Solar in the Shade

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Scott 3

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Jan 17, 2016
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Do the typical solar panels generate anything from the ambient light in shaded areas?  We have a lot of foliage in the Northeast and wondering if there will be any trickle effect in shady conditions.
 

Utclmjmpr

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Sep 14, 2009
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Cedar City, UT
It does nor have to be in bright sunlight to produce power,,but,, it won't be much. When my M/H is in the garage mine will keep the battery bank full because I have skylights in the roof of the garage.>>>Dan
 

Scott 3

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Jan 17, 2016
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That's kind of what I was thinking although mine wont be in a garage.  Some of the campgrounds have thick forests and it will be nice if a little bit of a trickle charge can occur during the day.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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West Palm Beach, FL
Depends on the panel technology and how its wired. Some produce no power at all if there is even a band of shade across it. Others may produce some. Panels in series can be affected if one of them is shaded, causing a voltage drop. If the voltage is too low, it won't charge a battery even though the panel is producing some power.

I'd say that "typical" RV solar panels do not produce any useful amount of power in the shade, but some of the more sophisticated panels amd controllers may.
 

Isaac-1

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Dec 3, 2016
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SW Louisiana
To put that in more technical terms, a lot depends on the panels, if you have bypass diodes installed, and whether you have a PWM or an MPPT controller.  Installations with MPPT controllers provide considerably more power in shaded areas than panels with PWM controllers, bypass diodes help if one panel (or section of panel) is shaded and another is not.

See https://marinehowto.com/mppt-vs-pwm-solar-controllers/
 

AStravelers

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San Antonio, TX
Park overnight at a Walmart under the street lights and you will see 1 to 3 or maybe 5amps depending on the size of your panels.
 

Drewd

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Feb 17, 2016
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76
I typically see 6 amps from six 100 watt panels on a very overcast day. 
If you have an occluded panel and they are wired in series, then you can expect no power.
 

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