As solar energy runs by the sun, this is usual to think that it might fail to work in a cold-weather. But surprisingly, we found out that the reality is the total opposite. In fact, solar panels work better in the cold. So we tried to solve this mystery for you and figured out the real reason.
So, why do solar panels work better in cold? Even in shivering cold temperatures, you will get better solar energy. That’s because solar panels do not work in the way that we think. There is a difference between the sun’s heat and energy. The solar panels do not use the sun’s heat to produce the energy, instead, the power you get is because of the plentiful light. That’s why, in cold temperatures, even though there is not enough heat, your solar panel will work the same for you.
We figured out the whole reason, this is just the glimpse. So let’s dive into the details and know what’s waiting for you ahead!
Why Do Solar Panels Work Better In The Cold?
Undoubtedly, solar is a good source of energy that can be used at home to save electricity. We all know that this is an implement or device which converts the sun rays into electricity and heat. But the whole procedure of conversion doesn’t happen in the way that we think it is.
If we think in a straight way, it can look like the panel is using the sun’s heat to produce the energy. But in reality, solar panels consist of PV (photovoltaic power) and reactive cells. This photovoltaic power converts the rays into electricity. When the sunlight hits the photovoltaic power panel, light (a huge number of photons) hits the electrons in the solar cell.
After that the electrons get energized, then goes low state energy to high state energy and make the current flow and this is how we get the electricity, this effect is known as the PV effect. People think that solar panels only work in the summer and stop producing electricity in cold weather because days are shorter in winter than in summer. But the answer is that solar panels work better in the cold weather than in summer. Because excessive heat damages the photovoltaic power module.
The photovoltaic power module works more efficiently at a cooler temperature than the hotter. In the summer, because of the intense heat of the sun, the reactive cell of the solar panel or PV module can be damaged and the solar panel only needs rays of the sun, not the heat to function properly.
In the winter season, you may not get the warmth of the sun but you can get sufficient sunlight. So, if your solar panel gets proper sunlight, it will work tremendously in the winter season too. Nowadays, solar panels work more efficiently than before. Though at first solar panels used to depend on the atmosphere temperature but now solar panels have become more efficient.
In the winter, PV shows excellent durability. So it can generate more electricity from the sun rays so the temperature doesn’t matter anymore. If you’re living in the northern country, you will think that if solar panels work in the cold and if the snow blocks the sun rays to reach the panel. Many of us think that snow can affect the solar panel but when you buy a solar panel, technicians will provide you guards that will help you to avoid the snowfall from when the snow will melt down in the panel. No matter how cold the weather condition is but your solar panels will work excellently.
Read next: How To Remove Snow From A Solar Panel
At What Temperature Are Solar Panels Most Efficient?
People think that if the temperature of the sun gets stronger and warmer, the solar panels will produce more electricity, but this is not true because the key factor of the panel is sunlight and it depends on the rays. If the temperature gets high, the PV (photovoltaic power) module and the reactive cell will be damaged because the solar panels are made of silicon photovoltaic cells which are guarded by a thin layer of glass and metal frame.
When the temperature is more than 149 degrees Fahrenheit (65° C), at this point the solar panel efficiency can get worse. Solar panels function well when the temperature of the sunlight is in the optimum range. Standard Test Condition (STC) declared that the output of the temperature of the solar panel is approximately 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
According to the manufacturer data, 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) indicates the optimum temperature of the solar panel. If the coefficient of the temperature of the solar panel increase rate is -0.50% per °C, solar panels’ power will decrease by 0.5% for every degree temperature rises. When the temperature of the solar panel stands between 59 degrees Fahrenheit to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (15° C to 35° C), the solar panel works most efficiently.
Solar Panels Output Winter Vs Summer (Based On Different Factors)
- The solar system depends on the rays of the sun, it also depends on the season too. In summer, days are longer and the radiation of the sunlight is strong, the angle of the sun is different but in winter, days are shorter. So, the solar panel produces twice more electricity in the summer than in the winter.
- Seasons and the geographic location is an important factor of the panel. Daylight has a great influence on the solar panel. As you can see, in the summer daylight is available most of the time than winter. In winter, because of the geographic location, solar energy decreases eventually.
- Daylight is another important factor of summer vs winter output. Daylight hours are longer in summer and shorter in winter. In the winter season, the sun rises late and the sun sets quickly in the evening. So in winter, the cost of solar panels increases more than in the summer.
- In the summer, solar panels generate more solar energy or electricity which can be also stored later. But in winter, solar panels cannot produce the energy you need nor store it for later.
- Solar panels’ energy depends on the atmosphere too. In winter, there’s no need to be worried about any climate change because, in the winter, you can see the clear sky. But in the summer, there will be rainy weather or cloudy sky which isn’t good for the solar panel. Because of the rough weather, solar can’t produce the required energy.
- In winter, the warmth of the sun is less than the sunlight but in summer it works opposite. In the landscape factor, the flat areas are most required for solar panels because the sunlight directly hits the solar panel. But in the downhill area, sunlight cannot hit the panels directly.
So even though we already know that the heat doesn’t matter for the solar panel to produce necessary energy, the solar panels work better in summer than winter. Yet, your solar panels will be more effective in cold temperatures than scorching heat. By this time, you know why do solar panels work better in the cold?
Next time if anyone tells you that solar panels need sun heat to work, give them scientific proof that they are wrong. You don’t have to worry about efficiency anymore because now you know which factors matter the most in face of solar efficiency. Enjoy your cold days more than you do in the hot summer days because the energy will never go in vain!