Impact of Diverse Weather Conditions on Solar Panel Performance
Solar energy is a plentiful source of renewable energy. When used properly, it can outperform many conventional energy sources at a much lower cost.
Solar panels are obviously influenced by the amount of sunlight they receive, both in terms of the number of hours of sunlight and the intensity of the sun. Fortunately, solar panels continue to generate energy even when the sky is overcast, the panel is partially shaded, or it is covered by up to an inch of light snow. Some panels perform better than others in such conditions, and our monocrystalline solar panels undoubtedly perform best in less-than-ideal conditions.
Misconceptions about the weather effect on solar panels include the belief that high temperatures can increase the efficiency of the panels. Solar panels, as strange as it may sound, are more productive when temperatures are low. Due to voltage drop, high temperatures reduce the power output of PV cells. As a result, a cool sunny day is a much better condition for the optimal operation of solar panels.
Contrary to popular belief, solar panels continue to generate electricity on cloudy/rainy days or in foggy weather; they simply produce less energy than they do on bright, sunny days.
Solar panels typically produce 10% to 30% of their capacity on cloudy days. Because PV cells rely on solar radiation to function, solar panels in cloudy weather are slightly less productive than on sunny days. The output of a solar panel on a cloudy day is also affected by the density of the cloud cover. Cirrocumulus clouds, for example, may have little effect on the performance of solar panels. Meanwhile, on partly cloudy days, even the best solar panels for cloudy days can perform 10 percent worse.
While a thick layer of snow will certainly reduce the energy production of the PV cells, a light layer of snow will not harm the panels because some sunlight will still pass through.
Furthermore, rooftop installations are typically designed so that snow slides off naturally. Surprisingly, the snow blanket around the house can increase solar energy generation because the reflected radiation from the snow acts as a mirror. As a result, the intensity of the radiation reaching the solar panels increases in the winter.
Although modern panels are designed to withstand winds of up to 90 mph, poorly designed panels may not perform as well. Even if the system fails, the panels are rarely the limiting factor.
In most cases, the issue is caused by problems with the racking system or the roof where the panels are mounted. In windy conditions, dust and flying debris can also have an impact on the panels. Most solar panels, on the other hand, are tough enough to withstand inclement weather.
Depending on how it strikes the panels, lightning can damage solar panels and inverters.
A direct lightning strike, for example, can even melt the panels. Indirect lightning strikes, which are more common than direct strikes, can cause voltage surges that damage several system components. Users of solar panels who live in areas prone to lightning strikes can seek out companies that provide lightning insurance. In the meantime, Genus employs a LA (lightning arrestor) to capture lightning and protect the solar power plant.
Most inclement weather will have little effect on your solar panels if they are of high quality and have durability as one of their main features. Many high-quality solar panels have a track record of durability, degrading at a slower rate than others. In fact, after 25 years, Q CELLS guarantees a minimum power output of 83%. Another advantage of long-lasting solar panels is that they protect your home’s roof from harsh weather conditions. Solar panels are designed to withstand a certain amount of weight and wind/snow load, so the more durable your panels are, the better they can withstand snow or hail.