While buying solar panels, people usually enquire about a lot of things such as proper installation; maintenance; cost of output; long-term savings and so on. However, few enquire about the affects of shades on solar systems and how to maximize output even if your rooftop panels are shaded by nearby tall buildings or trees. While modern panels do work even under poor light conditions, the fact remains that you can get maximum output when no part of the panel is under shade. So understanding how shades affect solar panels and what you should do to remedy the situation will help you to buy the right panels and install them correctly.
Shade Decreases the Efficiency of Solar Panels
To understand how this happens, you must first understand how solar panels work. Each panel has multiple cells each of which gets activated when sunlight falls on it. The activated cells then push electrons from one side to the other both within and to adjacent cells. This movement of electron from one cell to another is what generates solar electricity. Understandably, all the cells are linked together and act like a continuous pipe through which electricity flows. When a particular cell becomes shaded and does not receive adequate sunlight, the electrons within it are not activated enough. This cell then does not pump out the required electrons to its neighbouring cells and a gap is created within the pipe. However, other photovoltaic cells that are under direct sunlight will try to compensate for this gap so that your panels will generate some electricity but not the maximum it can produce. Industry experts estimate that you lose about twenty percent of the expected output if about twenty percent of your panel is under shade.