Can Solar Panels Die From Too Much Heat?

It might sound unbelievable, but solar panels can suffer from damage due to extreme heat exposure. 

Solar cells absorb solar light intensity the same way various color pigments do. It does not do well with extreme heat absorptions. Solar energy collecting can get disrupted when this happens.

Let's learn more about this functionality and the safe temperature range for solar panels.

The Optimal Solar Panel Temperature

All electrical equipment works best when they're using optimal temperatures. Solar panels are electrical equipment and will be efficient if they operate at the lowest possible heat. Unfortunately, this isn't always possible when they're consistently exposed to the sun. Most solar panels have a 185 degrees Fahrenheit temperature limit. Anything above this would cause the panels to suffer from damage.

Are Solar Panels Supposed To Be Hot All the Time?

Solar panels are supposed to be hot all the time. But, they shouldn't be vehicle engine-hot. 

A typical solar panel will be 36 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the local temperature. This is because their pigmentation must absorb more energy, heat included. 

Can Premium Panels Reduce Temperature Increase?

Most high-end solar panels highlight their temperature-reduction capabilities. However, some do lose less output as their temperatures increase. However, you should know that these are top-of-the-line, expensive solar panels.

World Economic Forum has a great article on how heat affects solar panels, especially in extremely hot climates.

Heatwaves are good for generating solar energy – right?

Well, yes and no.

Recent hot weather has generated record amounts of solar power.

Germany broke a new record for solar power generation and, in the United Kingdom, solar power met up to a quarter of the nation’s power needs, according to news site Energy Live News.

But too much heat can actually be bad for solar panels.

How does extreme heat affect solar panels?

Heat can “severely reduce” the ability of solar panels to produce power, according to CED Greentech, a solar equipment supplier in the United States.

Depending on where they’re installed, hot temperatures can reduce the output efficiency of solar panels by 10%-25%, the company says.

According to the American renewable energy website EnergySage, solar panels are tested at 25°C (77°F) and generally have a temperature range of between 15°C and 35°C. Solar cells – the electronic devices that convert sunlight into electricity that are connected together to build solar panels – produce solar power most efficiently within this range.

But solar panels can get as hot as 65°C (149°F), EnergySage says. This can affect the efficiency of solar cells.

Why do solar panels struggle in very hot weather?

The impact of heat on solar panels is to do with the laws of thermodynamics - the science of heat and how it affects things.

The electricity generated by solar panels comes from a flow of particles called electrons inside the electrical circuit, explains news site Euronews.

When temperatures soar, these electrons can bounce around too much – and this reduces voltage, or the amount of electricity generated.

Too much heat also reduces the efficiency of the solar panel, by 0.5 percentage points for every degree Celsius rise in temperature.

What can be done about overheating solar panels?

How hot your roof is likely to get during the year is one of the factors that solar panel installers will consider when designing a solar panel system.

Ways to reduce the impact of hot weather include mounting solar panels a few inches above the roof, explains CED Greentech. This allows airflow to cool the panels.

Using solar panels that are built with light-coloured, reflective material can also reduce the amount of heat they absorb.

Electronic components that operate the solar panels can be installed in a shaded area behind the panels to help stop them from becoming too hot. (Continued)

Allow us at Roper Roofing & Solar to install your solar panel system in Golden, CO, today. Call us now to get started.

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