You have considered getting solar panels for your home, but what if they do not work the way you expect? This is a common fear among homeowners who are considering a residential solar installation but knowing the factors that influence the energy yield of photovoltaic panels will help clear our heads in order to make an informed decision.
Solar panels are an excellent way to be helpful to the environment, but what are some of the top factors that impact solar panel efficiency?
Solar panels use sunlight to generate electricity, so they naturally follow better in areas that receive a higher amount of sunlight. Places located near the equator generally have more sunlight than those near the North and South poles.
We may assume that solar panels work more efficiently in hot weather since there’s plenty of sunlight, but solar panels actually perform poorer in warmer temperatures. Prolonged exposure to extremely high temperature will degrade solar cells, thus reducing the panels’ efficiency. High temperatures also reduce voltage and power because there is more resistance in the solar cells. Hotter materials will have a higher resistance rate. Any resistance can decrease the number of electrons that will pass through the circuit, and the energy production suffers. Between two locations with an equal amount of sunlight, solar panels will perform better in the one with cold weather than the one with hot weather.
The quality of your panels
As with any technology, there are various types of raw materials used for solar panels, and each will differ in quality. A colossal amount of the world’s photovoltaic cells are made of silicone, but there are various types of silicone that can be used. Generally, monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient solar panel type since it is made using the highest quality but also the most expensive silicon in the market. Polycrystalline silicon is not as effective as monocrystalline but is considerably more affordable than the latter. Thin-film panels are relatively the least efficient of the three since a lot of space is required for these panels to generate sufficient energy.
Solar panels on roofs should be positioned in a manner that maximizes the amount of sunlight that hits the panel. In the United States these devices should generally face South for this reason. The pitch of your roof is an important factor that system designers take into account as well; the solar panels should be tilted into position to get the maximum amount of sunlight possible. Where the panels should face and what angle it should have will just depend on the location of your home.
Shade can significantly reduce a panel’s efficiency. The photovoltaic panels are composed of many interconnected solar cells; if a cell is covered with shade, the performance of the whole board is affected since the entire current flow will be hampered. If shade cannot be avoided, the solar installation company should carefully plan how to set up the solar panels in a way that the shade will not significantly slow down your energy production.
These factors, along with several others, affect solar panels’ efficiency. The key to having an efficient solar power system is careful planning. Every factor should be considered for maximum productivity, so study these factors carefully before installing solar panels for your home. And much like how air conditioners require louisville ac repair, expect to need to perform on-going maintenance on your solar installation.