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Solar Clipping and What It Means for Aussies

If you own a solar PV system, you’ve probably asked yourself, “What is solar clipping?” or “Why isn’t my solar system producing at full power?”

Solar clipping is what happens when solar panels produce more power than the system can handle—it’s like an overflow of energy when at maximum power. It gives us both a challenge and a chance to get better at using solar energy.

In this article, you’ll learn the ins and outs of solar inverter clipping, why it matters, and how we’re working to make the most out of every ray of sunshine.

Solar clipping and why it happens

You probably already know about solar panels and why it’s great to use them, so let’s talk about inverters.

The inverter is the heart of a solar power system. Its role is to change the electricity from the solar panels into a type we can use in our homes. AC is what powers everything in your house, from your fridge to your TV.

But there’s a limit to how much power an inverter can handle. Hence, clipping. Despite this, engineers aim to maximize efficiency within these limits in solar PV systems.

So, what should you do?

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More panels or larger inverters?

For Aussies boosting their solar setup, choosing between more solar panels or bigger inverters is crucial. In a nutshell, it depends on your goals and your current system.

If your inverter can handle it, extra panels or solar arrays mean more power, especially in sunny Australia. But if your system’s maxed out, more solar panels won’t solve the problem.

Alternatively, a larger inverter can process more energy, making your system more efficient. This move reduces waste by utilizing the power your panels produce.

The choice boils down to your energy needs, budget, and maximizing sunny days. Balancing panel capacity with inverter size often gets you the most value.

So, when inverter clipping occurs and power ‘overflows’, the excess energy is wasted. You, in turn, lose out on savings. However…

Some solar inverter clipping can also be a good thing

Let’s look at inverter clipping from another angle. A little bit can be good, as it means you’re really using your solar setup well and getting the most from your investment.

You see, your panels’ power output peaks at around noon when the sun is at its brightest, but this output changes all day and through the different seasons. Upgrading your inverter for these brief peaks won’t always make financial sense.

Again, it’s all about getting the balance right between how much DC electricity your solar array makes and your inverter capacity, so you don’t lose too much of that precious energy.

This way, you use as much solar energy as possible without spending too much on what you don’t need. A little planned clipping is part of this approach.

Now, you might be asking if there’s more that you can do to maximize your investment. The answer? Oh, absolutely.

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2 ways to further maximize your savings

Consider adding a battery to your system

As you already know, solar inverters are crucial for converting the DC power produced by your PV array into AC power that powers devices. And, generally speaking, aligning your inverter’s ratings with your PV array’s peak power ensures optimal conversion efficiency.

Adding solar battery storage to your setup ensures that all your unused energy is stored, thus turning it into free electricity for later use. This approach negates most, if not all, energy lost and maximizes your savings.

Recommended: Are solar batteries worth it?

DEBS and Feed-in Tariffs

DEBS, or the Distributed Energy Buyback Scheme, and Feed-in Tariffs are incentives from the Australian government that reward solar system owners for exporting their excess green energy to the grid.

“What does this have to do with solar clipping?” you ask.

Well, clipping is a sign that you have, at the very least, a small amount of excess energy that you can potentially send to the grid for credits, thus lowering your electricity bills even more.

But, on the other hand, excessive solar clipping also means there’s too much DC electricity that’s not being converted into AC electricity that your home can use, never mind sending it to the grid.

Conclusion

So, we’ve cracked the code on solar clipping and what it means for us Aussies with solar panels on our roofs.

It’s not just about spotting a glitch where our systems go overboard with power; it’s also a chance to fine-tune our setups, making sure we squeeze every drop of energy from the sun, whether that means stacking up more solar panels or getting a beefier inverter.

And with DEBS in the picture, getting smart about handling solar clipping isn’t just good for the planet—it’s great for our wallets too. By getting our solar systems just right, we’re not only doing our bit for a greener world but also making sure we’re cashing in on that sweet, sweet solar energy.

So if you’re ready to make the switch, we have a network of pre-vetted solar installers that are ready to give you 3 FREE quotes right away. Just let us know, and we’ll get right to it.