Impact of shading on your solar output
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As our existing customers know, a key feature of Solar Analytics is our patented True Performance monitoring algorithms. Using your system’s configuration and local weather data (solar irradiance, wind speed, temperature, etc.), we automatically monitor your solar system and let you know if it starts producing less solar power than it should - giving you confidence that your investment is functioning as expected, and protecting your solar savings. Side note: go read about the frog in the inverter for a great True Performance story!
Understanding how shading impacts your performance helps you better diagnose the reasons behind a decreasing output and what you can do to fix it.
Tracking solar energy loss due to shading
One of the trickiest elements of True Performance is detecting and quantifying how much solar energy is “lost” due to shading on a site. If a big tree covers your solar panels in the afternoon, we would naturally expect you to generate less solar energy than an equivalent system without this afternoon shading. Seasonal shading in particular is difficult to quantify, due to its variable impact throughout the year. You can see how much solar you're losing to shading by navigating to the Production page of your Dashboard, as in the example below.
Improving the algorithm
Here at Solar Analytics, we’ve recently been working hard on improving the way we quantify shading losses in our True Performance algorithms, using insights from our database of thousands of solar customers. We now “learn” the shading behaviour from a site’s historical data (and other nearby sites similar to it) to better account for each site’s unique circumstances to predict shading losses. Some key changes in the new version of our shading algorithm include:
- Our predictions of shading losses have dramatically improved, particularly on sites with seasonal or fixed shading.
- We can now start predicting shading losses (if they exist) immediately after site commissioning. Previously, the shading algorithm would only start after 14 days of data had been collected.
- Our tests have shown that we’ve reduced the number of “false” under-performance alerts sent to our customers by 25% or more.
Below are a few examples of our new shading algorithm in action - check out the before and after success stories!
Monitoring your solar performance
Issues like shading could be impacting your solar output.
Monitoring your solar performance with a smart solar software like Solar Analytics will help you quickly identify when something is wrong and avoid bill shock at the end of the month. Get peace of mind that your solar is working as it should and if not, we will let you know.
Get started with a free Solar Analytics trial today.