Solar panels in the tropics

We are deploying automated systems in the topics and hope to use solar panels, but this closed canopy in most places I'm seeing this as a challenge.

Past the obvious: 'find a clearing' or 'put them really high', does anyone have good advice on what output we could expect from panels under the canopy?

Hi Tom,

I'm with Akiba, you have to test.  A collaborator has deployed solar-augmented kit in secondary jungle and some of them got enough light, and others didn't, so it can work.  The open circuit voltage of solar panels doesn't change a whole lot in dim light, but the current drops drastically.  So you would choose an oversize panel of the same voltage (or a bit higher).


Hey Tom,
Since the output is dependent on a couple of factors such as the solar irradiance of the place, shading from the canopy, the type of solar panels (mono, poly or amorphous) and orientation of the panels, etc, I'd suggest you use a software to simulate the different parameters to get an almost accurate estimation of the output. You can try PVsyst- it has a free month trial (I haven't used it before but I hear it's great) or any other PV software :)