What Are the Effects of Temperature on Solar Performance?

If you live in Arizona, particularly the Phoenix area, you probably understand what intense and dry heat means. With an average of 110 degrees Fahrenheit throughout June, July and August, experts predict that it will only get worse. So, what does this mean for your solar panels? Can the heat affect their performance? In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about the effects of temperature on your solar panels.

Does Heat Affect Solar Performance?

The quick answer to this question is “yes.” Solar panels are designed to convert sunlight to electricity. So you’d assume the stronger and hotter the sun is, the more electricity the panels will produce. That’s not always correct because your solar panels rely on light to function, not heat. The intense invisible infrared radiation that carries heat can degrade the performance of your solar panels if they are exposed for too long. The solar cells are made of semiconductor materials, such as commonly used crystalline silicon. Semiconductors are sensitive to temperature changes, and temperature above the optimal range can decrease the open-circuit voltage of solar cells and their power output.

Affects of Temperature on Solar Performance

Like any other appliance or machinery, solar panels’ performance decreases when they overheat. With increased heat, there’s reduced power output. That means the warm temperatures are likely to reduce output for PV cells, and the amount varies from one solar panel manufacturer to another. The current will increase while the voltage decreases. Since voltage decreases faster than current increases, you’re likely to have lowered efficiency for your solar panels.

What Is the Best Temperature for Solar Panels?

The output of a solar panel is measured under the Standard Test Conditions (STC). The typical temperature ranges between 25 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. These temperatures represent the average temperature during solar peak hours. Solar photovoltaic cells can absorb sunlight with maximum efficiency and it is during this period that you should expect them to perform at their best. Due to climatic changes, solar panel output fluctuates, and the intensity and temperatures of solar panels change throughout the day.

How to Prevent Your Solar Panel from Overheating

Fortunately, there is something you can do to reduce the effects of heat on your solar panels in Arizona. Experts at Aneva Solar recommend installing panels a few inches above the roof to allow maximum air circulation above and below the solar panels. You can also add ventilation systems or fans to your PV system to assist in free air movement. Move components like the combiner and inverter to a shaded space behind the array. Make sure the panels are installed with light-colored materials to reduce heat absorption.

Let Us Help You Get the Most Out of Your Solar Panels

Did you know that Aneva Solar is the highest-rated solar company in Arizona? You can trust our highly-skilled technicians to evaluate and install solar panels in your home. We proudly serve Scottsdale, Mesa, Phoenix, Sedona, Gilbert, Prescott, Buckeye and many other cities in Arizona. Feel free to call us and start reaping the benefits of solar energy.

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