Effect of Weather Conditions on Solar Panels

Effect of Weather Conditions on Solar Panels

Whether you are already using solar power or planning to use it, you should be well aware of the effects of weather conditions on solar panels & also on their electricity production.

Like any other electronic device, solar panels are also affected by temperature variations due to weather.

You might have heard about the common misconception that solar panels work best during hot summer days. However, this fact is not true.

Infact, extreme heat can significantly reduce the efficiency of PV panels. 

In this post, I will be discussing the effects of various weather conditions on PV panels.

After reading this post, you will get to know:

  1. The effect of weather conditions on solar panels efficiency &
  2. How bad weather impacts the lifespan of these panels?

Effects of Weather Conditions on Solar Panels

I have tried my best to explain the effect of 

  • extreme heat, 
  • cloudy weather, 
  • snowfall, 
  • hails, 
  • rain & 
  • lightning 

on solar panels.

1. Extreme Heat

A common misconception about solar panels is that they produce more energy during hot summer days.

However, it is not true. Even, the efficiency of solar panels gets reduced by 30% due to extreme heat.

The perfect conditions for higher solar panels efficiency is cold weather. And the perfect temperature ranges from 15°C to 35°C.

If we talk about lifespan, then there is no significant impact of heat on the lifespan of solar panels.

Effect of Extreme Heat on Solar Panels

What you can do to prevent solar panels from overheating?

Here are few things you can do to prevent your panels from getting too hot:

✔️ Before purchasing you can make sure whether the panels are isolated with thermally conducting substrates. This isolation helps in creating an outlet for excess heat.

✔️ You can install ventilation systems near panels so that they don’t overheat.

2. Cloudy Weather & Fog

If the sky is completely filled with clouds, fog or mist, then you can’t expect your panels to produce energy.

It is so because sunlight gets blocked during cloudy or foggy days. However, partial clouds do not have much impact on efficiency of solar panels.

Similar to extreme heat, clouds do also reduce the output of pv panels up to 30%.

But, during cloudy days, the temperature also reduces which helps solar panels become more efficient.

Effect of Cloudy weather on Solar Panels

What you can do?

✔️ Keep calm & enjoy the 70% of energy. 

3. Snowfall

Snowfall can be a serious problem for those living in colder regions.

As long as the panels are covered with snow, they can not produce energy for you. However, in most cases the panels are so made that snow can slide off.

Also, it melts quickly as the sun rises. So, the problem is not something to be anxious about. The lifespan of solar panels is not impacted by snowfall.

Effect of Snowfall on Solar Panels

What you can do?

✔️ You can use a snow rake or broom to clear snow from the surface of solar panels.

4. Rain & Lightning

Rain does not impact the lifespan of solar panels. However, efficiency may reduce if the rain continues for days.

The good thing is rain water washes the surface of pv panels & washes away dirt or dust  which has been collected over the panel. 

Thus, rain can also help in improving efficiency by cleaning their surface.

Lightning does have some serious impacts like sudden increase in the voltage. This may even damage electronic components attached with it.

Effect of Rain on Solar Panels

What you can do to protect solar panels from lightning?

✔️ Make sure the solar installation team has created a proper earthing system to prevent voltage spikes.

✔️You can install a lightning protection system for better protection of electronic equipment attached to it.

5. Hails

Hail is a form of frozen rain with stone-like structures. During rain, when raindrops get extremely cold, they convert into hails.

The surface of solar panels can be broken if they are not manufactured to prevent hail storms.

Almost all solar panels are so made that they can withstand heavy hail storms. So there is nothing much to worry about.

What you can do to protect your panels from Hail Storms?

✔️ Make sure the panels that you have purchased are capable of withholding hail storms.

✔️ You can apply for hail storm damage insurances or maybe your home insurance covers that.

This is how we have discussed the effects of weather conditions on solar panels. Let’s have a look at some frequently asked questions.

FAQ’s

1. How do solar panels perform on hot summer days?

Extreme heat above 35°C can reduce the efficiency of solar panels up to 30%. Thus, during hot summer days efficiency is severely impacted.

2. Should I pour cold water over solar panels to protect them from overheating?

No, don’t do that. Doing so can damage them. Wash them only during early morning & late evening.

3. How to protect solar panels from heavy storms?

You can make sure that the installation is storm proof by raking them properly on the ground. It is very rare that solar panels are ripped off by heavy storms.

4. Do lightning damage solar panels?

Lightning may lead to sudden voltage spikes which may be harmful for various electronic devices attached to it. However, you can ensure proper earthing during installation.

5. How can we protect solar panels from hail storms?

Normally solar panels are so designed that they are not affected by hail storms. However, for your safety, you can use solar covers & apply for insurance claims.

Conclusion

These days solar panels are so made that bad weather conditions do not have much impact on them.

However, it is always best to be prepared in advance. In this post I have tried my best to explain the effects of weather conditions on solar panels.

There might be a few challenges of using solar power, but still there are numerous benefits of adopting it. 

I hope you have enjoyed this post. You can subscribe to our email newsletter for the latest updates.

Harish Joshi

Harish is an environment enthusiast & a passionate blogger from Uttarakhand, India. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Computer Applications from G.B. Pant. University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar. Along with Solar Funda, he also manages Fullonstudy (an educational blog for college students).

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