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Thread: Can panels actually get better?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Default Can panels actually get better?

    So it is only mid March, today temps are cool here in the low 60's, we got some nice clean rain yesterday, my panels are hitting the max output on my inverters at 11AM today. Granted the conditions are pretty ideal today, panel temps are right at 70F.

    I have never seen this before, could the panels actually be improving in output? The output is actually about 10% above what PVwatts predicts.
    My TED 5000 system
    Sticking it to the power company one watt at a time!
    60 Ningbo Electric 175 watt panels and 12 Canadian Solar 180 watt panels with 2 PVP 5200 Inverters

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    SF Bay Area (California)
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    Default Re: Can panels actually get better?

    No--However, cool weather with very clear skies--and even skies with some light haze have made my system produce more.

    I have seen different models/revisions of GT inverters produce more/less power... The later Xantrex GT series seems to produce better than the 5-7 year old versions (unless they just say they perform better--Solar Guppy said the original GT inverters had accurate logging--presume the newer versions still do too).

    -Bill
    20x BP 4175B panels (replacement) + Xantrex GT 3.3 inverter for 3kW Grid Tied system + Honda eu2000i Inverter/Generator for emergency backup.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Austin, TX, USA
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    Default Re: Can panels actually get better?

    Quote Originally Posted by solar_dave View Post
    I have never seen this before, could the panels actually be improving in output? The output is actually about 10% above what PVwatts predicts.
    PVWatts is actually a bit pessimistic if you use the default derating.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can panels actually get better?

    I just waded through the hourly data and saw an hour @ 10200 watts when derated to 0.81. So I guess it is not far off.
    My TED 5000 system
    Sticking it to the power company one watt at a time!
    60 Ningbo Electric 175 watt panels and 12 Canadian Solar 180 watt panels with 2 PVP 5200 Inverters

  5. #5

    Default Re: Can panels actually get better?

    Quote Originally Posted by ggunn View Post
    PVWatts is actually a bit pessimistic if you use the default derating.


    This. PV Watts generally underrates production by 10-15% if not sometimes more.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can panels actually get better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Juram View Post
    This. PV Watts generally underrates production by 10-15% if not sometimes more.
    Of course, by putzing around with the derate factor you can make PVWatts say just about anything.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Can panels actually get better?

    Solar panels (mono's otr poly's) o/p are rated @ 25 degC. As a rule o/p falls off approx 0.5% per deg increase of cell temperature. Below 25 degC o/p increases by this figure. If the panels are are on tilt frames with a cool wind blowing The cell temperature could drop below ambient

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can panels actually get better?

    Quote Originally Posted by phred01 View Post
    Solar panels (mono's otr poly's) o/p are rated @ 25 degC. As a rule o/p falls off approx 0.5% per deg increase of cell temperature. Below 25 degC o/p increases by this figure. If the panels are are on tilt frames with a cool wind blowing The cell temperature could drop below ambient
    I suspect this is exactly what is happening. Sun angle optimal in relation to mounting angle, temps cool, like today system peaked at 10,200 watts, previously it peaked the inverter max at 10,400.
    My TED 5000 system
    Sticking it to the power company one watt at a time!
    60 Ningbo Electric 175 watt panels and 12 Canadian Solar 180 watt panels with 2 PVP 5200 Inverters

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    central Vermont
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    2,722

    Default Re: Can panels actually get better?

    Quote Originally Posted by phred01 View Post
    If the panels are are on tilt frames with a cool wind blowing The cell temperature could drop below ambient
    That doesn't make sense to me, unless you've got some sort of evaporative cooling going on
    4 x 235w Samsung, Outback fm60 & vfx3524 & mate, Midnite E-panel, four Interstate L16, Trimetric monitor, Honda eu2000

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