How Temperature Affects Solar Panels

By their very nature, solar panels require sunlight in order to provide energy for a property. In this respect, it would make sense that the hotter the temperature, the more electricity is made. However, this isn't the case. In this article, we will explain the affects that temperature and weather have on the efficiency of solar panels.

Effects on solar panel efficiency From temperature

Picture this; it's a glorious hot day and all you literally want (and can) do is spend it at the beach swimming. But along comes someone who demands you spend the next five hours running sprints up and down the beach. Your body (and brain) is not going to respond positively to this, and is likely going to suffer from heatstroke or similar. While a solar panel won't get heatstroke, at higher temperatures it too won't function as well as it could. The optimum temperature range will vary between panel brands, though you will find that solar installers such as ourselves, stock panels that are best suited to their customer's locations. 

The temperature does not affect the amount of solar energy a panel receives, but rather the amount of energy it products. Solar panels contain electrons which become more active when exposed to light or heat, which the solar cells then extract to begin the process of making electricity. When electrons are too hot, they move faster and bump into each other which releases energy before the electricity generation process can occur. This results in less solar energy conversion in hotter temperatures, and more efficient solar panels in cooler temperatures.

Ways tof managing the Temperature of solar panels

As solar system installers in Taranaki, we have a good understanding of our local weather. As such, we have chosen to use products which are best suited to local conditions. If suitable, we can also help reduce the effects of temperature by:

  • install the solar panels with a gap of a few inches above the roof to allow air flow to assist with cooling
  • use panels that are light coloured, which helps to reduce heat absorption
  • install inverters and other components in shaded areas 
  • using ground mounted solar panels if it is likely to be too hot on the roof 

A roof that is a light colour will reflect more light, which helps to keep the temperature around the panels lower. Other things that could be done in very hot areas would be the use of active cooling systems, such as circulating cold water or cooling fans. 

If you are thinking of having a solar system installed in Taranaki, choose a local solar installer such as ourselves. We offer a free consultation and quote, giving you all the information you need to make an informed decision, so get in contact with us today. 

Posted: Wednesday 6 July 2022


© Copyright Taranaki Solar Power | Triple Peak Energy Solutions
New Plymouth, New Zealand