Have you ever wondered whether temperature affects solar panel efficiency?
Yes, the temperature affects the efficiency of the solar. As we all know, summers are hot enough. Sometimes, all you can do to cool the breeze is to make it to the pool, as the heat brings the energy out of your body. Like humans, solar panels function best when operated under an optimal temperature. If solar panels become extra hot, they are prone to overheat. In such cases, the efficiency of the solar panel decreases, which directly affects the ability of the solar to draw energy from the sun.
How Does Temperature Affect Solar Panel Efficiency?
Let us know in detail how the temperature affects the efficiency of the solar.
The sun can produce twenty thousand times more power than the amount of energy that would be required to supply the entire electricity requirement of the entire world. The derivation of the energy by the solar system is done by the rays of the sun, utilizing photovoltaic (PV) technology to convert the sun’s energy into usable flows of electricity. Solar panels are the representation of unlimited sources of renewable energy.
It is assumed that the more the sun shines, the more electricity is produced. However, the reality is something else. In fact, excessive heat can decrease the level of performance and energy output from your solar panel systems. The result of the increased temperature of a solar panel reduces the energy output from the system. Thus, the overall power generation is negatively affected.
The situation takes place because the solar panels utilize photons to ‘excite’ electrons within the semiconductor. If a solar panel is already warm, electrons within the semiconductor are already excited. Thus, the overall voltage-generating capacity of the solar is reduced. Moreover, the silicon that is commonly found in solar panels speeds up this process of heat building in solar panels on hot days, which is ultimately not helpful.
The heat reduces the overall energy output of solar PV modules. Luckily, with the help of coefficients of the panel’s temperature can make the measurement of the same.
Best Temperature For Solar Panels In Celsius.
Solar panel efficiency is inversely proportional to the temperature of the weather. It is observed that the efficiency of a solar panel decreases by 10-25% with an increase in the temperature of the climate. The output of the voltage decreases with the increase in the temperature of a solar panel.
Each solar panel has its own heat tolerance value, which is popularly called temperature coefficient (Pmax.). This coefficient of Pmax value reflects how much your panel efficiency will drop with an increase in 1°C above 25°C (Standard Test Condition STC).
Minimum Temperature For Solar Panels.
Temperature is one of the most important factors that affect the production of energy by renewable sources of energy. The more sunshine is absorbed by the panels, the hotter the panels get, and as a result, it counteracts the benefit of the sun. In some cases, the heat factor can reduce the output by 10% to 25%, depending on your specific location.
There is a common term used in the lists of manufacturers, which is referred to as the temperature coefficient Pmax. This value is normally given in the form of a negative percentage, revealing the impact of temperature on the panel.
Solar panels are power tested at 25 degree Celsius, so the temperature coefficient percentage depicts the changes in efficiency as it goes up or down by a degree. For example, if the temperature coefficient of a particular type of panel is -0.5%, then for every 1 degree Celsius rise, the panel's maximum power will reduce by 0.5%. On hot days, when panel temperatures reach 45-degree Celsius, a panel with a temperature coefficient of -0.5% would result in a maximum power output reduction of 10%. On a sunny winter morning, the panels will actually be more efficient.
Below are some of the prerequisite information related to the coefficient of the temperature of the solar cell:-
- Both monocrystalline and polycrystalline cells have a temperature coefficient pMax that ranges from -0.45% to -0.50%.
- Amorphous-based thin film panels have a rating of between -0.20% to -0.25%.
- The Hybrid solar cells with a temperature coefficient pMax of between -0.32%.
4 Tips For Maximizing Solar Panel Efficiency.
1. Analyze the roof before installing solar panels
The prime factor that needs to be considered at the time of installation of the solar panel is to check the condition of your roof. Inspect the structure of the roof by a construction professional for extra security. They can determine whether your roof has the right roof covering or if it needs to be replaced before the installation. They can also check whether your roof is suitable for mounting solar panels or not.
2. Choose the right roof covering
Every roof covering which is available in the market might not be suitable for solar panels, but if you choose a bitumen roof membrane, you can’t go wrong. The bitumen-based roof membrane ensures additional security, and it has a very long service life. Flagon TPO is also highly suitable as a roof covering for solar panels. If opted for, you can count on a service life of 25 to 30 years because a roof covering has the capability to outweigh the life expectancy of solar panels.
3. Take the orientation of your solar panels into account
Naturally, most of the sunlight will be absorbed by the system if the system is faced towards the south. Nonetheless, solar panels are still worthwhile if your roof has a different orientation. Solar panels facing 30° to the west or east still work effectively. Choose a western rather than eastern orientation for your solar panels.
4. Ensure optimal performance
If you are planning to install solar panels, 30° to 35° is the optimal roof pitch. As per the predetermined principle, you can use all roof pitches between 15 and 50°, but they won’t be as efficient. As per the experts, the roof pitch will determine the way in which the solar panels are attached.
The Effect Of Temperature On PV Cell.
It is generally assumed that the stronger and hotter the sun is, the more electricity will be produced by the solar panels. But in reality, one of the key factors affecting the amount of power produced by the solar system is the temperature. Although the temperature doesn’t affect the amount of sunlight a solar cell receives, it does affect how much power is produced.
The manufacturing of solar cells is done with semiconductor materials, like the most used crystalline silicon. Semiconductors are sensitive to temperature changes. Temperatures above the optimum levels decrease the open circuit voltage of solar cells and their power output, while colder temperatures increase the voltage of solar cells.
The output of most solar panels is measured under Standard Test Conditions (STC). This states that a temperature of 25 degrees Celsius or 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
As per the manufacturing standards, 25 °C or 77 °F temperature indicates the peak of the optimum temperature range of photovoltaic solar panels. It is when solar photovoltaic cells are able to absorb sunlight with maximum efficiency, and when accepted, it is expected that the performance is at its best.
There is a fluctuation in solar panel output in real-life conditions. This is all because of the intensity of sunlight and temperature of solar panels that keeps on changing throughout the day.
In Which Seasons Do Solar Panels Work Best?
Throughout the year, there are different climatic seasons, with the two major ones being summer and winter. Different areas across the world experience differentiated seasons at different times. This creates a difference in the performance of the solar system due to the sun’s radiations that travel to reach the earth.
The major factor that creates a difference among the seasons is the duration or length of the days. Summer seasons experience longer daylight hours, while winter seasons have few hours of sunlight. More energy is produced in summer seasons as day hours are longer.
Despite minimal hours of sunlight experienced in winter months, solar panels will still operate but will produce less amount of energy.
The closer the earth is to the sun, the more solar energy is produced. For instance, the sun is normally overhead in the summer, making it generate more energy during that period.
The Best Conditions For Solar Panels
No one can control the natural changes in weather and climatic conditions. There are other major things that can be considered to maximize the optimum performance of solar panels. They are-
The installation of solar panels in the south-facing direction should be considered a priority. The southern direction is the best spot to fit your solar panels. The south direction helps in trapping maximum sunlight through the day, keeping in mind that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
The fixing should be done in such a way that it is inclined at an angle at which the sun hits perpendicularly. Solar panels generate energy at the maximum rate when sun radiation hits them directly and at a right angle. Generally, the ideal angle for the installation is between 300 and 400. However, due to the revolution of the earth, the sun changes its position throughout the year. For the optimum production of energy in the winter, panels should be placed at a sharp 600, while during the summer, an angle of 200 is the best. Since it is not possible to keep on readjusting the panels once they are installed, that is the reason for a permanent position of 300 is commended.
Remove the objects that cause shade: Solar panels should be placed in open fields or at the top of the roof. This helps them facilitate total exposure to sun radiation. Any physical obstacles which could cast a shadow or shade on the panels should be cleared, that is cutting big trees around.
Keep the panels clean: After the installation of the solar panels, it must be taken into consideration that the dust, dirt, and pollen accumulated on them must be cleared on a regular basis. This degrades the production of the power of the panels; hence, it progressively makes them less operative. This results in decreasing the production of solar power. It is needed because the demand for energy is increasing day by day. Rainfall helps in cleaning the solar panels, but it is not enough. One should at least wash the panels once or twice a year.
It’s important to take precautions to keep your solar panels cool and efficient. Solar projects in some areas have actually failed due to the tremendous amount of heat they absorb from the sun. However, you can enjoy long-term benefits from your solar panels by working with a professional installer. They can mitigate the amount of heat your solar panels are exposed to over the course of their working life.