Your solar installer will design the solar system in such a manner that you meet all the energy demands after overcoming all the losses in between the panels and the electrical appliances.
Yes, this is the best way to design any system, the intermediate losses can be minimized by using right configuration and energy efficient devices.
After installation, your system is ready to meet your energy needs but is it efficient enough to meet the same demand year after year?
No, your existing system will fall short in meeting your energy demand in future because its performance will gradually decrease with time. During the first year of the installation, its output may match the energy needs but it will gradually decrease with time and will almost reduce to 80% of its maximum performance in the 25th year.
It simply means that the energy deficit gap will gradually increase with time and it will reach the maximum in the 25th year where 20% of your energy needs are not met. We cannot provide a static solution to the dynamic problem of the reducing efficiency of the solar panels.
We have 3 practical dynamic solutions for the solar enthusiast to this problem. So, let us discuss one by one:
Eco-mode: Reduce the energy needs with time
The easiest option available to those users who already have installed the system at the rooftop is to reduce their energy consumption with time. Because increasing the size after installation means altering the existing installed system, making you shell out extra money than required which will affect the overall feasibility of the system.
(* The increase in size by 25% is not significant enough letting you alter the existing configuration of the system)
You need to work smartly to match your energy needs with the output of the solar panels by adopting those measures which fulfill your demand even when your system is delivering less power. The probable ways of saving energy are as follows:
Comfort mode: Increase the panel size to meet the energy need till the end
If you are a person who has not yet installed the system then you have the option to increase the size of the solar panels to the extent that they always generate more energy every year than required which gradually reduces with time and finally matches with the energy required in the 25th year.
The above strategy requires an additional increase in the size by 25% as the performance of the system will be reduced to 80% in the 25th year. If I represent the above option in the form of a chart then it will look as shown in the chart below:
As you can see in the chart above that your solar system is providing extra energy and the gap is gradually decreasing with time which matches in the 25th year. You should not let these extra units generated to go waste rather try to channelize these units to run those electrical appliances which are sort of optional which you can stop using in future without much discomfort. I am saying the word “optional” because with time the extra units generated will reduce and will not have enough energy to run all the optional electrical appliances.
The extra units generated can be utilized to run the balcony light, garden light, and balcony fans.
Ideal mode: Optimum increase
The most practical option is to the increase the system size in such a manner that your system provides excess energy in the first half and become slightly energy deficit in the second half of the system life which you can manage easily by adopting above mentioned energy saving options. This option is optimum because it balances your comfort and the return equally well. The following chart depicts this strategy:
As this is the mix of previous 2 options discussed above, therefore you can run the extra appliances in the first half of the system life and then take prudent measures to reduce the energy consumption in the second phase by implementing those points discussed in the first option.
It is sad but the fact that recently Pacific gas and Electric, the largest utility company in California has filed for the bankruptcy. This will directly affect the existing customers as they will see higher gas and electricity prices. Moreover, the services will not be as good as they were before. The point is that this incident will force people of California to look for other alternate energy option which is reliable, cheap, smooth and non-polluting.
If you are living in California then you can call Pick My Solar, offering special rebates to the existing PG&E customers and is providing the best of solar design, installation, and after-sales services to the people interested in going solar.
I have discussed this problem and its probable solutions because it is often neglected by many solar installers. I will not say this is solely a performance issue rather it a mismatch between solar output and the energy demand. If you consider this aspect while designing the system, I am sure you are going to get smooth solar electricity for decades.