As Minnesotans, we are usually associated with cold weather, brutal winters and massive amounts of snow. So, when contemplating switching to solar, our go-to question usually revolves around “Does solar work in Minnesota winters with all of the snow?” But, what happens when Minnesota does a complete 180? Or, in solar terms, how is solar affected by hot summer days?
Sunlight and heat go hand in hand, so the more sunlight, the more energy produced, right?
While it’s easy to assume that hot weather and blazing sunshine would boost the performance of your solar installation, that’s not always the case. Minnesota is the perfect state to invest in solar energy. The summer months provide a nice buildup of energy, and the winter months produce a steady stream of electricity, thanks to the sunlight’s reflection off the snow.
So, how much heat is too much heat?
The amount of heat your solar panels can handle depends on the solar brand you choose and its temperature coefficient which explains how well the panels perform in high temperatures. Not only that, but when you’re shopping for solar panels, you’ll notice that different brands have different efficiency ratings. This rating refers to how much sunlight the panels can convert into usable energy, with an average of about 15% efficiency. So, solar panels will begin to lose their efficiency once the temperature rises above the tested temperature (about 77 degrees), and at that point, for every degree increase, the solar panels will lose efficiency by the rate of its temperature coefficient.
Thankfully, good solar installers like our team at Cedar Creek Energy have different solutions to help your solar installation stay strong during the heatwave.
Prevention Begins with a High Quality Installation
Good installers can offer different solutions on how to limit efficiency loss. It all starts with a high quality installation from the right solar installers. Be sure to work with an experienced and local installer, like Cedar Creek Energy, to ensure the best solar installation for your home or business.
After you’ve chosen the right installers, they’ll likely suggest managing the heat by selecting solar panels with a low temperature coefficient. Most PV panels range between -0.35 and -0.5.
Next, you’ll want the right solar system size. When working with Cedar Creek Energy, we’ll calculate your average monthly energy usage to determine which size will fit your home the best. We also check average summer temperatures and keep the temperature coefficient in mind when making our suggestions. On that note, this is just another reason why you should consider a local solar company since they will already be familiar with the weather patterns of your area and know how the summer months will affect the efficiency.
Other ways to combat the heat that your installers will likely address include installing the panels a few inches off the roof to combat the heat and allow airflow, or placing the panels in a thermally conductive substrate which helps vent away the heat.
In our beautiful state of Minnesota, solar is a great option for energy savings and carbon reduction. From our warm summers, which provide great energy conversion, to our cold, but often sunny winters, solar thrives in our state.
If you have questions about solar, from cold winters to hot summers, contact us today! We’re here for all of your solar needs.