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Solar optimizers

  • 09-01-2022 10:09pm
    Registered Users Posts: 861 ✭✭✭

    I have some panels that can be shaded in winder due to low sun and trees, so was wondering if optimizers are worth installing. Does anyone have before / after experience on this, and any tips on good ones to get, how often to install (every panel?), and generally any tips/tricks.

    The monthly data spreadsheet is interesting, clearly some setups are more efficient than others, so woukd be good to see if any ones there have optimizers and how they compare.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,730 ✭✭✭yankinlk

    This is a good point. Ill add an Optimiers column to the SS.

    My undertsnding is you use them all the panels on a string - so If you spilt load East and West for example you could limit optimisers to just the string that gets shade. By shade I think they mean anything like a chminey or even a leafy branch that passes over a panel. If only one panel gets shaded - you cant just put an optimiser on JUST that panel - needs to be on entire string.

    I dont have them - but Ive elimated any trees that could cast shadow - and nothing on my roof casts a shadow either. I asked my installed about using them for morning or late evening as the sun rises (te only time i might see some leafy trees getting in the way... but he siad it was a waste of money in that case - different story if the shade was at a peak time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 545 ✭✭✭idc

    My understanding from reading online and questions I sent to tigo are as follows:

    1. On a string where only some panels are shaded then optimiser should be added to those panels so yes it could literally be just one panel on a string.

    2. On a string which faces more than one direction then every panel should be optimised. Eg east/west on one mppt (Although I have seen variations of this eg where majority of panels are one orientation and a smaller subset face different direction then only the small subset need optimisers)

    Obviously tigo would have you put an optimiser on every panel plus their monitoring box giving you panel level statistics and able to tell when and which panels are degrading/failing!!! (I attended online tigo presentation last year!!!!!)

    I originally had dual panel optimisers but shade pattern on my roof plus a misunderstanding with inverter manufacturer meant I had them all removed.

    I really only know of tigo. Their is one other company (can't recall name) but it's optimisers are tied in to their inverter

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,419 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    Some good info there from yankinlk & idc. Just to go back to the original question.....

    I have some panels that can be shaded in winder due to low sun and trees, so was wondering if optimizers are worth installing.

    To answer your question, I think first you have to look at the number of weeks of shading you have and then figure out what the likely improvement would be. Then you can do the math of the extra production is worth the investment in optimizers.

    To give you an example, right now in winter my production is essentially killed about 2:30-3:00pm due to trees across the road with the sun ~10 degrees above the horizon. Of course this time of year, sunset is about 4:30, so if the trees weren't there, i'd have maybe an extra 1hr or 90 minutes of decent production on a sunny day. A lot of days this time are of course cloudy, and with the way my panels are orientated with east/west, even if the trees weren't there (and it was a sunny day) the "slant angle" at that time of the day is crap.

    If I had south west, or south facing panels it might be worth it a bit more, but for the 2-3 months where the weather is crap anyway, it's not worth it for me. Also, optimizers only improve if you have shading on 1-2 panels......if your whole array is shaded, they won't improve things.

  • Registered Users Posts: 64,712 ✭✭✭✭unkel

    Shameless shill: I have 1 Tigo optimizer for sale. It's cheap. You can play around it if you like and even if you don't use it, just sell it on for pretty much how much you paid...

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,419 ✭✭✭bullit_dodger

    Have you a ladder and some lunatic to go up on my roof to go with it? - LOL

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