It is often assumed that the more sun and heat solar panels are exposed to will result in greater energy production. But are high temperatures good for solar panels? The short answer is no.

Solar PV systems lose efficiency as temperatures rise and will not operate at their optimal levels in warmer climates. The efficiency of a solar PV system is regulated based on the amount of sunlight they receive and not the temperature. In fact, heat can compromise a solar panel’s power production.

Solar panels can withstand high temperatures. Solar manufacturers design and build panels that can withstand temperatures up to 85 degrees Celsius. While they are manufactured to continue operating at this temperature, they do not operate efficiently nor produce the expected power.

Basically, solar panels generate less electricity at high temperatures. They do a poor job of converting sunlight into electricity when they are hot. In the worst cases, prolonged exposure to such a climate can damage your solar panels.

How Heat Affects the Efficiency of Solar Panels

solar-pv-high temperature

Solar panels are made up of individual solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity. Solar cells are usually made of silicon, a material found in sand. When sunlight hits a silicon solar cell, it causes electrons in the silicon to move around.

But the higher the temperature, the hotter the solar PV, the mobility of electrons increases. Thus, reducing the efficiency of the panel, as well as the voltage. High temperatures increase the electrical resistance of the circuits that convert the PV charge into AC electricity. Going for a modern solar panel can be a good idea as they suffer less from extreme heat. However, these modern hybrid panels can still lose around 10% of their efficiency in the hottest heat.

How to Determine Your Solar Panel’s Heat Tolerance?

The manufacturer’s datasheet indicates your solar PV system’s tolerance to high temperatures. On this page, you will find the “temperature coefficient (Pmax),” which describes how much power the panel loses when the temperature rises 1°C above 25°C.

How to Reduce the Effects of Heat

As much as you want to keep your panels working at their best, high temperatures are out of your control. There are ways you can minimize the harmful effects of rising temperatures. See examples below:

Implement Proper Installation Practices

You can minimize the effects of heat on your PV system by following good installation practices. For panel-level micro-inverters, providing enough space under the panels allows for better airflow. Underneath these panels are microcomputers with sensitive circuits that are very sensitive to high temperatures.

You can go for traditional string inverter configurations if you live in a warmer climate. You can place combiners and inverters in shaded areas to reduce wear and tear from direct sunlight and extreme heat.

Angle Your Panels

To keep your panels working at their best for a long time, you need to take steps to protect them during a heat wave. Make sure your panels are not under direct sunlight for long periods of time. If you can, angle your panels to ensure they get direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day.

Choose the Best Solar Panels

Choosing a reputable brand and panels is an important factor when considering a solar PV system. You need to choose the right type of panel that will always work in the Australian climate. It is important to choose the right panels because the heat produced by your PV system will depend on the temperature coefficient of your panels. Solar panels offer different efficiency ratings that identify how well they perform in challenging climates.

Coordinate With A Reputable Solar Provider

Australian homeowners considering going solar should take the time to find a reliable and quality solar team. A quality team offers a variety of services, such as providing fair quotes and excellent customer support. They should be able to answer any of your solar-related questions and concerns.

When coordinating a solar team, it’s important to ask for recommendations and do your own background research. In the end you can make a good investment by finding a reliable and effective solar provider.

Energy Matters has done the hard work for you! We have assembled a network of local and trusted installers with experience installing the right system for you and your home/business. You can get up to 3 FREE, no obligation quotes by completing our quick survey.

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