In many people’s minds, light and heat are so closely related they may as well be the same thing. This is because we usually experience them in tandem, such as when we stand in direct sunlight or hold a hand close to a light bulb.
But the reality is that light energy and heat energy are two different kinds of energy that affect your solar panels in completely different ways. Understanding how this dynamic works will give you a better understanding of solar energy and help you choose the right type of solar panel for your property.
We previously explained how regular cleaning impacts solar panel efficiency and why installing solar panels in spring is a great idea. Now we’ll explain what effects temperature fluctuations can have on the solar panels at your Temecula home or premises. Read on.
How do high temperatures affect solar panels?
Unfortunately, solar panels perform worse as the temperatures increase. This is because solar panels use incoming photons to stimulate electrons inside them to a higher energy level.
However, as the panel gets hotter, the number of already-agitated electrons rises automatically and the electrical resistance of the circuits that turn the photovoltaic charge into electricity increases.
All this reduces the amount of energy a solar panel can create, decreasing its efficiency. Luckily, modern hybrid solar panels are specifically designed to be resistant to these conditions, but they can still lose up to 10% efficiency on very hot days.
At what temperature do solar panels work best?
At about 77 degrees Fahrenheit, the electrons inside the solar panel are resting at the so-called “ground state”. When they receive extra energy, these electrons enter an “excited state”, which enables the solar panel to produce electrical energy.
A solar panel’s temperature coefficient signifies the rate at which a solar panel will lose efficiency once its temperature rises above a certain level. For instance, if this coefficient is minus 0.5%, that means the efficiency is reduced by 0.5% for every 33.8 degrees above 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here’s how to keep your solar panels from getting too hot:
Solar panels should be installed at a specific height from the ground as per manufacturer recommendations. Installing them too low can make them less effective, while installing them too high can cause dust, debris, and leaves to accumulate under the panels and interfere with their operation.
Check the temperature coefficient
If you live in a hot climate, you should get solar panels that have temperature coefficients that are as close to zero as possible. This means they’re highly resistant to temperature fluctuations.
Light-colored materials naturally attract less heat. This is especially important if you live in a hot climate. In fact, you should consider installing ground-mounted panels if your region is prone to extremely high temperatures.
Paint your roof white
The surface of dark-colored roofs can get very hot in the summer. By painting your roof white (or a similarly pale color) you’ll prevent the surface under the panels from becoming too hot, which will in turn keep the panels themselves cooler.
Where can I find top-of-the-line solar panels in Temecula?
Are you in need of an award-winning solar panel contractor that can meet all your solar needs in the most effective manner possible? If so, look no further than Action Solar. With a tradition that dates back to 1975, we can proudly call ourselves the leading solar company in the area.
You can count on us to serve you regardless of where you’re located in Temecula. It’s all the same to us whether you live near the Grace Mellman Community Library or at the outskirts of the city: our technicians will still arrive on time to provide you with professional-grade solar panel installation, maintenance, and repair services. Call us today.