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How Shading Can Affect Your Solar Panels

Auswell Energy explains how shading can affect your solar power output.

Shade can be the bane of your existence if you have solar panels—if you’re looking to purchase solar panels you should be on the lookout for shade on your roof. Alternatively, if you find that your existing solar panels are underperforming, shading may be the culprit. This post goes over how shading can affect your solar panels and how you can mitigate your solar panels from underperforming.

How can my solar panels be affected by shading?

There are many ways that shadows can be cast onto solar panels, this can be due:

  • to nearby vegetation like trees
  • power lines or light poles
  • antennas, chimneys, whirlybirds
  • debris, dust, or bird droppings
  • self-shading from other panels
  • shading from your own roof
  • or shading from nearby multi-storey buildings

This shade can cause significant problems to your solar power output, even partial or speckled shading from leaves can cause your solar panels to underperform by 30-40%.


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Why does shading affect my solar panels?

One way to explain this drastic underperformance is by looking at your solar panel array or “string” as a pipe of water. The pipe is the string of solar panels, and the water is the electricity flowing through. If this pipe gets blocked somewhere, the flow rate of the water is drastically hindered. This is the same where even a single cell in one of your solar panels is shaded, it will affect the efficiency of all other solar panels.

How to deal with shading on my solar panels?

There are many ways you can prevent shading on your solar panels:

  • Positioning your solar panels where there isn’t shade – Positioning your solar panels where there isn’t shade is the most obvious solution to reducing shade, but it’s worth noting that solar panels can last 25+ years if maintained properly. 25 years is plenty of time for neighbouring trees to grow and cast shade down the track.
  • Using solar panel optimisers or other smart devices – If you have no choice but to place your panels where there is shade, then consider accessories to optimise the output of your solar panels. These can be accessories such as Bypass Diodes, DC optimisers, or Microinverters. If you have problems with shading from your own rooftop, then you can consider mounting your solar panels so that they’re lifted out of the shade.
  • Keeping your solar panels clean – If your solar panels are in an optimal sunny position but they’re still underperforming, then it might be worth cleaning your solar panels. Dust and debris from plants or animals can affect how well your panels perform just as much as nearby shading. Generally, you should get your solar panels cleaned at least once a year. If you live in an area with new developments, frequent dust storms, or if you live near the ocean, you may need to get your panels cleaned more frequently.

How much can you save with solar? Use our Solar Savings Calculator.

Contact Auswell Energy

Here at Auswell Energy, we understand the importance of good solar panel system design. If you have any questions or need advice on how to mitigate shade, or if you’re looking for expert solar panel installers, please get in touch with Auswell Energy on 1300 287 955 or drop us a message

Looking to make the switch to solar power for your home on the Gold Coast, in Brisbane, or Tweed Heads? Auswell Energy specializes in residential solar system installation and can help make it happen. Browse our solar installation options and find the perfect one for your home.



Contact Auswell Energy!

Get in contact with Auswell Energy for a FREE consultation today! Just call us on 1300 287 955 or send us your enquiries through our contact form.


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