We cannot stress enough how important it is to properly install a solar system. There are several components that make up a solar system, including solar panels, batteries, charge controllers, and electrical components such as lamps. All components of the system need to be installed correctly for the entire system to work efficiently and reliably.

The solar panel is the most important component of the system in terms of proper installation. The solar panel is the main power source for the system, so if it is not installed the way it should be, the system will not function as expected.

If a solar panel is not installed as above, it will absorb less energy than expected, resulting in inconsistent operation. Most solar systems (including ours) come with extra backup power for a few days of adverse weather conditions, but they are not designed to operate consistently at lower than expected sun levels due to consistent shading.
The above are examples of incorrect installation of solar panels. At first glance, you may not see the problem, but upon closer inspection, you can see that the solar panel is being hidden by the frown of the palm above it. Shortly after installing this system, the customer contacted them with advice on why their system was not lighting continuously. After collecting stored data from the charge controller, it was determined that the solar panels were absorbing half of the expected energy due to shadowing. Once the solar panels were moved to a location free of shade, the system worked as expected.

The solar panels in the installation are mounted in the wrong direction, directly behind the sign. It was in the shade all day, which caused the lights to not work properly. After looking at the pictures, we advise our clients on better placement of solar panels to finally make the system work.

When installing the solar panel behind the sign, if you are installing it to the back of the sign structure, make sure the back is facing south. If not, you'll need to mount the solar panels far enough away that the sign's shadow doesn't reach the solar panels. Remember that shadows are longer/greater in winter when the sun is lower in the sky.