Solar Clipping: What Is It and How Can You Avoid It? - thumbnail image

Solar Clipping: What Is It and How Can You Avoid It?

If you own solar panels, solar clipping may be something you have already experienced. It can be an inconvenience and a waste of energy, but what exactly does it mean, and what measures can you take to avoid it? Keep reading to find out how.

Solar panels

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic (PV) are panels, typically in arrays, that can be mounted on top of a roof that is exposed to sunlight. These panels capture energy from the sun which is converted into electricity that can be used for your home. 

Solar panels generate renewable energy that can reduce your energy bills, saving you money in the long run. Although a solar PV installer can be rather expensive, they are considered a worthwhile investment since they contribute to providing you and your home with a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly future.  

What is solar clipping?

Solar panels produce DC electricity, but the electricity powering devices and machines inside your home is AC electricity. As a result, an inverter is used to convert DC electricity to AC electricity so it is usable for your home. 

Inverters usually have a capped output, meaning that if there is more DC electricity being generated by the solar panels, the inverter is only able to convert its maximum capacity, essentially clipping the leftover electricity. This is known as solar clipping and it can ultimately lead you to lose solar energy that could’ve been converted into electricity for your home. 

Energy lost is dependent on how much sun exposure your solar panels typically get, the size of your array and the maximum AC output of the inverter. Whilst it may not occur frequently, and it doesn’t damage the system, it can still be an inconvenience for those wanting to save money on energy bills.

How to avoid solar clipping

The easiest way to avoid solar clipping is to have a good balance between how much energy the solar panels capture and how much energy the inverter can convert. 

You can size the inverter with an output rating that exceeds the expected output power from the solar arrays, without losing conversion efficiency. A larger solar array is more likely to experience solar clipping, so it may be worth considering downsizing your solar array if it’s oversized. 

You can both upsize the inverters or downsize the arrays, depending on how much free electricity you would like to be able to be produced for your home. It’s worth noting that a larger inverter does cost more than a smaller one, which can bring installation costs up. 

Solar energy solutions

It’s a good idea to consider whether the price of upsizing your inverter or changing your solar arrays is better than letting minimal amounts (with a correctly designed system) of solar clipping pass by. 

At Thrift Energy, you can count on us for your solar energy needs. We offer solar panel installation, and even solar battery storage. You can rest assured that Thrift Energy can provide your home with sustainable and renewable solar energy that can save you up to 70% on your energy bills. Enquire now for more details.

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