Solar panels without a doubt produce electricity. But how much they produce depends on several key factors.
First and maybe fairly obvious is to consider how much sun your area gets. Now if you live in the desert or in the mountains, you are in luck. But for people living in other areas, an important consideration to be aware of is how bright the sunlight is. Brighter is better.
For a solar panel to harvest enough light from the sun to produce a good amount of power, you really need bright, full, shadow-free sunlight. So your panels will not generate as much electricity if your region tends to have a lot of cloudy weather.
The major problem facing homeowners with solar panels is shadow. That is just what it sounds like. When your panel or even part of your panel is shaded, the voltage output becomes lower. And even a small bit of shade can affect output quite dramatically.
There are certain times of the day when shade and shadows are unavoidable, such as the early part of the morning or later on in the afternoon. Don’t be concerned with shadow at these times though. With the sun being at an extreme angle, there is little power being generated in any case. But it is very important that shade or shadow is avoided between the hours of about 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. when the sun is more directly overhead.
Your solar panels are best installed on mounts that can be angled towards the sun. By doing this you are ensuring that you are going to get optimum production from your modules. If at all possible, adjust the angle of the mounting racks seasonally, to take advantage of the varying position of the sun in the summer sky compared to the winter sky.
Finally, it\’s important to properly maintain your solar panels. The good news is that because there are no moving parts there is really very little maintenance required. Basically, you just have to keep them clean.
Rain will do the job for you if it comes on a regular basis and lasts long enough. If not, all you have to do is to take a hose to them to be sure that dirt doesn’t build up. One tip, so you can avoid any problems, is to only use a hose during cooler parts of the day, and never during prime energy generating hours when the panels will be hotter.