Solar panels are active from when the light hits them in the morning until the sun goes down in the evening. When the sun begins to move in a northerly direction, normally around 9am, your solar energy production will begin to increase.
For example. In summer, you will notice an experiential increase right up to the peak time, normally around mid day, and then notice the decline around 3pm. Where is in winter, the noticeable increase may not start until 10am or even later. Other variable factors include:
1. The direction that the solar panels are facing
Solar panels that are installed on an eastern facing roof are more optimized to absorb sunlight throughout the morning as the sun rises and moves towards the middle of the sky. As the sun starts to set in the west, the eastern facing panels are not exposed to the sunlight, therefore the system will not create electricity. This is reversed for panels which are installed on a western facing roof.
2. Whether you have multiple facings and arrays
With residential solar installations, it’s not uncommon to lack roof space for the optimal solar panel installation. You may find that you have enough room on the northern facing roof to fit 8 solar panels and room for an additional 8 panels on the western facing roof. If this is the case, then you will need to have an inverter with ‘duel MPPT‘ or you will need to have two inverters. To read more about this, please see our solar inverters page. With this particular installation, your system should fire-up around 9am and still produce power late in the afternoon. It is important to treat the two arrays individually as they will experience different directional losses based on the pitch of the roof, the direction of the panels and the voltage of the panels.
3. Your location in Australia
Your location can play an important part in the production of solar power. This is due to your position on the planet and the amount of ultra-violet rays your solar panels are exposed too.
The graph illustrates the performance of a 5.0kW PV system in the middle of summer in North Queensland.
How solar panels produce electricityHave you ever wondered how fancy glass panels actually create electricity?