Passive logic would suggest that solar panels are made particularly for the summertime. Yet in actual fact, solar panels perform well across the full range of temperatures we experience here in Zimbabwe. Even in the cold winter months solar power is a reliable and resilient energy source. In fact in a country like Zimbabwe where we experience more load shedding in the winter ,it means that solar panels are even more essential in the winter months to keep our homes lit and warmer without creating an insane electric bill.
A good solar installation generates clean, renewable energy all year round. Solar panels are actually actually proven to produce electricity more efficiently in cold weather.
The Scientific Relationship Between Solar Panels And Temperature
Producing electricity in solar cells is more efficient when it’s colder. While this may not seem intuitive, you don’t need to be an engineer to understand solar technology.So, how do solar panels more efficiently produce electricity in cold weather? Let’s quickly review a little science.
You know how electrons move around atoms? Electrons are at rest (low energy) in cooler temperatures. When these electrons are activated by increasing sunlight (high energy), a greater difference in voltage is attained by a solar panel—creating more energy. It is important to note at this point that the sun transfers energy in two separate ways, there is the light energy and the heat. Solar Panels transfer light energy into electrical energy therefore the heat is a separate thing.
Now, the primary effect of heat on solar panels is reducing the electrons’ efficiency at converting sunlight into electricity. Hotter temperatures in the summer raise the overall energy levels of electrons, thereby decreasing the energy differential that can be gained and producing less energy. This high energy state interferes with solar cell electricity production since some energy transfers into heat instead of electricity.The temperature outside doesn’t affect the amount of sunlight a solar panel receives. Yet, the temperature outside does impact how much power is produced inside the solar cells. As panels get hotter, they create less energy—even with the same amount of daylight.Yet, the energy generation doesn’t stop. And, this diminished efficiency doesn’t generally occur during winter months. Additionally, the summer’s lower electricity production due to heat balances out with longer days of sunlight.In the solar industry, manufacturers rate solar panels for optimal temperature.18 This temperature is the point at which solar panels operate at their most efficient.Once their temperature rises above that temperature, the panel’s efficiency for creating electricity begins to decrease. In the winter, it’s less likely for solar panels to reach their peak temperature. Thus, the electron reactions occur at a greater rate.
At lower temperatures, solar panels absorb more energy from the sun to more efficiently generate electricity. So, there’s a bit of science behind solar panels but it’s not totally daunting. If you’d like to understand more, we’re here to help.
Additionally getting a good solar battery gives you enhanced capacity to store the energy generated by the panels during the day so that you don’t run out of power at night. this is useful considering the fact that there are less daylight hours during the winter.
If you would like any further information about solar products you are most welcome to contact us