Optimize Solar for Your San Antonio Home
To get the most out of your system quality panels are key. There are, however, some things you can do to enhance your panel efficiency.
Cleaning Your Solar Panels Affects Power Output
One of the easy ways in which you can make a difference in your energy production is keeping your panels clean. Having panels cleaned on a regular basis can increase efficiency by 30 percent.
What Cleaning Your Panels Does
Over time debris collects on panels. For the most part, rain does a pretty good job of keeping your panels clean. There are times, however, when you need to do some extra cleaning.
How To Clean Your Solar Panels
If you want you can hire a professional to clean your solar panels, but generally you don’t need to. The best way to clean your panels is to get out your water hose and spray them off from the ground. This will get most of the build-up off your panels.
It is not suggested to use harsh chemicals or water with high mineral content. This is because they will leave a residue on the glass of the panels. The residue will defeat the purpose of cleaning them, to begin with.
The recommendation is to clean your panels once or twice a year depending on how often you get rain storms. If you don’t want to clean your panels you have other options. You can get a cleaning robot, install an automatic cleaning system, or hire a professional.
Solar Products That Increase Panel Performance
The components used in conjunction with your panels also affect your overall performance. It is important to make sure that all the components are the best fit for your situation.
The Right Inverter Can Make A Huge Difference
Inverters are the heart of a solar array. They control wither your power is being converted to usable alternating current.
Having a high-quality inverter is imperative to achieving max solar production. Most solar inverters are only warrantied for 10 years. This is half the life of solar panels.
Finding an inverter with a warranty that matches the life of your panels is ideal. This is because it proves that the manufacturer has faith in the quality of their product.
When Power Optimizers Are The Right Choice
Although we recommend the SMA string inverter for most of our solar installations. There are situations in which this inverter is not the best choice.
String inverters on their own are not the best option if you have a home that has some shaded areas. It is also not ideal for homes with multiple angles that don’t have enough space for a string of panels.
In these cases, we use Solar Edge power optimizers with their single phase inverter. These are the better choice over a micro-inverter for a couple of reasons:
- better efficiency per panel
- doesn’t require as much wiring
- centralized ground level inverter (maintenance and software update ease)
- cost per watt is less
- able to work with a wide verity of panels
The Role Of Solar Backup In System Optimization
Another way to enhance your power production is through a solar backup. Backup allows you to optimize your production by storing it for later use.
Go Solar Group has several backup options that allow you to choose how much power you want to store for later. You can get everything from storage for your whole home to emergency backup in an outage.
Other Ways To Enhance Your Solar Array Productivity
The productivity of your system is also reliant on your energy consumption habits. If you are serious about getting the most out of your solar array there are a couple out of the box things you can do.
Replacing Your Appliances
Replacing all your appliances is unnecessary, however, all appliances have a lifespan. Eventually, your washer or heater will die. Replacing your worn out appliances with energy efficient ones is a no-brainer.
Energy Star’s website shows the wide range of energy efficient products you can get. They also show you what rebates are available for your zip code.
Becoming Conscious Of Your Usage Habits
Another way in which you can get the most out of your solar array is by being smart with your usage. Most people that get solar stay connected to the grid.
When you stay connected you are able to access power when the sun is down. In turn, you get credited for the excess power that you produce when the sun was shining. The problem is that your production is often purchased by the utility at a lower rate.
To get the most out of your array you need to use power when it will be the cheapest for you. Nighttime usage is often the most expensive because there are more people using it.
When you complete your large energy activities during the day you pay less for the same amount of energy. The problem is that not everyone has the luxury of being home during the day.
This, however, doesn’t mean you can’t do some high energy activities during the day. Many set delayed timers on their appliances before leaving for work. Others plan these activities on days that they will be home during the afternoon. This allows them to utilize the power they are producing instead of paying extra for power taken off the grid at night.
Solar panels are warrantied for 25 years, but your system will last much longer if you do your part. You can heighten your solar experience with regular maintenance, quality products, and energy efficient practices.