Solar Panel Temperature Coefficient
Solar technology has become one of the fastest growing innovations of the decade as more and more people begin to understand the importance of switching to alternative renewable energy. This is why the number of people wanting to have solar panels installed in their homes has also increased. However, some people are skeptical about the possibility of switching to renewable energy.
With global warming, they fear that these photovoltaic cells cannot withstand the heat and degrade more quickly, making their investment less profitable. This is why it is useful to talk about how hot do solar panels get and the impact of temperature on their performance and longevity. This article will look at the ability of solar panels to absorb heat and how they can be properly maintained to extend their life.
How Hot Solar Panels Can Get?
Can solar panels overheat if the temperature becomes too high? If so, what is the extent of their resistance to heat? In reality, the panels can overheat, especially in summer. This tendency can even increase if they are installed in a desert location.
The good news is that the panels are designed to withstand temperatures up to 25 degrees Celsius while maintaining an optimal level of performance. However, at higher temperatures, their productivity can drop by a certain percentage, and this is dictated by their temperature coefficient.
The temperature coefficient, scientifically speaking, is a physical property of matter and is described by a relative decrease or increase in the property as a result of a change in temperature. In the case of solar cells, their efficiency has an inverse relationship with temperature. Thus, with temperatures > 25 degrees, their efficiency drops by up to 0.50%.
In order for the system not to overheat, the temperature must be between 15 and 30 degrees. The heat absorbed by the system can be affected by its proximity to the roof (especially for metal roof types) and the period of exposure to high temperatures.
Can Solar Panels Overheat?
Overheating solar panels is possible. As it is technically electronic equipment, it has such a tendency. Now that we have established this, let’s look at ways to prevent overheating.
An attenuation method is performed during the installation process. Installers establish a fixed and safe distance between the panels and the roof itself to reduce contact, using a thermally conductive substrate. In other words, cement sheets are glued to the glass before it is mounted on the roof.
Thanks to special supports, the panels are not seriously affected by the temperature of the roof. This also allows better air circulation to keep the module at a cool temperature.
The material can also be an influencing factor. If you live in an area of your country that is mainly heated or humid, thin-film panel types can work best because their temperature coefficients are between -0.20 and -0.25 degrees Celsius compared to mono or poly panels with coefficients twice as high.
The overheating tendency of solar panels can also be affected by the color and material of the roof. Black roofs absorb more heat than lighter roofs. Asphalt can heat up more easily than concrete. This is why it is preferable to use panels with a high temperature coefficient to get the most out of your system.
How Does Heat Affect the Efficiency of Solar Panels?
Can heat significantly affect the efficiency of solar panels? The answer to this question is a resounding yes. In practice, if you have an efficiency of 20% and the heat becomes so extreme that it reduces this figure by 0.40%, you are left with 19.92%. Remember that this drop corresponds to each increase in temperature from 25 degrees Celsius.
So, if the temperature is at 40, you have an efficiency of 6% of your panel. This means that out of all the photons your system absorbs, only 18.8% are converted into usable energy.
These numbers may not seem very high or relevant, but they actually have a significant impact on the power generated by your system. Panels can have temperatures as high as 65 degrees, and the on-site reduction can become even greater. However, your solar energy supplier should be able to explain these facts to you when they sell the product to you.
Solar Panels that Protect Themselves Against High Temperatures
How hot do solar panels get and how do these devices protect themselves from deterioration? Some brands on the market are manufactured with smart components to further protect them from damage due to extremely high temperatures. Newer technologies make the panels even smarter.
The coating process is improved by a process called doping. This process makes the panel coating capable of absorbing light and repelling heat. The surface of the panels thus becomes less heat-emitting on cold days and more heat-emitting on hot days. It can do this by detecting the solar spectrum and changing its color, and at the same time, its absorptivity, accordingly.
However, this technology is not part of the main market, but it should be in a few years. For now, there are doping pastes available that can further protect your equipment from temperature damage.
Indeed, people are even more in favor of renewable energy sources. While natural gas is already a good source, it may run out over the next few decades, and it is high time for us to look for substitutes. However, since most of the world still uses this energy source, the atmosphere is continually warming up.
As a result, it is considered that switching to solar panels may not be a good idea, as the rising temperatures may damage equipment and result in more expenses than savings. This may be a valid point because efficiency decreases at high temperatures, which can be inconvenient.
While it is true that solar systems can overheat, especially at temperatures above 25 degrees, there are various ways to protect or prevent such damage. First of all, you should have a lighter colored roof. Second, the panels should be mounted at a sufficient distance from the actual roof to reduce contact and allow for better air circulation.
Consideration should also be given to the most appropriate type of sign based on the relative climate of their location. Finally, doping pastes can be used to better protect the equipment. Even with solar panels, prevention is better than cure, and this can only be achieved through proper planning and informed decisions. Now you know more about how hot do solar panels get and what are the consequences of this.