• DolfA commented on DrewPaulDesigns's instructable TRIPLE YOUR SOLAR ARRAY'S OUTPUT!4 months ago

    I like your search for solar power efficiency, it is a good cause and I hope you continue with it. I also like your writing and detail. But I think in this instance the title is kind of misleading. You are talking about tripling the output of your solar array, but are also tripling the amount of solar panels, so tripling the costs of the materials. You are comparing two different solar arrays, not increasing the output of the one single solar array.But that aside, indeed land is expensive, so fitting more panels in the same area could indeed be a good idea.But also when looking at ways to fit more panels in the same area, you aren't measuring the right parameter. You seem to measure voltage, not power. By adding more panels it is easy to increase open circuit voltage, even with sub-optimal solar panel orientation. But as @Zephyr93 correctly points out, the real test would be to test power (in Watt) under load, not open circuit voltage. And in your orientation, with a moving sun, a large part of your panels are going to be in the shadow of the other panels much sooner than with flat panels, unless you mount everything on a solar tracking rotating platform.If you test Power of 6 panels flat vs 6 panels in your orientation, under load, in the real sun (temperature), you'll probably get very different numbers. I'd be interested to see those results (although that would indeed also triple the roof/land surface you're using). I would also be very interested to see the results of a real-world experiment of your 2 panels flat vs 6 panels at angles under load and with a full day's output power. I wonder how much higher the output of your 6-panel array would be vs your 2-panel array (if at all higher).I would change the title of the instructable to reflect that you're actually fitting more panels in the same area, and then do the test I described above and see what power increase you actually get. If that is worth the investment of tripling the amount of panels, you've got a great instructable.

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