How Will Shading Affect My Solar System?

Shading can have a major impact on a solar system's production. If a solar panel is shaded for a time then its production is greatly reduced during the shading.

Solar panels are usually joined together in what are called ‘strings’ or you might call them ‘chains’. Smaller systems usually have one string (or chain) while larger ones can have two, three, or more strings. These work on a ‘weakest link in the chain’ principle. So if one panel is producing less because of shading, then the whole chain will produce less. One way to minimise this type of loss is by the use of microinverters which work on individual panels rather than strings or chains. See - What about microinverters?

Another good way to minimise shading inpact can be use of optimizers. These are fitted to the back of solar panels and results in the panels working in much the same way as micro inverters do. Panels with optimizers fitted are often called "Smart Panels".

In practice, small amounts of time shaded, such as a little early in the morning or late in the afternoon, don’t have a big impact on production. However large amount of shading times do, so shading issues need to be checked and mitigated by use of the right components rather than just going ahead and installing a standard system regardless - which was what many companies do. See - What Do I Need To Know Before Buying A Solar System? 4 Traps To Avoid!

We have instruments to measure shading impact which we use during our site assessment. That way we can inform you of any shading effect, and your best options to mitigate it before you go ahead with a solar system. See - Book An Assessment