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. However there are ways to lessen these effects meaning that even partly shaded systems can have high production.

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. In the past, if one panel was shaded, all the panels wired in that string were equally effected. With modern panels however this affect is mitigated. Effects of shading can also be further lessened by use of other technologies, such as mico inverters - although micro inverters add substantially to the cost of the system. See - What about microinverters?

A less expensive 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". Further advancements in technology of inverters also means that some premium inverters have software that mitigate shading effects equal to or better than optimizers and this can be even more cost effective, depending on the system design.

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, but good design and selection of components can lessen shading in many cases. 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