How Does Heat Affect Solar Energy

When you are ready to plan out a solar energy project, you should find some ways to estimate the heat temperatures that will exist near your solar equipment, especially the solar panels.  Heat itself is often what many people think is creating electricity in solar energy, but that is not always the case.  For example, with a solar hot water system, yes indeed, HEAT is the primary and main source of energy or fuel to make water hot.  But with solar electricity, or photovoltaic solar modules, the source of energy is actually just sunlight.  In examples of solar electricity, heat can actually decrease the efficiency output of solar panels when extremely hot temperatures are reached.

When solar panel temperatures reach over 115 degrees, they begin to have energy losses in their efficiency in turning sunlight into electricity.  This is normally not a factor for most locations, however during hot summer months, you can expect to have some energy loss along with your long sunlight hours days.  It is somewhat of a tradeoff, high amounts of sunlight perday combined with some minimal energy loss.  The high heat temperatures affect the solar panel in terms of its voltage which decreases, and this in turn turns down the amount of electricity that is constantly being produced.

Some recommendations for solar energy producers is to definitely consider the locations where you might be placing your solar panels.  If you find that you have several options for where the solar collectors can potentially be located, figure out what the average temperatures are at each of the locations.  If there is a noticeable difference in heat, you might want to consider the colder location.  There are other factors to consider to optimize the solar panel cells such as shading and angle towards the sun, so take those factors into consideration as well.

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