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Best Solar Panels for Partial Shade

It’s a common misconception that solar panels are only designed to be used in direct sunlight during the morning and afternoons. But did you know that solar panels can work quite effectively even in partial shade? We bet you didn’t know!

 

Even though solar panels are designed to work ideally with sunlight, but if for some reason they are kept under a partial shade for a significant part of the day, they would still generate output for your consumption.

 

But before we go into the best solar panels for partial shade, let’s look at how you can make traditional models work.

 

How to Optimize Solar Panels for Partial Shade?

So the answer to whether solar panels can work effectively in partial shade, the answer is yes. However, the solar energy produced is lesser than what would be produced in direct sunlight. Apart from having advanced technology to tackle the issue, you could also use micro-inverters.

 

They are the best for tackling partial shade because they would assign one inverter to each panel. That way, if one panel is partially shaded, the other panels’ efficiency for conversion is not impacted.

 

Your second option could be using solar optimizers similar to micro-inverters because every DC optimizer is assigned to a panel making each of them perform independently.

 

The 3 Best Solar Panels for Partial Shade

With that aside, let’s move on to solar panels designed for partial shade, and here are our top picks of the best solar panels for partial shade.

 

1. Togo Power Portable Foldable TSP 60watts Solar Panel

Togo Power’s 60watts solar panel is our first pick for partial shade because of having monocrystalline solar cells that give 23% of energy conversion, which is higher than mainstream solar panel chargers. This means that your solar panel can be partially shaded and still produce solar energy for your consumption. You don’t have to worry about matching it with a generator because it is compatible with almost all models.

 

It comes with a dual USB port giving you intelligent charging technology by preventing overcharging and overload. The PET lamination ensures it’s durable, waterproof, and able to withstand all weather conditions.

 

Pros

  • Foldable and Portable
  • Monocrystalline solar cells with 23% energy conversion efficiency
  • PET lamination for durability
  • Waterproof can withstand tough weather conditions
  • Dual USB port providing intelligent charging
  • 18V DC output charger to keep connected devices charged without relying on a power bank

 

Cons

  • USB-C port does not work properly
  • Does not come with a proper description of cords
  • The junction box is not waterproof

 

2. Renogy 400watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar RV Offgrid Kit

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Renogy’s 400watt solar panel is designed to be an off-grid solar panel system perfect for partial shade. This model also includes monocrystalline solar cell efficiency at 21%, making it easier to absorb sunlight even in the shade. So you won’t need to worry about the solar panel staying in partial shade for the majority of the day.

 

This is designed specifically for partial shade because of the bypass diode, which reduces the chances of power drop caused by shade. This also comes with multi-layered sheet laminations, which improve the solar cell performance making it last for decades.  The aluminum frame makes it rust-resistant, so it can be used extensively outdoors. It can withstand tough weather conditions, be it high winds or snow loads.

 

Pros

  • Off-grid solar panel system for low lights
  • Monocrystalline solar cells with 21% efficiency
  • Output: 2000watts on average per day
  • Multi-layered sheet laminations to improve solar cell performance
  • Rust-resistant aluminum frame for extended outdoor use
  • 30A PWM charge controller designed especially for RV applications.

 

Cons

  • Cable length is short
  • There is no description of the installation process with it

 

3. Rich Solar 100Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Solar Panel

Rich Solar’s 100watt solar panel is highly energy efficient with quick-connect cables to provide you with a fast connection. It is coated with anti-reflective tempered glass to provide you extra durability. It is suitable for partial shade because it excels in low light performance and can perform even in tough weather conditions.

 

Moreover, it comes with 14 pre-drilled holes, and they are compatible with Z-brackets, pole mounts, and even tilt mounts providing you with the facility of easy installation.  The aluminum frame makes it durable and rust-resistant to used extensively outdoors. You don’t have to worry about repair costs because it comes with a whopping 25-year warranty which is higher than what other brands provide for their solar panels.

 

It can be used for multiple applications and can easily comply with off-grid and on-grid inverters.

 

Pros

  • High energy conversion efficiency
  • Fast connection
  • Good low-light performance
  • 14 Pre-drilled holes for easy installation
  • Durable and sturdy

 

Cons

  • Output may not always be ideal

 

An Important Feature to Consider when Buying Solar Panels for Partial Shade

When you are on the lookout for solar panels to combat shading, here is what you should look for in the features. Solar panels with monocrystalline cells or crystalline silicon cells can work more optimally with low-light and partial shade than polycrystalline solar cells.

 

Amorphous silicon solar cells are also great at handling shade, but their energy conversion efficiency is lower than that of crystalline cells. Solar panels that consist of bypass diode are designed to handle power loss better than may occur due to partial shading. This is because the purpose of the bypass diode is to allow electricity to flow around the shaded solar cells.

 

Our Final Thoughts

By now, you’d have some idea of working with traditional models of solar panels to combat shading and the best solar panels for partial shade.

 

Our recommendation would be Renogy’s 400watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel because it is designed with monocrystalline solar cells that give 21% energy conversion efficiency. It also consists of a bypass diode designed to help solar panels absorb sunlight in partial shade and low-light conditions.