Hot-spot heating that often occurs on traditional solar panels can actually BREAK your solar panels. This occurs when there is one low current solar cell in a string of at least several high short-circuit current solar cells, as shown in the figure below:
One shaded cell in a string reduces the current through the good cells, causing the good cells to produce higher voltages that can often reverse through the bad cell.
If the operating current of the overall series string reaches the short-circuit current of the "bad" (or shaded) cell, the overall current becomes limited by the bad cell.
The extra current produced by the good cells then forwards their voltage through the good solar cells. If the series string is short circuited, then the forward bias across all of these cells reverse biases the shaded cell.
A small shading / engineering issue causes power loss greater than 67%
How shading effects a solar panel
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Soiling from rain, dirt in the air, bird droppings, leaves, or simple shading can happen to any panel, at any time. With standard panels, your solar system will face problems sooner or later. The problems include: 1) a loss of power generation, which can ultimately lead to a high true up bill at the end of the year, and 2) running the risk of a fire occurring from a hotspot explosion!
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Ask your local solar company or us on how you can learn more. We will guide you on how to make the best decisions when it comes to your clean energy aspirations!