Despite the advancements in solar technology, many people still have concerns about how they can use their solar panels. Although it’s cheaper and more energy-efficient than ever, many people still have questions about how they can use their panels.
Aside from the technical aspects of solar panels, there are also some common questions people have about them. Some of these include the shade and reliability of their systems.
How does weather affect solar panel efficiency?
Even though rooftop solar panels are often exposed to inclement outdoor weather conditions, they can withstand them.
During rainy or overcast days, solar panels can produce up to 25% of their optimal capacity. This depends on the amount of rain and cloud cover that you experience.
To get the proper certification, solar manufacturers need to meet certain requirements. One of these includes having panels that can withstand winds that are up to 140 miles per hour.
Thunderstorms and lightning
Since solar panels are electrical devices, they can experience voltage surges caused by lightning. Having the proper grounding system can prevent these surges from happening.
Although snow on the roof can obstruct the solar panels from receiving their rays, it usually melts off quickly.
The NREL, a government laboratory, tests solar panels to ensure that they can withstand harsh environmental conditions, such as hail storms.
Aside from these, the laboratory also tests the panels’ electrical and mechanical properties. They also have to deal with various environmental factors such as humidity and high temperatures.
Extreme hot and cold temperatures
Through the absorption of the light from the sun, solar panels convert it into usable electricity. Unfortunately, due to the high resistance of certain PV components, they can become less efficient when exposed to extreme heat.
Shaded solar panels
Although solar panels are designed to receive the full sun’s rays, they can also function in cloudy weather. This means that they can still generate electricity even if the sun is not shining.
How do we convert sunlight to electricity?
Solar cells are basically square-shaped panels that are made from conductive materials. When exposed to sunlight, these cells produce electrical current.
Through the solar panels’ absorption, the light from the sun enters their cells and produces electrons. These electrons then flow out of the panels and into electrical devices.
How (and why) does shade reduce solar panel efficiency?
If the panels are not covered properly, they won’t be able to generate enough electricity to meet the system’s full capacity. However, this will still allow the other components of the system to operate properly.
Ways to combat shade’s impact on solar panels include:
Inverters are devices that prevent the solar panels from being completely covered in sunlight. These components operate like Christmas lights by preventing the rest of the panels from being affected by the light.
Although solar panels are usually installed on the roof, ground-mounted systems can also be utilized. This type of system allows homeowners to control the amount of sunlight that their solar panels receive.
Despite the various advantages of solar panels, they can still be affected by unfavorable environmental conditions. For instance, if you live in an area that’s prone to harsh weather, a solar system can still benefit you.