Do Solar Panels Work Better in the Summer?

Posted on Aug 23rd 2023


Do Solar Panels Work Better in the Summer?

Many people love to soak up the sun on hot summer days, but do solar panels love it too? While it seems like summer would be the best time of year for solar panels regarding energy production and efficiency, that’s not exactly the case.

Solar panels can create energy in two different ways. Thermal solar power uses heat from the sun to generate energy. In contrast, photovoltaic solar power systems use the light from the sun to generate energy. Photovoltaic panels can generate energy well throughout the year because they only need light from the sun, not heat. For these types of solar power systems, heat can actually be more of an issue than a benefit.

The ideal conditions for solar panels are cool, sunny days. A study analyzing the efficiency of solar panels in heat found a decrease in efficiency for each additional degree above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. So, what does that mean for energy production? First, here’s a quick breakdown of what these two terms mean.

  • Efficiency. This term refers to the percentage of usable electricity that is produced from the light solar panels receive. Solar panels can receive less light in the cooler months but convert a higher percentage of that light into energy.
  • Energy production. As the term suggests, this refers to the amount of power produced. In the summer, solar panels receive so much more light that even with a lower efficiency percentage, the panels may still produce a higher amount of energy.

In the summer, when the days are longer, and there is more sunlight, your solar panels can take that extra light and generate more power. However, the ambient heat from those summer days affects the panels' efficiency.

Some other factors that influence the production of your panels include:

  • Season
  • Time of day
  • Temperature
  • Location
  • Direction the panels face

You will likely experience some variation in the output of your solar panels throughout different seasons of the year. Despite this fluctuation, solar power is still a very beneficial investment. Consider that you can store excess solar power on a solar battery for days with less light. Plus, selling your solar panels' extra power back to the grid allows you to build credit with your utility company. Even with the variation in sunlight through the year, you will likely see overall energy cost savings.

If you are concerned about the heat having a negative impact on your solar panels, there are a few things you can do. On particularly hot days, consider cooling your panels down by spraying them with a bit of water from your hose. You'll also want to ensure your solar panels have good ventilation.

There is much to learn about solar panels, but don't get discouraged! The professionals of Custom Energy are here to help. As experts in Utah, we will design your solar power system to maximize efficiency and productivity for your home. Still have questions? Feel free to ask! At Custom Energy, we are happy to answer any questions you have and recommend how to keep your solar panels working well, no matter the weather.

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