Solar PV seems to be the new superhero in town. In the news, on the streets, in the coffeeshops, it’s being sold as the answer to the world’s energy woes, with great ROI and guaranteed returns. But is it really? BSL Eco Energy Chief Engineer Randy Chuah shares a thought or two.
That’s the word on the street these days, isn’t it? But is solar PV really the guaranteed investment that everyone is saying it is? You may think it strange for a solar company to be saying this, but – NOT NECESSARILY.
There are many factors that affect the efficiency of a PV system. So if you set up a system without taking them into consideration, you’re pretty much setting up a system that won’t deliver the results that you want.
Below are some of the major factors that can make or break the efficiency of a PV system.
SELECTING A PV MODULE
Selecting a good PV module is essential to the efficiency of your PV system. Sure, cost is a big factor for most owners, but the cheapest panels may not provide the best performance to ensure economic payback or come with a good warranty.
When selecting panels, do consider:
Are they a Tier 1 Manufacturer?
Bloomberg New Energy Finance has developed a tiering system for PV module makers based on bankability. Tier 1 manufacturers produce the best performing solar panels and these are often reasonably priced, so it makes sense to select a product from the Tier 1 list. Seraphim solar panels, exclusively distributed in Malaysia by BSL Eco Energy, is a Tier 1 manufacturer.
What’s the temperature co-efficient?
You may think that a the hotter the temperature, the more energy solar panels will generate – but this is not actually the case. After a certain point (about 25 deg C) solar panels lose a certain percentage of its power for every degree the temperature rises – this is called the temperature co-efficient. The lower the temperature co-efficient, the better! Currently, a good solar panel would have a temperature co-efficient if below 0.40. This figure improves every year with the advancement of technology, so always check for the latest.
Let them breathe!
Because it’s so important to keep the temperature of the panels down, I can’t stress the importance of ventilation enough. Leaving a gap between the panels and roof can make a world of difference. And also, do apply common sense by not putting panels above air cond compressors and such. Don’t laugh, it happens!
The above is a short excerpt from the Pocket Talk Randy gave during the International GreenTech and Eco Products Exhibition (IGEM 2017). To find out more, or request the full presentation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org