It is a given that solar panels installed at high elevations perform better than units installed at low elevations, by an estimated 20 percent. This is due to less obstructions and minimized distance for the sun’s rays to travel and reach the panels. But what about cold versus warm climate regions? How does temperature affect solar panel efficiency? Find out below.
Cold Climates for Increased PV Efficiency
Scientists tested such factors in a study published in the journal of Environmental Science and Technology. The researchers were able to conclude that exceedingly high temperatures negatively affects solar panel systems. As a result, the unit’s lifespan and performance are severely hindered.
Interestingly, the group pointed out that heat is a primary destroyer of solar panel components. One of the best ways to minimize exposure is by taking the environment into consideration during installation. Comparing PV systems in deserts and mountainous locations, the latter is exposed to more sunlight, at low temperatures.
From a cost perspective, solar panels in cold-climate regions may also last longer, due to decreased degradation rates.
Cost of Distribution
Installing PV panels in cold, remote locations is not a complete solution to PV efficiency. This is because if the end-user is located far away from the system, costs associated with sending power and transporting materials (during construction) could be overwhelming.
Ultimately, the recommendation is suitable for usage within the installed location. For instance, Nepal is a frequent consumer of solar energy, due to its mountainous location. The country utilizes solar panels to power airports and infrastructure. Local residents are also fond of using solar cookers at home.
For increasing PV efficiency in hot-climate regions, the focus should then be keeping the panels cool. Furthermore, this could also be the main reason why large-scale PV systems are setup in lakes, for areas prone to hot temperatures.
This article is sponsored by Larson Electronics