You have probably heard good and bad things about solar power. However, as solar technology has advanced, it has overcome some of the bad things, such as requiring full sun to produce energy. As you investigate local installation companies, including solar panels Austin, consider how much sun you need to make your system efficient.
Peak Sun Hours
To truly evaluate a solar panel system, you need to understand what peak sun hours are. A peak sun hour is a time when your panels receive direct sunlight and can generate one kilowatt of electricity. Every square meter of your panels should generate this much energy.
This peak hour can be the result of several non-peak hours. For example, your system may generate 400Wh/m^2 for one hour and 600 Wh/m^2 the next hour. When you combine these two hours, you get one kilowatt of power, so they become one peak sun hour.
The goal is to get as many peak solar hours as you can, but the sun’s intensity (irradiance) directly impacts this phenomenon. You should calculate the peak sun hours you can expect in your neighborhood as you consider whether to invest in solar power and what your system setup should look like if you do invest.
Factors That Can Affect the Efficiency of Solar Panels
Several factors can impact your solar panel efficiency. First, consider the slope and direction your roof faces. Roofs with a 30 to 45-degree slope typically have the most efficient systems. In addition, your roof should face south to get the highest intensity, most direct sunlight.
Also, watch out for shading on your roof. Buildings, homes, hills or mountains and trees near your home can shade part or all of your solar system, which reduces your energy production. If you can, trim your trees out of the direct path of the sun. If you cannot, you may want to reposition your system or expand it to make up for the shade.
Understanding How Much Sun Solar Panels Need
In the past, solar panels needed direct, high-intensity sun to work properly. They still need this type of sun for optimal efficiency. However, today’s panels also produce when the sky is overcast or the panels receive some shade. For the best results, your solar panels should receive direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. During this time, the sun is the most intense because it is at its highest point.
How Inverters Impact Energy Production
Every system of solar panels Dallas requires an inverter to turn the electricity produced in the panels, which is direct current, into electricity your home can use, or alternative current. With a string inverter, the entire system suffers and produces less electricity if one panel gets shaded. With a microinverter, you can still produce energy efficiently with the rest of the unshaded panels.
Solar Panel Incentives
In addition, you may be eligible for federal and state incentives, such as Texas solar incentives. Some states may cost more, but southern areas, such as Texas, Florida and California, should have lower costs overall than northern states. In addition, your solar system will save you more if you live in an area with especially high electricity costs.