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Solar Panel Output Efficiency


ccronje
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Good day, 

I have a fairly basic question regarding my solar panel efficiency and was hoping someone could shed some light on it for me (pun not intended).

I have 6 x 330watt solar panels that as far as I understand are connected in a 3s2p configuration (Make/model : Waaree Energies WS-330). In my understanding this should have a maximum possible output of 1980watt. The panels are facing East on roughly a 30 degree angle.

On a clear sunny day in Cape Town winter I get a maximum output of around 800watt from the panels at the best time of the day, which is significantly less than I expected. 

Is this just what I should expect from solar panels that are facing East, or could it be that there is some kind of physical problem with the panels and/or the way they are connected?

Would appreciate any input you may have.

Thank you

Chris

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, ccronje said:

Good day, 

I have a fairly basic question regarding my solar panel efficiency and was hoping someone could shed some light on it for me (pun not intended).

I have 6 x 330watt solar panels that as far as I understand are connected in a 3s2p configuration (Make/model : Waaree Energies WS-330). In my understanding this should have a maximum possible output of 1980watt. The panels are facing East on roughly a 30 degree angle.

On a clear sunny day in Cape Town winter I get a maximum output of around 800watt from the panels at the best time of the day, which is significantly less than I expected. 

Is this just what I should expect from solar panels that are facing East, or could it be that there is some kind of physical problem with the panels and/or the way they are connected?

Would appreciate any input you may have.

Thank you

Chris

 

 

 

Could be that one of your strings is not connected correctly. Those MC4 connections can be faulty or not correctly fitted if you made up some of your own cables.

Try connecting each string on its own to the inverter and see what the output is. 

Edited by Achmat
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If you are not able to face your panels north, then lowering the angle will give you better output mid day when the rays have to travel through less atmosphere, which will make it a lot more efficient.

Edited by stoic
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Sounds about right to me , I have 5 x 455w panels facing east , and they max out around 1kw+- at the moment  on a clear day. Same size North west array is producing about 1350watts max. 

Edited by Nexuss
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26 minutes ago, Nexuss said:

Sounds about right to me , I have 5 x 455w panels facing east , and they max out around 1kw+- at the moment  on a clear day. Same size North west array is producing about 1350watts max. 

Interesting, thank you for the info

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5 hours ago, ccronje said:

Interesting, it seems like time of the year makes a much bigger difference on EAST, compared to North.

Yes, remember that in mid winter the sun rises NE (60°) and sets NW(300°) (at CPT latitude anyway), so East or West facing panels are never pointing straight at the sun.

In summer the sun rises SE and sets SW, so at mid-morning the East panels at least face directly towards the sun.

For most people the size of the PV array is determined by the requirements in winter, and in winter it is really important that they should face as close to North as possible.

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  • 5 weeks later...

@Calvin very curious as to the impact of tilt on the north facing configuration? Say 0 or 2 degrees tilt. 

I have a single panel installed on an almost flat kliplok roof facing north in Johannesburg. But happy to use cpt for ballpark impact

Edited by zathras
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  • 2 weeks later...

I am also curious to find out if my system is working correctly, used the following site  https://re.jrc.ec.europa.eu/pvg_tools/en/tools.html.  There is a certain inherent inefficiency associated with PV systems, for the 9 panel set it was estimated to be about 14% linked to temp and angle being suboptimal, (should be closer to 35 degrees)

There is weather station nearby from where I extracted solar radiation, the above software uses historical climatic data and could vary significantly from what was experienced on the ground eg Feb 2020.  Low solar radiation linked to rain and cloudy conditions.  I have 2 sets of panels 8 and 9, there is large variation month on month but the grand total appeared to be ok.  Info on my panels

  NE NW combined
no panels 8 9 17
watt per panel 365 365 365
installed peak power kW 2.92 3.285 6.205
degrees 9 289  
Azimuth -9 71  
Angle 12 17  

efficiency of PV.jpg

Edited by BGb
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