If you have solar panels, the sun pays part of your energy bill! Of course, you want your solar panels to continue earning optimal returns, understandably, as energy prices have gone through the roof in the past year. It is no secret that solar panels perform best when the sun shines, but they certainly remain profitable even on cloudy days! We’ll help you increase the output of your solar panels with some tips.
Smartly adjusting your self-consumption
If you have solar panels, it’s best to match your energy use to your solar panels. To do this, you must first and foremost understand your own consumption as well as the production of your solar panels. We can already help you with that second one. Solar panels usually produce the most energy between 11am and 3pm. For optimum efficiency, it is best to utilize as much of your own energy as possible, as this is the cheapest energy! Since solar panels cannot store energy, it is important that you use as much energy as possible immediately. Thus, it is best to use your household appliances during these peak hours. As a customer of H&S Powersolutions, the FusionSolar app allows you to accurately track the exact times when your solar panels are producing the most energy.
Tip: Want to boost your self-consumption even more? A home battery stores excess energy from your solar panels so you can use it at a later time.
Do you have a tree, chimney, pipe or other structure casting shadows on your solar panels? This, of course, negatively affects the output of your solar panels. It’s not called a “solar” panel for nothing. Try to avoid shade as much as possible, but certainly don’t let a little bit of shade deter you! Solar panels work even on cloudy days and in diffuse light! So a little bit of shadow will not have a big effect on the efficiency of your solar panels.
Clean your solar panels
Solar panels require very little maintenance. Still, it does make sense to give your solar panels a thorough cleaning every 2 years. With cleanings, your solar panels will continue to work optimally and you can avoid potential failures in the future. Typically, a cleaning costs about $150. As a customer of H&S Powersolutions, you get a number of free cleanings with your solar panel installation. This will keep your solar panels in top condition throughout the years!
The orientation of your roof
Not only the weather, but also the orientation of your roof can affect the efficiency of your solar panels. The most optimal orientation of your roof would be to the south. This is the direction where at noon the sun reaches its highest point. The optimal orientations for your roof are south, east, west and everything in between. It is best not to install solar panels on north-facing roofs, as the payback period is much longer.
For houses with flat roofs, you don’t need to consider orientation. On flat roofs, solar panels are always placed at an angle of between 30° – 35° to the southern direction. This is the optimum slope and orientation for maximum efficiency.
Tip: You can check how suitable your home is for solar panels on the Flemish government’s Solar Map.
Choose an injection rate
Still don’t manage to fully utilize your own solar energy. Maybe you work during the day or are just away from home often. No disaster! If you opt for an injection rate, you will receive compensation for the surplus energy. The excess solar energy that you don’t use right away then goes into the power grid. At that point, you are actually the seller of energy, and your energy supplier buys it from you.
Note: Not all energy suppliers will give you compensation for injecting your energy into the grid. Also, the amount you get varies by energy provider. See which injection rate will get you the most.
All our tips at a glance:
- Matching your self-consumption to the peak times of your solar panels
- Clean your solar panels every 2 years
- Try to avoid shade on your solar panels as much as possible
- Make sure your roof faces south, east or west
- With a flat roof: make sure the solar panels face south at a degree of 30° – 35°
- Choose the injection rate that best suits your situation