Solar Energy

Solar Panels In Cold Climates: Tips For Efficiency And Durability

Solar Panels In Cold Climates: Tips For Efficiency And Durability

Solar panels contain a large number of photovoltaic cells. Photon particles from sunlight hit these cells inside the solar panels and activate the electrons. This movement is the triggering force that creates the electric current. The resulting electrical current is the electrical power that drives electrical devices.

How does temperature affect solar panels?

Solar panels receive the most sunlight at noon, when the sun is at its highest and its light is strongest. The more sunlight falls on the solar panels, the more electricity is produced. However, this does not mean that solar panels work only in the afternoon or on long summer days. The efficiency of the solar panel, or rather electricity production, mostly depends on the solar radiation. Therefore, it can be assumed that the warmer climate is the most suitable for solar energy production. However, higher temperature does not contribute to the higher efficiency.

Is It Possible to Say That Solar Panels Work Better in Cold Weather?

Solar panels can also generate sufficient energy for power using sunlight on winter days when low level light is intense. So, solar panels are quite functional in winter conditions. However, there are times when electricity production is lower than in summer because the days are shorter and snowfall temporarily reduces solar power generation. However, photovoltaic technology in solar panels paves the way for more efficient conversion of sunlight into electrical energy in cold weather. Photovoltaic panels become more efficient in cold weather, as electrical conductivity increases at low temperatures. Like all electronic devices, solar panels work better in cold weather. On the other hand, solar panels gradually lose their efficiency at temperatures above 25 °C. This feature is the source of the decrease in the efficiency of solar panels in summer months. The reduced efficiency can be somewhat offset by longer days in the summer and longer hours of exposure of the solar panels to sunlight.

What is the Effect of Cold Weather on the Efficiency of Solar Panels?

Electrons are immobile in photovoltaic cells. When sunlight or a stream of energetic photons hits them, the electrons are activated, creating a large voltage difference across the panels. This allows more energy to be produced. Therefore, solar panels work more efficiently in the cold. Solar panels can generate electricity even when covered with heavy snow during winter months. Because sunlight can reach the panels even through the snow layer. In fact, thanks to the dark and reflective glass of the solar panels, the snow on the solar panels melts easily and the melting snow flows easily from the panel. Solar panels are usually mounted at a slope of 30-45 degrees where they are located. This slope also prevents accumulation of snow up to a certain stage. Also, solar panels have smooth surface. Thanks to these features, the snow accumulated on the solar panels can easily melt. Additionally, solar panels are a reliable source of energy that can generate electricity all year round, making them a smart investment tool for potential customers.

References

1. Burakova, A. D. (May 2017), Evoluation of the operation efficiency of solar panel in winter, IOP Conference Series Earth and Environmental Science, 72 (1).

2. Heelman, D. S. (August 2015). Ice as a novel material for solar panels in cold climates: potential for adoption and usage. ECPR General Conference, Montreal.

3. Clarke, E. D. (2022), Solar energy and weather, Weather, 77 (3), pp. 90-91.

4. Livelywatt. “Why do solar panels work better in cold temperatures?”. Access date: 30 May 2023. Url address: https://livelywatt.com/why-do-solar-panels-work-better-in-cold-temperatures

5. Saveonenergy. “Solar panels in the winter”. Access date: 30 May 2023. Url address: https://www.saveonenergy.com/solar-energy/do-solar-panels-work-in-winter/

6. Thesolarlabs. “Are solar panels good to be installed in cold climate?”. Access date: 30 May 2023. Url address: https://thesolarlabs.com/ros/solar-panels-in-cold-climate/

7. Bostonsolar. “Do solar panels work well in cold weather?”. Access date: 30 May 2023. Url address: https://www.bostonsolar.us/solar-blog-resource-center/blog/answered-do-solar-panels-work-well-in-cold-weather/

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