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A Groundbreaking System to Cool Solar Panels

Solar panels see minimal adoption in most tropical countries because of the consistent heat in these areas. As machines, they function better at optimal temperatures and collect more solar energy. Unfortunately, the high temperature climate of tropical countries limits the efficiency of their solar panel systems.

Luckily, many researchers and solar-progressive businesses know about this issue. Many teams are testing many designs and builds to introduce solar panel cooling systems alongside the panels themselves. The technology will increase the panel system's efficiency in a wide range of environments, especially in tropical countries.

While solar shingles from GAF do not have this issue, the system might also encounter the same challenges gathering solar energy in tropical countries. Attic humidity and trapped heat in most homes in these areas can affect and slow the collection process of the solar shingles attached to sheathing. 

Recently, a team of Spanish scientists have formulated a way to cool solar panels and improve the adaptation of this energy-saving technology to various parts of the world. You can learn more about it in this post from Energy Matters.

It’s easy to think that since Australia experiences a temperate climate, with an abundance of sunshine, that it’s the perfect place for solar. Hence, many households and businesses have solar systems installed—and the amount is growing. 

However, for those who haven’t taken the “solar” plunge, there’s one thing you need to know—too much sunshine is great, but our regular heat waves and often extreme summers are not good for your solar panels. Why? 

This is because solar panels can overheat, similar to your electrical system. An extensive temperature increase may reduce the efficiency in solar panels, leading to solar energy loss. 

The good news? There seems to be a way to prevent this from happening. 

Keeping things cool with a newly-developed cooling technique

University of Alcalá researchers have developed a technique that may help cool solar modules through an underground, single-phase, closed-loop heat exchanger circuit. 

It works through the application of a heat exchanger on the back side of a solar panel. This application removes the excess heat, and the heat is then transferred underground via a coolant fluid. A U-shape heat refrigerates the coolant fluid exchanged in a 15-metre borehole that contains natural water from an underground aquifer. 

The technique could reduce the temperature of a solar module between 13 C and 17 C, leading to improved performance of approximately 11 per cent. With this, for the whole day, the cooled panel can produce more watts per hour compared to an uncooled panel. 

However, the cooling technique isn’t available commercially yet. The scientists said that, should they get sufficient investment, the system may be used in various installations. 

How do solar panels overheat? 

When you speak with a solar installer, you will notice that there are two primary factors they consider when designing a solar system—light and heat. Since solar panels work by capturing light that is converted into electricity, it’s safe to say that the greater the light is, the more energy you can produce. 

However, when there’s too much solar flux, the heat will also increase, which will impact the panels’ ability to convert light into energy. This is the reason there must be good airflow where you have your solar panels installed. 

In addition, good airflow may also reduce moisture especially when it’s too humid outside. 

How to prevent overheating?

It’s not easy to prevent the overheating of solar panels because nobody really has control over the sunshine they receive. Still, there are measures in place, like the solar panels undergoing rigorous testing before they are allowed to be used in homes and businesses. (Continue reading here to learn more)

Roper Roofing & Solar is a GAF Master Elite roofing company certified to install GAF solar shingles. Timberline solar shingles are the best in aesthetics and functionality versus other brands. Call us today to learn more about our services and qualifications.

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