Making Your Home Smarter

How To Minimise Voltage Drop in Solar Installation

Reducing voltage drop must always be a priority when designing and planning out your solar installation project. By so doing, your system can perform near its peak rated output. It is also possible to change things up on an already-running solar system.

Regardless of the size of your solar installation, here are some of the proven ways to counter voltage drop that an expert will know to put in place.

1. Minimising Length of Wiring 

The longer the wiring runs, the more you can expect in voltage drop. It, therefore, becomes important to design a system layout that will see all the different components of your solar installation sit close to each other. The designer will keep the distance between the array of solar panels and the inverter to a minimum.

2. Using Smaller-Gauge Wires

Using smaller-gauge or thicker wires to connect the various solar installation components will result in a smaller voltage drop. This is because a wire's resistance depends on its cross-sectional area over a distance, and thicker wires have less resistance. Less resistance translates to a smaller voltage drop rate, making your system more efficient.

3. Check Where to Place the Inverter

The wiring running from the solar panels to the inverter is usually at a higher voltage compared to the AC wiring running from the inverter to the service panel. Depending on the equipment you use and the type of solar installation, it could also be the other way around. Whichever the case, the higher voltage end of the circuit is at a greater electrical potential, which will effectively reduce the impact of voltage drop.

It, therefore, makes more sense to place the inverter close to the side of the circuit that is at a lower voltage to minimise voltage drop effects.

4. Using Higher-voltage Products

Using products that are rated for higher voltages for your solar installation can also be an effective way to counter resistance. Power optimisers, for example, will regulate the power output from the strings of solar panels to a fixed voltage. This will allow the designer to come up with a system that can push the maximum voltage through the circuit.

The element of voltage drop is a crucial one in any solar installation. With the outlined considerations, your system designer and electrician can ensure that your system operates at maximum efficiency by keeping the voltage drops to a minimum.

To learn more, contact a solar company.