Solar

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Pig car
I had a bit of hard job the other day trying to explain the workings of a solar panel to a colleague, and it got me searching for a suitable analogy. Yes, there is the well-used comparison of water to electrical flow, but that’s a tad drippy and wishy-washy in my view, and I was looking for something more illustrative and fun.

So, how about this:

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Solbian SP118 Hylas Marine Electric Systems 960x520
We hear it all the time – flexible solar panels are not worth buying, they only last a short time, they never give out the watts they say they will, they are not as durable as glass panels, the list goes on and on of the laments by those who bought a solar panel that didn’t live up to its manufacturer’s hype.

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solar panel sun sunset reflectionSolar Tariffs - Feel the Pain?

When it comes to tariffs, you’ll have to go a long way to find anything to beat the 249% tariff we were recently charged on a couple of small, specialized marine solar panels imported from Solara in Germany. These smaller panels are not as popular here in North America as they are in Europe and around the Med, but we were selling one or two along the way, and needed to replace stock. It transpired that the cells in these panels were manufactured in China by a company that is not on the list of preferred solar manufacturers, and so we got walloped with the huge tariff.

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sunshine behind cloudsI think we all get the idea of what a “By-Pass” is, whether it’s a by-pass road to divert traffic around a city, or a heart by-pass operation to channel blood supply around a restricted artery. So what does a By-Pass Diode do in a solar panel? Obviously it must divert something around something, but what, why, and how?

Right away, let’s quell the myth that By-Pass Diodes are there primarily to improve performance under shaded conditions.

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