How to make the most of your solar energy system
If you already have a solar energy system in place, that’s certainly one step in the right direction to a greener home. However, there are some common practices you can implement to get the most out of your renewable power model, and most of them rely on a healthy dose of common sense. In fact, it’s very easy to get started.
A solar monitoring application is typically attached to your system’s inverter, measuring the production, storage, and usage of power throughout the day. Most options nowadays allow you to track all these metrics from your desktop computer or mobile device, so you have all the necessary information whenever you need to take a look.
Regularly monitoring your solar energy system helps you detect a number of problems, a dip in the output being one of them. If the system you use provides a warning about the efficiency of your panels, you know that it’s time to call in support and get the issue resolved.
If you need more information and guidance on solar monitoring, read our blog post dedicated to the subject. It’ll cover the types of applications that are available, the data that is collected, and independent providers who can go above and beyond your solar provider.
This next point is a natural follow-up to solar monitoring, with regular check-ups of your solar energy system making it easier to identify potential red flags like a drop in efficiency. In addition to your monitoring application, you should try to schedule a maintenance session once a year, making sure the panels are in the best condition possible.
An ideal time to schedule maintenance would be in autumn, right before winter comes along and suppresses electricity production. During this window, you should also look into your environment, making sure any tree branches or leaves aren’t getting in the way of your panels.
You can extract an incredible amount of information from the monitoring application to maximise the potential of your solar energy system. You’ll get insights into the times of the day when production and usage are at their peaks so that any appliance usage in your home can be timed to use the sun’s energy, as opposed to electricity from the main grid.
Set electronics and appliances on timers to make sure they utilise the sun’s power when your panels are highly productive. Of course, this becomes less of a requirement if you have solar storage devices to power your home through day and night.
There are some panel-specific actions you can take to raise the productivity of your solar energy system.
- The most obvious one is to keep your panels clean. To make sure the photovoltaic cells are operating at maximum efficiency, remove any dust, debris, or leaves that might be covering the surface.
- Panel installation is one of the more underrated factors around. The orientation of your structure will determine how much sun it’s exposed to throughout the day. For starters, the angle should ensure that the panel gets at least 6 hours of sun during the summer months, preferably between 9 am and 3 pm.
- Avoid installing panels in areas that get shade for long durations.
- Use secondary devices like a concentrator to push the productivity of your panel. A concentrator is essentially a concave mirror that uses Fresnel lenses, directing a large area of sunlight to a smaller, more specific location. In this instance, that would be your panel. Concentrators can improve the productivity of your solar energy system, but you need to be careful about overheating your panels by directing an excessive amount of sunlight.
Raise the ROI of your solar energy system
The actions described above are meant to tweak the performance of your solar energy system so that you maximise output and become less reliant on the primary electricity grid. Your savings will rise, and in the end, the return on your investment will increase as well.
In addition, you’re less likely to spend on more panels or other structural additions since the existing model does more than is required.
If you’re considering an investment in a greener home for the first time, contact our team for more information. We at Earthsave offer quotes on both hardware purchases and installations.