How does shading of trees or from the building next door affect the performance of my system?
In the simplest of terms, solar panels need to be in the sun to generate electricity so any shading will reduce their output. Although some shading does not rule out the use of solar power, the effects can be significant and we recommend that you request that the solar power system installer undertake a shading analysis before you buy if the area where you intend installing the solar panels is affected by shading. You should also bear in mind that the impact of shading varies by season too, as shadows get longer and can affect larger areas in the winter months.
Minor effects such as shading in the early morning or late afternoon have a much smaller impact. However, large trees, chimneys or neighboring buildings can have a very significant impact and should be carefully analyzed to ensure that an accurate assessment is made.
It is also important to understand that because of the way most solar systems are connected together, shading on (for example) one or two solar panels can impact on the output of your entire system.
Micro inverters can assist in creating the best possible output in shading situations, as each panel is delivering the highest possible output. String inverters on the other hand will be limited in output by the lowest output panel.
A good solar installer will be able to provide a shading analysis using a variety of tools. The installer will be able to provide an accurate assessment of whether shading will have a minor or a major impact on your systems generation capacity, and if a string inverter or micro inverters are the best solution.