The Impact of Temperature on the Performance of Solar Panels
Solar panels are becoming an increasingly popular method of generating electrical energy thanks to their efficiency. One of the main parameters affecting their efficacy is temperature. What impact does it have on their performance? Let's take a closer look.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
Before we dive into the issues of temperature, it is important to understand the basic principle of how solar panels work. Solar panels consist of photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into electrical energy. When solar rays hit a photovoltaic cell, electrons are released, leading to the generation of an electric current.
Temperature and Panel Performance
Temperature has two main effects on solar panels:
Decreased performance with rising temperature: As temperature increases, the efficiency of photovoltaic cells decreases. This means that at high temperatures, there can be a drop in the production of electrical energy. This phenomenon is quantified using the temperature coefficient.
Increased conductivity: On the other hand, higher temperatures enhance the conductivity of materials, which solar panels can benefit from. However, this effect is often overshadowed by the negative impacts of the first point.
Most solar panel manufacturers provide the temperature coefficient of their products. It typically ranges between -0.3% and -0.5% per degree Celsius. This means that for every degree above the established reference temperature (usually 25 °C), the performance of the panel decreases by 0.3% to 0.5%.
Although higher temperatures reduce the performance of solar panels, we should not forget that they often bring more sunlight with them. Therefore, even though the efficiency of the panel decreases, the increased amount of absorbed solar radiation may outweigh this negative effect.
Temperature plays a crucial role in the efficiency of solar panels. Although higher temperatures decrease their performance, in areas with high cumulative solar radiation, this effect may be compensated. Therefore, when selecting and installing solar panels, it is essential to consider the temperature coefficient and local climatic conditions.