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.
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.
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:
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.
Posted: Wednesday 6 July 2022