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Do Solar Panels Work in Shade?

At Yes Solar Solutions, we’re often asked about the use of solar panels in shaded areas. Many home and business owners think they’re out of luck if their property doesn’t get full sun all day. While it used to be true that solar panels didn’t work very well in shade, the innovation of optimizers now gives properties with partial shading the same opportunity for an eco-friendly, cost-saving solar system.

So what are these optimizers exactly? With a system like the SolarEdge 6.12 kW with REC modules, the Yes Solar installer would attach an optimizer to the back of each solar panel, stringing them separately. The current and voltage are adjusted per module so that the system gets maximum power from each module, compensating for the lack of full sun exposure.

We were able to test the effectiveness of an optimizer system on a client just last fall. This homeowner had a common issue: some roof shading and unreliable direct sun. However, he was passionate about going solar and wanted options. In October 2015, we installed his system, and one year later, we’ve got proof of just how effective optimizers can be. The client reported that their 24-panel PV system saved them an average of $99 a month in its first year, reducing their grid power consumption by an average of 1,256 kWh. That’s $1,188 in savings the first year alone, which beats our initial estimate of $816. To make that realization even sweeter, as electricity rates go up in the coming years, this client will continue to see savings increase year by year.

Though cutting electricity costs is always a big motivation for going solar, this homeowner said his greatest reward wasn’t financial, but rather the ability to be sustainable and independent from the grid, now and for future generations.

“Every day brings us closer to nature, weather, the smile of sunshine and owning the beauty of ‘paying’ for rain. Days get shorter, production goes down. Days get longer, production goes up. It’s economics at a primal level that I never expected to enjoy so much,” said the client.

When we spoke with the homeowner at the one-year mark, he also mentioned that there’s one key thing he wants those considering going solar to know, and that’s how easy solar really is to use.

“Ever since these panels started making electricity for us around the middle of October 2015, it has been absolutely effortless. No noise, no switches to flip or valves to turn or calls to make or, well, anything. It just grabs whatever sunshine there is on our roof, and turns it into electricity that somebody else doesn’t have to generate,” he said.

Our Yes Solar team loves giving property owners the ability to make conscious decisions about their energy use. We’re always thrilled with the pride people take in their solar panels and their ability to reduce their monthly costs in an environmentally-conscious way, a way that benefits generations to come and gives back rather than takes.

With the help of optimizers, so many more property owners can enjoy the benefits of going solar. Don’t let a shady roof stop you from having options. Yes Solar can consult with you about possibilities, answer your questions, and determine if your home or business would be a good candidate for a solar panel system.

Solar panels do work in shade. Call Yes Solar today to get more information or get started with solar energy use at (919) 459-4155 or here on our site.

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