The headlines were clear – Upcoming solar eclipse to wreak havoc on Germany’s solar power output screamed the headlines. Although the reality was slightly more prosaic.
Although it’s only one data point, I’d like to show you what happened to our solar panels during the eclipse.
The full day graph shows a clear dip during the eclipse.
As the eclipse drew closer, my minute by minute tracker showed a noticeable drop in production. Although, due to the cloud cover, it wasn’t as large as it could have been.
433 watts. pic.twitter.com/m6LxxtNPJ3
— Solar Realtime Edent (@OxfordSolarLive) March 20, 2015
So, how much of a drop was it really?
This is what the day before looked like :
— Edent's Solar Panels (@Edent_Solar) March 19, 2015
The Eclipse :
— Edent's Solar Panels (@Edent_Solar) March 20, 2015
The day after :
— Edent's Solar Panels (@Edent_Solar) March 21, 2015
It doesn’t look much different from the daily ebbs and flows of solar generation. Of course, the main difference is that this occurred simultaneously over Europe.
If we take a look a few weeks back, there was a similar sized dip and recovery – this time, due to cloud cover.
— Edent's Solar Panels (@Edent_Solar) March 3, 2015
Solar eclipses are relatively rare so are unlikely to provide for any serious instability in PV generation.
And, of course, an extra special mention to the Daily Mail for their “science” reporting.