Understanding What Affects Solar Production: Part 1

School & Education / Sustainability by Tom Edwards

Factors affecting solar production

It may sound complex. But solar is simpler than you think.

At UNIfied Energy Services, we aim to take the complexity out of the solar process to make it easy to understand, quick and affordable, for your family. Let’s get started!

Understanding what affects solar production: does panel efficiency really matter? Part 1


Number of Connections: the more splits or connections along the system reduces the energy output of the solar system.  This is because each connection creates an additional point of resistance along the electrical circuit.

Cable Length: the more cable used will reduce the system efficiency as the longer the cable, the larger the electrical losses.  As such, inverter placement and distance to the switchboard need to be taken into account.

Cable Thickness: the thinner the cable will exaggerate the losses on the system. There is a minimum thickness that is allowable by the Clean Energy Council. Often a budget solar system will use thinner wiring as it is cheaper however the losses are greater.

Energy losses due to the quality of wiring and installation can be between 1% and 8% / year

Angle/Roof Pitch

Optimal pitch for solar production is 30 degrees.  The standard pitch for a roof in Australia is between 15 and 22.5 degrees.  Loss of output from 30 degrees to a flat roof 95 degrees is approximately 10%.


Panels facing true north will provide the optimal level of output in Australia.  In general, panels that are facing directly east or west will produce about 20 percent less electricity than if they were facing north.

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