Auswell Energy outlines the steps you can take in order to protect your solar panels during the hot summer weather.
As the warmer months loom ahead, climate experts are sounding the alarm that this summer is predicted to be the hottest on record for Australians. Despite a common misconception suggesting that solar panels thrive in scorching temperatures, this idea is far from the truth. In reality, extreme heat can pose challenges to solar panel performance. As expert in solar power systems on the Gold Coast, we’ll unravel the effects of high temperatures on your solar panels, provide cooling tips, and offer insights into maintenance and monitoring to keep your system in top shape.
Understanding the Impact of Extreme Heat on Solar Panels
While solar panels are made to withstand temperatures of up to 85 degrees Celsius, energy conversion is not necessarily more efficient in hotter weather. When solar cells absorb sunlight the electrons in these cells move around to create energy, however, in cases of extreme heat, rapid movement of electrons can reduce power generation. Most solar panels function best at 25 degrees Celsius, although typical Queensland and New South Wales weather in the summer can reach beyond this. Current solar panels will have a reduced power output of roughly 0.3% to 0.5% for every degree increased above the optimal temperature.
Tips for Heat Mitigation and Cooling
There are numerous ways that you can mitigate the impacts of extreme heat on your solar panels in the installation phase. Installing panels above the surface of a roof can allow for convective airflow, which distributes warm air and can cool solar panels. Other components including batteries and inverters can be fitted in shaded areas near the location of the solar panels.
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Additionally, solar panels that have lower temperature coefficients are less impacted by changes in temperature, therefore can handle hotter weather. Reach out today for a free consultation for your solar power system on the Gold Coast to discover which solar panel best suits your needs!
Regular Maintenance and Inspection
Maintenance and inspection of your solar panels is essential and should be conducted at least once a year. Damage can make a significant impact on your solar panels and their energy output, although heat cannot physically damage your solar panels alone. To safely assess your system’s performance, review your electricity bills to analyse power generation levels. Additionally, inspect your inverter screen for error messages, red lights, or orange lights. Heat can also cause plastic cases for isolation switches and inverters to lose strength, making them prone to crack, chip, or break. Wires can also fray due to heat and age. If you let your solar systems go unchecked, especially in the scorching East Coast heat, you’re likely to see a drop in power generation and efficiency.
Monitoring Performance and Optimisation
It’s wise to keep a close eye on your solar system’s performance, not just to catch issues early on but also to assess your energy usage in comparison to production levels. Solar monitoring goes beyond problem detection; it brings added advantages such as heightened efficiency, enhanced performance, and increased savings. This is where solar panel optimisers come into play. These devices, designed to bolster efficiency, work especially well in systems where solar panels are linked in a series. In situations where one panel is shaded or underperforming, optimisers step in to either boost its output or isolate it, ensuring the entire series operates seamlessly. Moreover, they offer the ability to monitor the performance of each individual panel, providing a comprehensive view of your solar system’s health and functionality.
If you need more assistance with ensuring that you can get the most out of your solar system this summer, contact Auswell Energy. We’re the experts in solar power systems on the Gold Coast.
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