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Understanding what affects solar production: does panel efficiency really matter? Part 2

Sunlight Hours

Due to the length of the days, depending on the state, the impact on a monthly basis from summer to winter can cause a variance of up to 50% of the solar output.  So you will often see the impact on your energy bills in summer be much more noticeable than in winter.

Soiling

The output of a panel is directly tied to the amount of light that hits the panel.  The soiling (dust, dirt, bird droppings etc.) can impact the output dramatically.  Generally, this is also tied to the level of rainfall.  In dry dusty environments this will be higher than in cities where rainfall is regular.  To keep up the optimal output we recommend cleaning your solar panels at least annually.

Shading

Level of shading by any obstruction such as trees, neighbours houses, power lines and poles.  Sometimes even if one panel is obstructed it will reduce the output of the whole system.  Also, bear in mind that the system will be with you for 20 + years and trees grow.  If there is shading it may just be obstructed in the late afternoon or early morning and your output won’t be materially impacted.

Temperature

Solar systems like sunlight – not heat.  There is a clear correlation between temperature and output.  Most panels will specify the output at a certain temperature and this will degrade as it gets hotter than this.  However, changes in temperature are generally taken into account when calculating your system performance.

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