How Weather Affects Solar Panel Efficiency

Solar panels are an inevitable roof addition to install in order to cut electricity costs and contribute to the environment. Technology has became so advanced that panels nowadays can be almost unnoticeable or become a unique addition to your roofing system. More and more people decide to put them on their property motivated by all the positive experiences.

However, those in a dilemma usually worry about how effective will solar panels be depending on the climate they live in. Another thing people worry about is whether or not will harsh weather conditions damage their panels.

We bring you the answer to the eternal question: How weather conditions affect solar panel efficiency?

1. Rain

Rain and clouds usually come together which makes people wonder: how will my panels make use of this weather and will they be useless? Fortunately, the effect of rain on solar panels is beneficial. Our panels are highly exposed meaning they get dirty easily. Rain won’t affect solar efficiency negatively but thick layers or dirt will.

Therefore, rain provides your panels with occasional cleaning and gets rid of pollen, leaves and bird droppings which limit exposure to the sun.

2. Hail

Considering that hail will hit your panels, it is a reasonable topic to be worried about. Out of all natural conditions, hail might represent the most physically intense one.

When it comes to damage that hail can cause to your panels, quality of your panels and their installation is the most significant factor. However, most of the panels are made to withstand harsh hail. To avoid the damage caused by hail storms, try to invest in high-quality solar panels which are strong enough to withstand various weather conditions.

3. High Temperatures

Unlike rain and clouds, many people think that high temperatures are highly beneficial for panel efficiency. It does truly seem contradictory to claim that high temperatures decrease effectivity. Bizarrely, that is the case.

Higher temperatures tend to lower the power out which is also known as the voltage drop. Voltage and current produce power, and high temperatures tend to increase the current. However, they also have a decreasing effect on electrons in one power cell.

Therefore, increasing temperature means raising the rest state of electrons which results in lower voltage, and that equals to lower output.

However, if you live in warm areas, this doesn’t mean your panels are not efficient. It is necessary to count in that when it is warm, a lot of suns is usually around. Finally, efficiency will balance out, and panels will bring your savings.

4. Lightning

The chances of lightning striking your roof are low on its own. In such an event, voltage transient is a danger that could occur. Luckily, this problem is preventable thanks to lightning protection systems. These systems are grounded, and they can prevent electrical surges. If lightning strikes panels, the excess energy will be led into the earth.

Pay attention to the protection system especially if you live in the southeast of the US where lightning is possible and often. By installing proper protection system and supplying your roof with additional protective tools such as varistors and suppressors, danger can be eliminated.

5. Wind

Modern panels are built to withstand strong winds up to 90 mph or even more. With this said, every panel out there that didn’t perform well in a windy period is a mistake of a contractor.

Nowadays, solar panels are made to withstand harsh weather conditions

When it comes to wind, high-quality solar panel installation is a must. The only way wind can damage your solar panels as if they were poorly mounted or loosen up. Therefore, always search for a reputable company that follows safety codes and requirements. Not only wind doesn’t represent danger, but it can also boost the performance of your panels. Cool air will bring operating temperature of cells down and help them work better.

6. Snow

Snow always represents a potential problem for panels. However, it is not just panels that are at risk, but the entire roofing system. Overload of snow can pose a structural threat to your property because of the added weight.

However, if this problem occurs, electricity production will be your last worry, and you’ll be focused more on preventing complete destruction of your roof and possibly interior. Snow can also block the panels from accessing sunlight but only partially. You can easily solve this problem by removing snow from the panels and allow the sun to pass through.

Final Thoughts

There are several potential threats to the efficiency and stability of your solar panels. However, advanced technology and experienced contractors always think ahead. Today, panels are made to withstand brutal weather conditions. Quality manufacture combined with proper installation will ensure you have zero problems with the efficiency of your solar panels.

Mattea Jacobs

Mattea Jacobs is a freelance writer who mostly writes about both interior and exterior home design, and environmentally-friendly ways to improve homes. She is also a green activist and a mother of two beautiful sons.

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