar Panels

While small twigs and branches will not affect your solar panels much, falling trees and large branches are serious hazards that can cause extensive damage. So, suppose you live in an area where falling trees are common. In that case, you should consider installing guards on your solar panels.

The guards will help to redirect or deflect the impact of falling trees and branches and prevent them from causing any damage to your solar panels.

These guards can be made of metal or plastic and will protect your solar panels from being hit by falling tree branches. They can be easily installed on the solar panel’s frame and will not interfere with its functioning.

4. Install Your Panels on Steep Slopes

Depending on where you live and how much sunlight your area receives, you could consider installing your solar panels on steep slopes. This will make it difficult for animals and birds to access your solar panels and cause damage.

If small twigs or tree branches fall on your panels accidentally, the steep slope will help move them away and push them down to the ground.

Note that there are other considerations for positioning your solar panels. Ideally, you would want to position them such that they attract the most significant amount of sunlight.

It is important to note that installing solar panels on steep slopes can be tricky and should only be attempted by experienced professionals.

5. Install Bird Scaring Devices

If you want to prevent birds from roosting or nesting on your solar panels, then you can install bird scaring devices. These devices make use of sound, light, or movement to scare birds away.

There are a variety of bird scaring devices available on the market, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

Some bird scaring devices make use of ultrasonic sound waves to deter birds. These devices emit high-pitched sound waves that cannot be heard by humans but are very effective at deterring birds.

Other birds scaring devices make use of flashing lights or reflective surfaces to scare birds away. These devices can be solar-powered or battery-operated and can be easily installed on the frame of the solar panel.

Still, other bird-scaring devices make use of movement to scare birds away. These devices can be wind-powered or battery-operated, and easily installed on the solar panel’s frame.

6. Clearing Any Blockades or Direct Fall Risks

If there are any trees near your solar panels that could fall and damage your panels, then you should remove them. You should also clear away any debris, such as leaves and branches, that could fall on your panels and damage them.

We would not advise you to cut off trees. Instead, just trim them slightly so your panels are out of danger. If that is not possible, do not worry. At SunEdison, we have the experience of installing solar panels in tricky places.

You should also take steps to protect your solar panels from fire hazards. This can be done by clearing any flammable materials around your panels, such as dead leaves and branches, around your panels. You can also install a fire sprinkler system near your panels to help extinguish any fires that may occur.

Conclusion

There are a variety of ways that you can protect your solar panels from birds, falling trees, and other hazards. By taking the time to properly install and maintain your solar panels, you can help ensure that they will continue to generate electricity for years to come.

If you have any questions about protecting your solar panels, or if you need help installing them, then please contact SunEdison. We would be more than happy to assist you.

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Why do we need a shadow-free area for solar installation?

Why do we need a shadow-free area for solar installation?

You must have read this line before: “A shadow-free area is required to install the solar panels at your location.”

Before installing the solar panel at your place, the installer might have checked for the shadow-free area at your location. Also, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) reported that for a one kWp solar plant, an area of about 10 square meters shadow-free area is required.

But, as a consumer, you might wonder, “why this shadow-free area plays such an important role in solar panel installation?”

To answer this in simple terms the output of the solar plants gets deteriorated when a shadow falls on the panel.

The solar radiation incident on the solar panel is converted into useful electrical energy using the photovoltaic principle. What this means is that the output of a solar plant depends on the solar radiation intensity. So, even a slight shadow on one string can affect the entire solar plant’s output efficiency.

In this article, you will learn how shadows affect your solar power plant and some lesser-known tips to avoid shadows.

How Does Shadow Impact A Solar Power Plant?

Lower Output Energy

The primary impact of shadows on a solar power plant is the reduction in its output energy. The drop in energy output increases with the increase in the size of the shadow.

The output of the solar panels gets considerably reduced when a shadow from a nearby object falls on it. In terms of shadowing, one can look at the solar panels as pieces of pipes and the water flowing as solar output, while shading can be viewed as stone or any other obstruction to water flow, as shown in the below figure. A stone clogged in a pipe will block the flow of water, in the same way, a shadow on a panel will prevent the solar radiation from reaching the panel.

The strings in the solar panels are arranged in a series or parallel fashion. In the case of series connections, partial shading reduces output by 50%, while in parallel connections, the output is reduced by 90%. This can be prevented by carefully installing the solar panels in a shadow-free area where the nearby objects do not cast shadows on the solar panels.

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If the hotspot stays for a longer duration crossing its threshold limit, the particular string may cause the solder joints in the module to melt, thus destroying the busbar and eventually the solar cell. 

Approval of Net Metering Bills

Solar net metering consents consumers to produce, borrow and sell electricity to the connected utility grid.

So far, 19 Indian states have approved the net metering policy. The policy gives consumers the right to receive compensation for the extra solar power they generate and send to the grid. This way, they can offset their electricity bill or even earn revenue from their rooftop solar panels.

The cast of shadows on the solar panel will not only affect its output and lifespan but can also impede the approval of net metering.

Warranty Issues

Manufacturers recommend that modules only be installed in shadow-free areas to guarantee their warranty. Therefore, modules installed in shadows cannot be claimed by the supplier.

Best Tips to Avoid Casting of Shadows on Solar Panels

Check Your Surroundings Before Installation

Make sure to check the surroundings of your house or commercial building before installing solar panels. Look out for trees, buildings, high-voltage grids and other objects that may cast a shadow on your solar panels during certain times of the day.

You should check the shadows cast by these objects at different times of the year to get an estimate of how much they will impact your solar panels’ output.

To further future proof your installation, do your due diligence on upcoming buildings in your locality and figure out how and why they would affect your solar panels.

Go for an Elevated Design Structure

In the rooftops of houses, the solar panels are usually installed at a height of around 1.5 to 2 meters. However, you can increase this height to 4 meters or more to avoid casting shadows on your solar panels.

This will also protect your solar panels from animals, birds and other objects that may fall on them and cause damage.

Frequently Clean the Solar Panels

Frequently cleaning your solar panels is important to maintain their efficiency. However, you should also regularly check the condition of your solar panels and look out for any signs of damage. If you notice that a shadow is starting to fall on one of your solar panels, you can quickly adjust its position to avoid any decrease in output.

Ensure Sufficient Distance Between Solar Panels to Avoid Overlapping

You can also increase the distance between your solar panels to reduce the chances of one panel casting a shadow on another. This will maximize the amount of sunlight that each panel receives and help you get the most out of your solar installation.

Install Modules at an Angle

Installing your solar panels at an angle will help you avoid casting shadows on them. This is because the sun’s rays will hit the panels directly, and the shadows will be cast behind the panels.You can use special brackets to angle your them.

What If You Can't Avoid Shadows On Your Solar Panels?

In this situation one can take the below-mentioned steps to optimize the solar output:
  1. If one cannot remove the objects placed on the roof, one can wisely place the components as placement of components can reduce the impact of shadow on the panels at least during peak sun hours.
  2. One can get rid of the partial shadow impact by using a microinverter (these inverters come with a maximum power point tracker). As each microinverter has an MPPT, and as they are connected in parallel, each solar panel will operate at its optimum point even during partial shading conditions without impacting other panels.
  3. Another option is to use a power optimizer to improve the solar panel efficiency when one cannot prevent shadows from falling on the panel.  

But it is advisable to choose a location where no neighboring objects cast a shadow on the panel to ensure the long run of the solar panel with an optimum ROI.  

Our design team identifies the best location with an appropriate design structure in order to maximize the return on the installed plant. For any info contact us. Our technical team will be happy to assist you with the best possible solution.

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Post COVID view of Solar in India

The impact of COVID has been immense on the world. It has also shown us how crucial it is for us to start thinking about the environment and protecting the nature around us

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What is a Hybrid Solar Power System?

Did you ever have a thought of “what if in the mere future with this ever-increasing energy demand…

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Off – Grid Solar System: A Complete Guide!

At many remote/rural locations such as a farmhouse or cottages, access to the grid is a difficult and costly task, we often experience a frequent power failure and yes we know how irritating it is!

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How to Protect your Solar Panels from Lightning?

During the rainy season, installers are concerned about the storms and lightning impacts as they are the major calamitous failure of the solar panel system.