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How does shading and dirt affect the performance of my panels?

Solar PV panels should ideally be in full sun from at least 9am to 3pm and are most effective if they can be positioned to operate longer when the household uses most power. This is generally in the afternoon. Shade is the enemy of solar. Even a small amount of shade from trees, roof ventilators or antennas will have an impact on the output of a panel, as it changes the flow of electricity through the panel. Modules should not be placed in shaded areas and should be kept free from dust and dirt; the panels should also be positioned on an angle, so that the next rainstorms will wash off any accumulated dust. Panels lying at an angle above 10° will self-clean when it rains, and our quality LG panels have glass which is designed to allow dirt to be washed off easily.

For most panels, shading or dirt on just one of the parts of a solar panel will result in a significant loss of power from that panel. When panels are connected together in strings down to the inverter, loss in one panel may affect the performance of other panels in the string, not just the one that is shaded. Where shading is significant optimised string inverters or individual micro inverters are recommended.

Shading and debri can affect performance of panels