How to Fix a Solar Panel That’s Not Producing Enough Energy

person checking solar panels

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Solar energy is considered one of the cleanest forms of renewable energy and is widely available on earth. Besides cost savings, solar energy is also beneficial for the environment and helps to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Solar panels are the best way to harness this green energy, and due to their resilient nature, they have a low maintenance profile that can last over decades.

Despite having a durable structure and long life, some factors can affect the efficiency of solar panels and their overall ability to produce enough energy. This article will guide you about any issues you can face related to a solar panel’s output and how to fix them.


Maximizing Solar Panel Efficiency and Output Power


Install Solar Panels


Solar panels do not perform equally under all conditions, some external factors can affect their output-producing efficiency. The good news is that you can take proactive measures to increase the output and efficiency of the solar panel system. There are several ways to fix and increase the output power and energy of solar panels. Here we have given 5 important strategies for increasing solar panel output and energy production:


1. Shading


Solar panels are designed for optimal performance under direct sunlight. If the sun is obstructed by a tree or any building structure that causes shade, the output of your solar panels might be significantly reduced. Solar panels that use a “string” type of inverter, which restricts the array’s output to the intensity of the weakest panel, are particularly susceptible to shading. Even if just a tiny portion of your array is shaded, the output of the whole installation may be reduced. Shading issues can be fixed in two ways:

1.  Trim or remove any trees around your solar panel installed location.

2.  If the trees cannot be removed or if there is a portion of the building that casts a shadow, it is suggested to install a microinverter or power optimizer. These devices will maximize the output from the areas of the solar panel array that are not affected by shade.



2.    Cleaning


Dust and sand can gradually accumulate on the rooftop solar panels and lower their output-producing ability. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a gradual accumulation of dust may progressively reduce the output of your array by as much as 7%. If you are living in an area where there is less natural rainfall occurs and experience dust and sandstorms then you should regularly inspect your solar panels time to time and clean them as per the below-given instructions:

1.  Power off your solar panels.

2.  With the help of a piece of cloth, wipe off the surface of your panel.

3.  To get rid of other debris, use a low-pressure hose or source of water.

4.  Clean the remaining areas softly with another piece of cloth.

5.  Check the output of the solar panels at the inverter to find out if the cleaning has made a difference in efficiency.


3.  Orientation


Solar panels produce their maximum power when they are directly facing the sun. The optimal orientation for your solar panels will depend on how and when you consume energy, as well as the costs of your electricity. The goal of solar panel orientation is to produce as much energy as possible at all times of the day. If you are facing an orientation issue, then it can be resolved in the following ways:

1.  If you are living in the northern hemisphere, orient your panels facing geographic south.

2.  On the other hand, if you live in the southern hemisphere, have your solar panels facing geographic north.

3.  These directions differ from those provided by a compass, which points toward the magnetic poles rather than the geographic poles.


4.   Temperature


Solar cells perform their functions more effectively at lower temperatures. Higher temperatures cause the properties of semiconductors to change, resulting in a little increase in current but a significant decrease in voltage. Extreme temperature rises may also cause damage to the solar cells and other solar panel module components, resulting in a reduction in their overall operational lifespan. The rise in the temperature of solar panels can easily be fixed in the following ways:

1.  Since the majority of the sunlight that strikes solar cells is converted into heat, therefore effective thermal management increases both efficiency and lifespan of solar panels.

2.  Ensure that there is adequate ventilation underneath the solar panels and that this open area is not obstructed by anything.

3.  This issue can also be resolved by adding further solar panel modules in series and raising the overall string voltage.

5.  Battery Backup


Your solar panel system may probably generate more electricity than you use. In such circumstances, excess electricity is either sent to the grid in the case of a net-metering facility or wasted. Lithium-ion battery storage systems are the best option to store any extra energy absorbed by solar panels.

Since solar panel installation is a time-consuming and costly process, therefore to maximize the output power and increase the efficiency of solar panels, it is recommended to install a battery backup at the time of installation. The battery energy storage system can also be later added to the solar panel system. The addition of a battery backup with a solar panel system offers two primary advantages:

1.  There are times of the day when the electricity provider is selling power at a higher cost. This charging methodology is known as “Time of Use” pricing. Battery energy storage system allows homeowners to utilize battery power during peak hours and increase their potential cost savings.

2.  With a battery backup, you receive a steady electric power supply even if the power grid is down or when it is nighttime.




Having a low energy output from solar panels is a problem that can be faced by any user. There are some strategies that you can self-implement to increase efficiency and hence the energy-producing ability of solar panels. For example, cleaning and shading can be fixed by the end-user themselves.

Proper and regular cleaning will not only increase the energy output but the overall lifespan of solar panels also increases. For changing the orientation of solar panels, you may require help from solar service providers. Similarly, you can contact your solar installers for adding a thermal management system and battery backup system with solar panels to increase overall productivity.


Bob Stevens

Bob Stevens

Hi, I'm Bob Stevens. I spend a lot of time working with power generators and power tools. In my spare time, I like to write about my hobby.

Bob Stevens

Bob Stevens

Robert K. "Bob" Stevens was a British-born American photojournalist for the Sun, a subsidiary of American Media, located in Boca Raton, Florida, United States. He was the first journalist killed in the 2001 anthrax attacks when letters containing anthrax were mailed to multiple media outlets in the United States

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