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Shading on solar panels and how to defeat it without breaking the bank

If you have unavoidable shading on some of your solar panels, then you probably already know that it is going to bring down the production of all the panels in that same string...and until recently the only solution was to use system wide micro inverters (Enphase) or DC optimisers (SolarEdge) on EVERY panel, shaded or not, at huge expense.

But today we have multiple new options that can smash that shade power loss, without spending a fortune.

Now, you can either fit a Tigo optimiser (approx $100 each) to those panels that might get some shade, or you can install panels that have optimisers built-in (Maxim chips - about $20 a panel more) or you can get an Huawei hybrid (battery) inverter that has its own Tigo like optimisers.

Suddenly defeating shade costs a few hundred dollars, not a few thousand.

How they all work is so simple.
Just remember this simple formula Voltage(V) x Current(A)= Power(W)

All these clever gizmos do is make sure that the current of the string is maintained.
The optimised panel cops some shade, instantly drops its voltage, which raises the current to match the rest of the string. It's called impendence matching. The shaded panel makes less power, because less Volts x the same Amps = less Watts but it's less power (Watts) for that panel only, not the whole string.

There are some panel manufacturers (REC and Q.Cells are the best known) who have developed split solar cells in an effort to reduce the effect of shade on a panel. Their efforts are admirable but the end result is a pale imitation of what a Tigo on a panel, or a Maxim chip inside a panel can do for you, at a really low cost.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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