Efficiency of Solar Panels in Extreme Conditions

Solar Power plant efficiency can get impacted in some other ways through extreme conditions which may include wind velocity, high temperature, snowfall, rain, etc. This blog discusses various aspects related to the efficiency of solar panels in such conditions in an in-depth manner.

 

Solar energy is one of the reliable and efficient sources which fosters energy generation at small, mid and large scale levels. As it is one of the widely used sources of renewable energy, its efficiency might result in one or the other ways to use it in an optimum manner. While solar energy or solar panels can be used in varied conditions, the most suitable use of it is particularly apt in weather conditions and areas which receive maximum sunlight. While other weather conditions may have negative and positive effects on efficiency, this blog discusses various aspects that might impact solar energy generation in different ways.

 

What is Solar Panel Efficiency?

The Solar Panel's efficiency can be described through its capacity to generate optimum electricity by converting sunlight into energy. This energy can either be stored or utilized simultaneously as it is converted into AC (Alternating Current) which can then power numerous electrical appliances. While understanding the efficiency of solar panels, it is described in percentage terms that convey how much striking sunlight it is capable of converting into energy. For example, if a solar panel is said to have 20% efficiency, it can convert 20% of the sunlight into usable electricity.

As per the research, the solar panel is capable of usually converting 15% to 22% of solar energy into electricity but extreme conditions can have varied impacts.

Extreme Conditions Impacting Solar Panels

There can be varied extreme conditions that may impact the efficiency levels of solar panels or solar cells at different levels. Here are some of these conditions which are as described:

  1. Extreme Hot and Cold Temperatures - The prime reason for the optimum level of solar power generation is sunlight. While there could be various factors affecting the power generation, the sunlight always remains as the focal point as opposed to temperatures. The temperature can be one of the concern factors but if it rises above 149 Degrees Fahrenheit then the solar panels may lose their efficiency. In the cold regions where the temperature is low but receive adequate sunlight, the efficiency may be optimum as desired.
     
  2. Hailstorms - Hailstorms can be a common phenomenon in some regions and this could be a great concern for anyone installing solar panels. While this could sound like an interesting fact, most solar panels are designed in a way to withstand hailstorms. While there can be some constraints or expectations pertaining to the same but in most cases, panels are rigid and can cope well with conditions of hailstorms.
     
  3. Conditions like Heavy Rain and Snow - The build quality of solar panels is quite rough and tough as they are manufactured with materials like monocrystalline, polycrystalline silicon which are supported by aluminium framing and polymer plastic sheet. While checking on its durability, the solar panels are designed to survive in such conditions so that they can be used in a multitude of weather conditions like Heavy Rain, Ice, Snow, etc. This also impacts the efficiency of solar panels to generate the desired output as sunlight is usually low during these times.
     
  4. Lightning - Lightning is another phenomenon that is common in areas where there is heavy rain and receives hefty monsoons. The solar panel may not be able to withstand the lightning strikes as it may burn the whole system and can impact it negatively. For this, the devices can be installed to prevent the solar panel from lightning.

Extreme Conditions & Influence on Solar Output

The different extreme conditions are responsible for influencing solar output and power generation. In some cases, the snow can impact up to 100% of energy generation while extreme heat can impact the working of these solar cells thus reducing the output ratio. Apart from that, the wind velocity, exposure to UV Rays or chemical residues from industries can also have a significant impact which is quite nominal or negligible. 

 

Conclusion

It is always important to assess the solar power generation potential as it may differ from region to region. While some areas may have weather conditions that receive higher amounts of sunlight a majority of times in a year, it can definitely have the potential to give better results and the efficiency will be always high. While as discussed earlier, exposure to sunlight always remains the prime factor and this is what decides the return on investment for solar projects. As extreme conditions can be a challenging factor for solar panels, it is always important to ensure the best quality of materials.

 
 
 
 
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