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The influence of weather on solar panels

Elisa Advard
The influence of weather on solar panels

How does the weather affect solar panel production?

Every second, some 400,000 zeta Watts (zt) of energy from the sun find their way to Earth. In total, we receive more energy than the entire planet consumes in a year.

Although a fraction of this energy makes it to a solar panel and is converted into electricity, it is not a perfect energy exchange. The amount of energy produced by a solar panel depends on several factors, such as the efficiency of the panel, its orientation relative to the sun, and, of course, the weather conditions.

How does the weather affect the performance of solar panels? Everything from temperature to cloud cover impacts how much electricity your system produces, and that's what you can read between these lines.

What can affect solar radiation?

In addition to cloud cover, solar radiation depends on the time of day and time of year. These two factors indicate the position of the sun in the sky, the angle at which it hits your solar panel, and whether there is a building, mountain, or tree shading it.

Thus, the more clouds or shade there are, the more solar radiation is limited. Early morning and late afternoon times also mean lower energy production and finally, the further north you are, the lower the sun's position during the winter months in the hemisphere north, hence even more limited energy production.

The influence of temperature on solar panels

Extremely high temperatures, such as those observed in many parts of southern and central Europe in July 2019, decrease the efficiency of solar panels and, therefore, the amount of electrical energy produced. This is due to the physics of what happens in a solar panel.

Without going into detail, as each Solar manufacturer in Australia may have slightly different technical specifications for their panels. The efficiency of solar panels, that is, the percentage of solar energy that can actually be converted into electricity, decreases with increasing temperature

In other words, there is a mathematical relationship between temperature and voltage. The voltage decreases with increasing temperature. This is why solar panels produce the most when it is cold and there is a lot of sun. For example, on a day in summer when it is 35 degrees, the solar panels will produce less energy than a sunny day in December. The typical test temperature for solar modules is 25°C.

Remember, this is the panel temperature, not the ambient temperature. Temperatures above this value may reduce production efficiency. Add to this the fact that when the ambient temperature is 25°C, on a sunny day this can easily mean 40-45°C on the solar panel itself

What does this mean for the future of solar energy?

With global temperatures constantly rising, what effect will this have on the development of solar energy around the world? Will a further drastic reduction in the production costs of solar panels outweigh the potential drop in efficiency due to the increase in ambient temperature?

Good news! There are ways to perform a fairly accurate analysis of historical electricity production from a given type of solar panel in a given geographic location. This analysis will answer the question of what your new solar installation would have produced if it had already been in operation in the past.

Likewise, a similar analysis of the future energy production you can expect from the Solar Panel is also possible. Both will give you a very good picture of what you can expect from your solar installation – during a heat wave, during the colder winter months, with blue skies or heavy rain clouds.

The importance of correct installation

The most important factor when choosing a Solar Panel in Australia installer is to ensure that they are licensed. This means you can be sure that the installer has been trained in the installation of solar energy systems.

Choose the best quality solar panels and look for an installation company that can properly install the panels so that they are secure and ready for all weather conditions.

Please note that at Eco Habitat Belge, we offer you reliable, durable products covered by a good guarantee. So, you should consider solar energy the same way you would when buying a car. If you're considering installing a solar system on your roof, do your research. We recommend that you read this guide to solar installation in Belgium. Also, you can get information by asking us for a free quote.








Elisa Advard
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