solar system

SOLAR ENERGY FOR DOMESTIC USE – DOES A MINI SOLAR SYSTEMS MAKE SENSE?

The most important questions and answers on the subject of mini solar systems at a glance

Go to the hardware store, buy a mini solar system and connect it at home… sounds good, but is it really that easy? Since 2017, operators of such solar systems no longer operate in the legal grey area but are officially allowed to use the solar systems at home. But what exactly are these mini solar systems all about? Does such a small solar system even make sense? Do I have to observe certain regulations? Find out everything worth knowing about the sun harvest in your own four walls.

  • How does a “small” solar system differ from a “big” one?
  • How is a mini solar system constructed?
  • Installation of mini solar systems – Where can I install a mini solar system?
  • Legal aspects: Is it permissible to connect a mini-PV system to the household electricity network via the socket?
  • How do I know if my mini solar system is working properly?
  • What are the electricity meter regulations for mini solar systems?
  • How much does a mini solar system cost?
  • Is a mini solar system worthwhile for the garden house?
  • Conclusion: sunny prospects

Due to the high demand, we have updated this article and added the question “Is a mini solar system worthwhile for the garden house?”.

How does a “small” solar system differ from a “big” one?

Basically, mini solar systems and photovoltaic systems have the same purpose: to collect solar energy, convert it into electrical energy and then use it as electricity. A mini solar system is essentially a miniature conventional PV system.
In comparison to a large PV system, however, plug-in solar devices have the following special features:

  • Small and compact
  • “Plug & Play” (independent assembly, installation, use)
  • Electricity for self-consumption in the house electricity network or as an island system with a battery
  • Mobile and flexible in assembly and operation
  • Rated power: 600 W (0.6 kWp)
  • Independent registration with the network operator and market master data register
  • ImageWhat is the best way to capture the sun’s rays?

The special feature of mini solar systems, in addition to their size and compactness, is that they are designed according to the “Plug & Play” principle. With these “small” solar systems, everything from assembly and connection to use should be able to be carried out independently by private individuals. They are mainly developed for self-consumption and only feed electricity into the house electricity network or into a small battery.
With photovoltaic systems on private houses, on the other hand, sufficient electricity can be generated to feed it into the power grid. The installation and maintenance of the components of such a “large” solar system must be carried out by a specialist company. This also takes care of the registration with the network operator, which can be carried out by the consumer himself in the case of mini solar systems.
The systems also differ in their mobility and flexibility. PV systems are installed on the roof for permanent operation and can only be removed and moved to another building with great effort. Mini solar systems, on the other hand, can be installed on balconies, terraces, on facades or in a sunny spot in the basement and can be easily removed and operated at another location.
While mini solar systems usually consist of one or two modules with a nominal output of 300 watts each, PV systems are made up of several modules and produce between 3 and 20 kilowatts.
Note: Mini solar systems are also known as plug-in solar devices, plug-in solar systems, balcony power plants, balcony modules, mini PV systems and guerrilla PV systems.

How is a mini solar system constructed?

A mini solar system usually comes in a set with the following components :

  • solar panel
  • mounting frame
  • inverter
  • battery
  • Plug and cable for the socket

A plug-in solar system usually has one or two solar modules that can be flexibly combined. An inverter converts the direct current generated by the solar system into alternating current so that the current can be fed into the 230-volt household power supply. For off-grid systems that are not connected to the domestic power grid, the inverter function should be able to switch off automatically.

Tip: If you would like to evaluate your yield data and the performance curve of the solar system, opt for a set with a display and Ethernet connection on the inverter. You can use software to visualize your energy yield.

How big and how heavy are mini solar systems?

The standard format of such a solar module is 1 MX 1.70 m with a typical nominal output of 300 watts and a weight of up to 20 kg.
In addition to the standard modules, smaller and lighter solar modules with outputs of 50-150 watts are also available. These are suitable, for example, for mounting on balcony parapets. However, two to four of these modules must be connected to an inverter for it to work efficiently.

What does Wp or Watt Peak mean for a solar system?

Since the performance of a solar system depends on the solar radiation, it varies greatly depending on the day, the weather and the time. In order to have a comparable nominal output, the peak output and thus the output under standard conditions with full solar radiation is specified with “Watt Peak” (in short: Wp).
The power actually generated often deviates from this value depending on the weather conditions. As a guideline, a mini solar system with 100 Wp achieves an output of 90 kWh of electricity per year.

Installation of mini solar systems – Where can I install a mini solar system?

In order to be able to harvest solar energy ideally, it is first necessary to find a sunny place where the solar module or modules can be attached.
Mini solar systems can be mounted in many places such as:

  • balcony
  • terrace
  • facade
  • garden
  • roof

The purpose of a mini solar system is that the consumer can connect it almost intuitively and save installation costs. The systems are therefore usually designed in such a way that the installation can also be carried out by non-professionals.
The mounting frame supplied is an elevation triangle made of aluminium or steel. Not only do they provide secure support, they also ensure the tilt that allows for the best possible yield. Although environmentally friendly frames made from recycled paper reduce CO2 emissions, they can have a negative impact on the yield of the solar module.
Tip: Make sure that the screws are tight and that the mounting frame offers a firm hold even in strong winds.

Legal aspects: Is it permissible to connect a mini-PV system to the household electricity network via the socket?

no . In some EU countries, it is permitted to plug the plug-in solar modules with an output of up to 600 Wp into a normal household socket. In Germany, however, a special power connector is required according to DIN VDE 0628-1. This is a so-called feed socket. In Germany, the so-called Wieland socket and the associated Wieland plug have become established.
If the mini solar system is not used as an island system but is fed into the domestic power grid, not only does the power socket have to be installed by a specialist, but they also check the existing circuit and replace the fuse if necessary.
This topic is still controversial in Germany. While some consider the connection of solar systems with up to 600 watts to the normal socket to be harmless, others warn against it. Technology for the direct transmission of energy via solar radiation has not yet been developed.
The German Society for Solar Energy (DGS) advocates simplified regulations and demands official permission to operate mini solar systems via a Schuko plug. Associations such as the VDE advise caution and generally recommend having the installation carried out by a qualified electrician.
Note: Never connect several mini solar systems via multiple sockets. A separate socket must be provided for each mini solar system to prevent overloading of the power line and cable fire.

How do I know if my mini solar system is working properly?

Everything mounted, connected, in operation… and now? The solar modules themselves and also the inverter does not show directly whether a solar system is working properly and how much it is doing.
Some inverters have an LED that lights up or flashes to indicate certain operating states. However, it does not show if a device is working properly and how much it is performing. If your inverter has a power measurement, you can read out, save and evaluate the performance data externally.
Alternatively, the power can be measured via the socket. Plug a standard power meter between the socket and the consumer – for example, your refrigerator. Depending on the power meter, you can not only determine the power consumption of the refrigerator but also measure the power in the opposite direction and thus determine the power generated. Intelligent sockets, such as those used in smart homes, often have an energy measurement function.
If you use a solar module with a connection using a Wieland special plug, there are still no compatible power meters and intelligent sockets. In this case, small measuring electronics can be installed in the socket, which measures the current flow and transmits the measurement data to a terminal device via WLAN or Bluetooth.

What are the electricity meter regulations for mini solar systems?

Bidirectional meter – Do you also have electricity flowing in all directions?  mini solar systems
Bidirectional meter

If you connect your mini solar system to your home electricity network, there are also special regulations regarding the electricity meter. Your electrical installation must have a counter with a backstop or a bidirectional counter.
The background is as follows: Especially on particularly sunny days, you may not be able to fully use the electricity generated by your small solar system. If there is a connection to the domestic power grid, your excess electricity flows into the public power grid.
In this case, a conventional counter without a backstop simply rotates backwards and that is forbidden in Germany. Because the price for the electricity consumed (approx. 30 cents per kWh) is significantly higher than the value specified in the EEG feed-in tariff (11 cents per kWh). You would get your excess electricity reimbursed for a much higher price through the return function.
In the case of a meter with a backstop, the meter reading cannot be reduced by electricity fed into the grid. If you would like to record the current fed into the grid, we recommend installing a bidirectional meter. It is designed to measure consumed and fed-in power separately.

How much does a mini solar system cost?

In recent years, the prices of solar modules have fallen sharply, so energy generation using photovoltaics is becoming increasingly affordable. With mini solar systems, the step towards environmentally friendly electricity seems even closer. The market for mini solar systems is growing and some models are available for as little as €300.
However, if you are looking for a high-quality and safe product, you should expect costs of between €400 and €1000. The German Society for Solar Energy (DGS) offers a market overview with performance data, manufacturer and price.

Is a mini solar system worth it and when will it pay for itself?

For maximum performance, the sun’s rays must fall as vertically as possible. The right location is therefore essential for a quick return on investment. As a guideline, a good mini solar system with 100 Wp can be expected to yield 90 kWh of electricity per year.
For an estimated amortization calculation, let’s assume a 300Wp mini solar system, which therefore achieves 270 kWh per year. With an average electricity price of around 30 cents per kWh, the mini-PV system offers electricity savings of around €80 per year.
If you have invested a total of €800 in your mini solar system, it will pay for itself after 10 years. Service life of at least 20 years can be assumed for high-quality mini-PV systems.
TipNot only shading but also soiling of the modules can lead to reduced energy yields. Therefore, check and clean your module regularly.

Is a mini solar system worthwhile for the garden house?

Many gardens and garden houses are not connected to the public power supply.
Of course, the purpose of a garden plot is actually to spend some time in the countryside, but for one or the other application, some electricity would be very practical.
While the classic solution for generating electricity is a generator, a mini solar system for the garden house offers numerous advantages:
⦁ Energy is generated from the sun and thus from a renewable energy source
⦁ Mini solar systems are quiet and do not disturb the environment
⦁ Thanks to inexpensive solar systems, no major investments are necessary and the electricity generated by the sun is free
⦁ Plug-in solar systems can be installed quickly and easily
⦁ Very little to no maintenance is required
⦁ Mini solar systems have a long service life of at least 20 years
You often spend time in the garden when the sun is shining and the solar cells are generating electricity. However, if you want to use the solar energy generated during the day in the evening and at night, it is worth buying a battery.
The unused energy is fed into the battery and can be used at a later time. Such an energy store is particularly ideal for evening lighting and for the operation of small electronic devices.

Conclusion: sunny prospects

The concept of the mini solar system offers a simplified way of taking the first steps towards solar energy in your own home without having to make major investments. Mini solar systems are also ideal for stand-alone systems. Above all, they can actually be used according to the “Plug & Play” principle.
If you don’t want to use your mini PV system for the allotment garden or camping trips, but actually want to contribute something to the domestic electricity, you still have a few things to consider. The standard stipulates, among other things, a professional inspection of the domestic electrical installation. In addition, a power socket and the right electricity meter are mandatory.
Even if consumers are still faced with a few obstacles when it comes to repairing their small solar system, the approval of mini solar systems and the relaxation of the law in recent years represent an important step for flexibility and DIY in the field of solar energy.
If you want to protect the environment and at the same time enjoy some independence from the electricity provider, mini solar systems can offer an interesting solution. Will you also follow the sun?

PWM or MPPT? Distinguish the advantages and disadvantages

PWM vs MPPT
PWM vs MPPT

the choice of solar street light controller is no longer difficult

PWM or MPPT Under light conditions, solar street lights convert solar energy into electric energy through solar panels and store it in a battery. When needed, it converts the battery’s electric energy into light energy to bring light to the night and save it all. To achieve it, another inconspicuous but very important configuration is needed, and that is the photovoltaic controller.

Only with it can the electric energy generated by the solar panel be stored in the storage battery after transformation. In addition, it can also protect the storage battery and prevent the storage battery from overcharging. At present, there are two popular ones on the market. , PWM and MPPT controllers, two have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the adaptation scenarios are also different. Let’s take a look at it in detail below.

1. PWM controller (pulse width debugging method)

Early controllers were generally of this kind. The electrical structure was relatively simple. It consisted of a power main switch, a capacitor, a driver, and a protection circuit. It was actually equivalent to a switch that connected the component and the battery together. The voltage of the component will be pulled down to be close to the voltage of the battery pack.

This kind of controller uses a three-stage charging method: strong charge, balanced charge, and floating charge.

  • Strong charge: also called direct charge, which means rapid charging. When the battery voltage is low, the battery is charged with a high current and relatively high voltage.
  • Equalized charge: After the strong charge is over, the battery will stand for a period of time, and when the voltage naturally drops to a certain value, it will enter the state of equalized charge, so that the battery terminal voltage has a uniform consistency.
  • Floating charge: After the equalization charge is over, the battery will also stand for a period of time. When the voltage naturally drops to the “maintenance voltage” point, it is the floating charge stage, so that the battery can be kept in a satisfactory state of charge without overcharging.

The controller of this charging method can solve the problem of battery dissatisfaction and guarantee the service life of the battery. But it should be noted that the charging efficiency of the PWM controller will be affected by temperature. When the solar cell temperature is around 45~75℃, the charging efficiency is the best

2. MPPT controller (maximum power point tracking method)

This kind of controller is more complicated, and the cost is a little higher. The price is usually several times or even dozens of times that of the PWM controller. It can adjust the input voltage in order to obtain the maximum energy from the solar panel.

After that, the voltage is transformed into the charging voltage required by the battery, which cuts off the direct link between the solar panel and the battery, allowing the high-voltage solar panel to charge the low-voltage battery. It is divided into MPPT current limiting charging and constant voltage equalizing charging. And constant voltage float charge three-stage mode.

  • MPPT current-limiting charging: When the battery terminal voltage is very small, the MPPT charging method is used to draw the output power of the solar panel to the battery terminal. When the light intensity is strong, the output power of the solar panel increases, and the charging current reaches the threshold, then it is terminated MPPT charging will switch to constant current charging; when the light intensity becomes weak, it will switch to MPPT charging mode.
  • Constant voltage equalization charging: the battery can switch freely between MPPT charging mode and constant current charging mode. When the battery voltage reaches the saturation voltage, it enters the constant voltage equalization stage. As the battery charging current gradually decreases, it reaches 0.01C. At this time, the charging phase is terminated and enters the floating charging phase.
  • Constant voltage floating charge: Float the battery with a voltage slightly lower than that of constant voltage charging. This stage is mainly used to supplement the energy consumed by the self-discharge of the battery.

Compared with the PWM controller, the MPPT controller has a maximum power tracking function. Before the battery reaches the saturation state, during the charging period, it can ensure that the solar panel always outputs the maximum power without being affected by the temperature. From the charging efficiency, In other words, it is naturally higher than PWM or MPPT.

In addition, the PWM controller can only be used with related voltages. For example, the 12V system battery board can only be used with the 12V controller and battery. It is suitable for some small off-grid systems below 2kw. The structure is simple, the user wiring is convenient, and the price is relatively cheap.

The MPPT controller uses a larger space. Generally, the solar panel voltage can be used between 12V and 170V, and the battery voltage is adjustable from 12 to 96V. The applicability is stronger, and it is suitable for large-scale off-grid systems above 2kw. , High efficiency, and flexible component configuration.

Introduction to the Solar System and its Components

Introduction

The solar radiation that reaches the Earth in a year represents more than 10,000 times the world’s energy consumption of all forms and combined uses and our benefactor star has a predictable lifespan of 5 billion years.

More Over

Fossil (coal, oil and gas) and fissile energy deposits (uranium), even the most extreme, represent only a few dozen years at the rate of their current consumption (one little more than a century for coal), and since this consumption does not cease to increase, in particular with the thirst for “savings emerging ”from the most populous countries on the planet (China, India, Brazil) to imitate our own behaviours, the end of their exhaustion does not stop getting closer.

 Solar system installation
Solar system installation

Photovoltaic Effect

The photovoltaic effect, discovered in 1839 by the French Antoine-César Becquerel, designates the capacity that certain materials have, especially semiconductors, to directly convert the different components of sunlight (not heat) into electricity.
The photovoltaic effect thus represents the only existing alternative to
production of electricity from the mechanical force, since all other techniques without exception, renewable or not, make use of rotating generators (alternators or dynamos) which can be operated in various ways: steam, wind, the force of water, current sailors …

Advantages:

In addition to this specificity which clearly distinguishes it from others technical, photovoltaics has many qualities that have as many advantages:
Based on an imperceptible physical phenomenon
its functioning causes absolutely no nuisance or impact on the environment
immediate
no movement, no noise, no smell, no emission whatsoever.
The operation of a photovoltaic system does not require any moving part, the risk of breakdown or accident is therefore almost zero and the level of reliability very high.
The physical characteristics of photovoltaic materials do not deteriorate over time, and the performance of the panel’s decreases, that we can possibly observe and mainly due to minor manufacturing imperfections, is very slow and very limited, this which allows manufacturers to provide a guarantee of performance that can go up to 30 years old.
Apart from the investment cost, access to energy resources primary is completely free and free, since it is the light of the sun, and since the maintenance and servicing needs are very reduced (they mainly concern the electronic regulation and connection), the economic outcome is predictable with a high degree of certainty.
The amount of energy recoverable in a given location is directly proportional to the area exposed to sunlight, which gives photovoltaics an intrinsically modular and flexible character: the surface area of ​​the sensors ranges from a few cm2 to supply a calculator to several hundred thousand m2 for ground-based plants and this size can be changed at any time by simple addition (or withdrawal) of “slices”, without even interrupting the operation of the existing installation.
Free, harmless, accessibility, security, reliability, modularity, flexibility: the combination of these qualities available to photovoltaics means that its fields of application are extremely diverse and can meet a wide variety of needs in all kinds of situations, especially more than the different manufacturing technologies of the modules which are available today and will be tomorrow thanks to the many axes industry research to adapt the photovoltaic system the characteristics of the place and the intended use of the energy produced.

Sites Isolation

Certain sites, dwellings or others, are not or cannot be connected to the public distribution network because it is technically too complex to extend the network to them (in mountainous areas by example) or because the cost of such an operation is not justified by compared to other existing solutions. These sites are called "sites isolated ”.

Solar Voltaic Energy

However, it is often essential to have access to electricity in order to provide some basic services such as lighting, production of cold, or the power of radio. These sites may then be supplied with electricity by solar photovoltaic energy.
Photovoltaic solar makes it possible to bring electricity to an isolated site, there where it is expensive to produce.

The components of a solar system

THE PHOTOVOLTAIC MODULE

The module includes several photovoltaic cells assembled together to each other thanks to an electrical circuit, the photovoltaic module is the central element of a photovoltaic Solar system. To avoid damage caused by the return of current to the module, a bypass diode is installed on each diode. The dimension of the modules photovoltaics varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

UPS

The function of the inverter is to transform the direct current coming from AC panels. Using an inverter is not essential for isolated sites.

THE CONVERTER

Converters make it possible to adapt the power generated in order to make it useful. We have two types of converters for a panel solar: DC / DC and DC / AC. The former provide a DC voltage different from the incoming one and the others make it possible to obtain a AC voltage.

THE SOLAR BATTERY

The role of the battery is to store energy for use when the panels don’t create energy at night. The
Solar batteries are essential on an isolated site. The batteries are charged during daylight periods in order to be able to supply the site night or days with very bad weather.

THE REGULATOR OR CHARGE CONTROLLER

The regulator allows regulating the energy coming from the panels until the battery stops charging the battery when it is fully charged in order to avoid overcharging the battery and discharge, by controlling the outgoing energy. The regulator prevents the battery from ageing prematurely and optimizes charging and discharging.
Most consumer electrical appliances operate on alternating currents. These devices will require an inverter that will transform the direct current, produced by panels, in alternating current.

PRINCIPLE

Electricity produced in direct current by solar panels

(1) is stored in lead-acid batteries
(2) A solar regulator
(3) protects batteries from too deep discharges and overloads.
(4) Electricity is consumed in the receivers

as needed of the user:
direct current (12V, 24V) directly from the battery, for small systems
in alternating current 230V, via an inverter, for solar system fatter Autonomous solar system are very easy to use, they do not require almost any maintenance compared to a group generator. They are also completely silent and do not generate pollution (exhaust gas, used oil, CO2).
It costs less than an extension of the Sénélec electrical network (if there is more than one km to cover), and once purchased, there is no more bill to pay!

SIZING

An autonomous solar system is sized according to the needs user's electrical system. In the case of solar photovoltaic, the battery undergoes most of the time one cycle per day, that is, it is recharged during the day and then discharged in the evening. The depth of battery discharge at each cycle directly influences its battery life.

The deeper the discharge, the shorter the battery life.

COST

The price of panels has been falling steadily since 2008 and has reached very low levels today. Inverters and regulators, such as many electronic devices, see their prices drop little by little.
Only batteries remain expensive, and their price is not close to going down because of the lead speculation and the demand generated by electric automobiles.
This makes off-site solar systems more and more accessible, but not within the reach of all budgets because of the batteries.

How to install solar panels correctly?

Solar panels work most efficiently when they are directed towards the sun and their surface is perpendicular to the sun’s rays. How to determine such a position of solar panels in which they will generate the maximum amount of energy per day? What is the best orientation for solar panels? The sun moves across the sky from east to west. The position of the Sun in the sky is determined by 2 coordinates – declination and azimuth. Declination is the angle between the line connecting the observer and the Sun and the horizontal surface. Azimuth is the angle between the direction to the Sun and the direction to the south (see the figure to the right).

Declination and azimuth. Solar panel orientation

It should also be borne in mind that the direction to the magnetic south (i.e. by the compass) does not always coincide with the direction to the true south. There are true and magnetic poles that do not coincide. Accordingly, there are true and magnetic meridians. And from both, you can count the direction to the desired object. In one case, we will deal with the true azimuth, in the other – with the magnetic one. True azimuth is the angle between the true (geographic) meridian and the direction to a given item. Magnetic azimuth — the angle between the magnetic meridian and the direction to a given object. It is clear that the true and magnetic azimuths differ by the same amount by which the magnetic meridian differs from the true one. This value is called magnetic declination. If the compass needle deviates from the true meridian to the east, the magnetic declination is called east, if the needle deviates to the west, the declination is called west. The eastern declination is often denoted by the “+” (plus) sign, the western – by the “-” (minus) sign. The magnitude of the magnetic declination is not the same in different areas. So, for the Moscow region, the declination is +7, + 8 °, but in general, on the territory of Russia, it changes in more significant limits. See also “How to Calculate True Bearing from Declination and Magnetic Bearing”.

Solar system installation
Solar system installation

Generally speaking, there are only three options to increase the exposure of the solar panel to direct sunlight:

  • Installation of solar panels on a fixed structure at an optimal angle
  • Installation on a two-axis tracker (a turntable that can rotate behind the sun in two planes)
  • Installation on a single-axis tracker (the platform can only change one axis, most often the one that is responsible for the tilt)

Options No. 2 and No. 3 have their advantages (a significant increase in the operating time of the solar battery and some increase in energy production), but there are also disadvantages: a higher price, a decrease in the reliability of the system due to the introduction of moving elements, the need for additional maintenance, etc. .NS.). We will consider the feasibility of using trackers in a separate article, but for now, we will only talk about option # 1 – a fixed structure, or a fixed structure with a variable angle of inclination.

Solar panels are usually located on a roof or supporting structure in a fixed position and cannot track the position of the sun during the day. Therefore, usually, solar panels are not at the optimal angle (90 degrees to the sun’s rays) all day long. The angle between the horizontal plane and the solar panel is commonly referred to as the tilt angle.

Sun angle 1 1 orientation of solar panels, tilt angle

Due to the movement of the Earth around the Sun, there are also seasonal variations. In winter, the sun does not reach the same angle as in summer. Ideally, solar panels should be positioned more horizontally in summer than in winter. Therefore, the angle of inclination for work in summer is chosen less than for work in winter. If it is not possible to change the angle of inclination twice a year, then the panels should be located at the optimal angle, the value of which lies somewhere in the middle between the optimal angles for summer and winter. Each latitude has its own optimal angle of inclination of the panels. Only for areas near the equator, the solar panels should be located almost horizontally (but even there they are installed at a slight angle to allow rain to wash away dirt from the solar panel).

  • Optimal tilt angles of solar panels for different latitudes
  • Optimal tilt angles of solar panels for different latitudes

Usually, for spring and autumn, the optimal angle of inclination is taken equal to the value of the latitude of the area. For winter, 10-15 degrees are added to this value, and in summer 10-15 degrees are subtracted from this value. Therefore, it is usually recommended to change the slope angle from “summer” to “winter” twice a year. If this is not possible, then the angle of inclination is chosen approximately equal to the latitude of the terrain. Moreover, the angle of inclination also depends on the latitude of the terrain. See the table to the right.

Example

The share of energy production from a photovoltaic system at an inclination of 45 degrees, for an area latitude of 52 degrees north latitude.

West southwest south southeast east

78% 94% 97% 94% 78%

Yield is at its maximum (100%) when the panels are angled 36 degrees and oriented south. As you can see from the table, the difference between the directions to the south, southeast and southwest are negligible.

For example, in summer, the optimum angle of inclination is 30-40 degrees, and in winter – more than 70, depending on the latitude of the area. In spring and autumn, the angle of inclination has an average value between the value of the angle for summer and winter.

For autonomous systems, the optimal tilt angle depends on the monthly load schedule, that is, if more energy is consumed in a given month, then the tilt angle must be chosen optimally for this particular month.

The optimum tilt angle for latitude 52 degrees (North) for grid-connected systems is 36 degrees.

Small deviations up to 5 degrees from this optimum have little effect on module performance. The difference in weather conditions has a greater impact on the generation of electricity. For autonomous systems, the optimum tilt angle depends on the monthly load schedule, i.e. if more energy is consumed in a given month, then the angle of inclination should be chosen optimally for this particular month. Also, you need to consider what kind of shading there is during the day. For example, if you have a tree on the east side, and everything is clear on the west side, then, most likely, it makes sense to shift the orientation from the exact south to the southwest.

Dependence of the production of solar cells on the direction to the Sun

The width of the sunbeam depending on the location of the Sun.

The calculation of the amount of solar energy received by solar panels when the sun’s rays fall at an angle other than 90 °, consider the following example:

Example: solar panels are oriented south, no longitudinal tilt. The sun shines from the southeast. The line drawn perpendicularly between the solar panels and the direction to the Sun has an angle equal to 360/8 = 45 degrees. The width of one beam of incident solar radiation will be tan (| 90-45 |) / sin (| 90-45 |) = 1.41, and the amount of solar energy received by the solar panels will be equal to 1 / 1.41 = 71% of the power that was would be obtained if the Sun shone exactly from the south.

A good article describing experimental tests of the production of solar panels installed at different angles – Full-scale tests of the optimal installation angle of the SB, the effect of cleaning solar panels installed at different angles from snow is also considered there.

If you are faced with difficulties while choosing solar panels, grid inverters for your solar power plant, or you need help with installation – please contact us, our engineers will be able to offer the best option. We have been working in the solar panels market for over 18 years, during this time we have accumulated good experience, and we will be happy to help you.

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