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General Solar Power FAQs - 3

What is a grid connect solar power system?
 Grid connect systems, often located in built up areas, supply solar electricity through an inverter directly to the household and to the electricity grid if the system is providing more energy than the house needs. When power is supplied to the mains grid, the home owner usually receives a credit or a payment for that electricity. This is called a feed in tariff.

Can solar panels work in the shade?
 The output of any panel will be reduced or cut off if shaded. However, some solar panels do work better than others in the shade.
 All solar panels sold by Mildura Sunray Solar have "bypass diodes", which send output from the remaining cells around that dead cell. However, you have lost the output of that cell, so the total panel voltage will drop by about 0.48 volts per cell. Most panels are in the 16 to 18 volt range, and most batteries need at least 13.5 volts to charge completely. So, if 2 or more cells are shaded, the output voltage of the panel may drop too low to charge the battery.
 Dirt, dust, leaves, bird droppings, shadows from trees, vent pipes, etc can all cause reduced output due to shading. Wash panels down occasionally, especially if mounted flat on a roof, eg. caravan installations. A quick wash with a soapy brush or mop and then rinse. However, some tree waste may need to be cleaned off with a solvent such as turpentine.
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