5 Solar Panel Hacks You Definitely Need to Know

by Brett Decker

Solar panels are the best way to keep your smart home security devices charged and ready to go. 

Just look at all the possibilities they open up: wire-free connectivity, cutting down on labor, saving on your energy bill, and eliminating downtime for your security cameras — just to name a few.

But do you know how to truly get the most out of your solar panels? 

Below are 5 tricks you definitely need to know for getting the most out of your solar panels.

1. Location, location, location

It’s true about real estate and it’s true about solar panels. For solar panels though, the biggest factor to consider is how much direct sunlight hits the area you wish to put them.

But it’s more than just finding a sunny spot.

Keep in mind that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. That means if your panel is facing north or south, your camera could be facing an empty battery charge. So, be mindful of what the sun is doing – and where it’s going – when installing your solar panels.

2. Height matters

If you place your panels too low, they might not get enough sunlight to keep your camera at a full charge. Once the sun moves behind a house or a tree, it could impact how well your solar panels perform. 

Our panels come ready with an extra-long cable — meaning you have the freedom to put both your camera and your solar panels in the best place possible. We believe you shouldn’t have to sacrifice on placement when it comes to your home security.

3. Changing of the seasons

Also, remember that days are shorter in the winter and longer in the summer. That doesn’t necessarily mean your solar panels will perform poorly in the winter. It does mean, however, that you’ll want to be mindful of which areas of your home receive the most sunlight year-round.

And also remember that shadows are longer in the winter. 

That’s because the earth’s northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun. This creates a longer shadow since the sun isn’t directly overhead. 

How might this affect your solar panels

Large objects like trees, trucks, and houses will likely cast long shadows. If your solar panels are in an area that gets covered by a long winter shadow, it might hinder their overall performance. Be sure to thoroughly check the surrounding area before installing your solar panels.   

4. Keep them clean

Falling leaves, branches, dust, dirt, or debris not only can directly damage your solar panels but can also affect their overall performance, by covering and limiting their exposure to sunlight. Especially in the fall, make sure your chosen area isn’t prone to dirt, falling objects, or strong gusts of wind.

Even after installation, it’s important to check the condition of your panels every so often. If you find they’re in need of cleaning, don’t use any chemicals. Find a soft sponge or towel, get it a bit damp, and gently wipe them down.

5. Make sure they are secure

You’ll want to bolt them down tightly. If your panels are loose and moving around, they won’t be performing their absolute best, since the sun won’t be hitting them at a consistent angle. Check them thoroughly after installation to make sure they’re nice and tight. 

Every so often, you’ll want to check how they’re holding up. Due to normal wear over time, they may be in need of a quick tightening down occasionally. 

Maximizing your solar panels

Nobody should have to worry about their solar panels underperforming or their security cam battery running out of juice. Following these 5 simple hacks will help ensure that you are getting the most out of your solar panels. 

While these are some key ways to maximize your solar panel output, there are also many other ways to customize your solar experience and get the most bang for your buck. We offer mounts, and many more accessories for your security cam and solar panel setups.

Be sure to check out the Wasserstein website for all the latest in smart home security tech.

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