Affect of Shading on a Photo
Voltaic (PV) Panel
PV Shading Types defined:
The following comes from
the Kyocera website. Their website
http://www.kyocerasolar.com is a good read and informative and explains shading well
PV modules are very sensitive to shading. Unlike a
solar thermal panel which can tolerate some shading, many brands of PV modules
cannot even be shaded by the branch of a leafless tree.
Shading obstructions can be defined as soft or hard sources. If a tree branch,
roof vent, chimney or other item is shading from a distance, the shadow is
diffuse or dispersed. These soft sources significantly reduce the amount of
light reaching the cell(s) of a module. Hard sources are defined as those that
stop light from reaching the cell(s), such as a blanket, tree branch, bird
dropping, or the like, sitting directly on top of the glass. If even one full
cell is hard shaded the voltage of that module will drop noticeably compared to its un-shaded
value. If enough cells are hard shaded, the module
will not convert any energy and will, in fact, become a small drain of energy on
the entire system.
Partial-shading even one cell of a 36-cell module, such as the KC120, will
reduce its power output. Because all cells are connected in a series string, the
weakest cell will bring the others down to its reduced power level.
Therefore, whether ½ of one cell is shaded, or ½ a row of cells is shaded as
shown above, the power decrease will be the same and proportional to the
percentage of area shaded, in this case on a small 17V system loss can be up to 50%.
modern 36V solar panels tend to have cells grouped in behind three separate
diodes. Depending on the layout and configuration of the three sets only
one or group might be affected.
When a full cell is shaded, it not only doesn't contribute but can act as a consumer of energy produced by the
remainder of the cells, and trigger the module to protect itself. The
module will route the power around that series string. If even one full
cell in series string is shaded, as seen on the right, it will likely cause the
module to reduce its power level to ½ of its full available value. If a row of
cells at the he bottom of a module is fully shaded the power output may drop to
zero. The best way to avoid a drop in output power is to avoid shading whenever
a tool called a
Solar Pathfinder to determine Solar Panel
shading when establishing the site and capacity of a PV array, there is an APP