How does the weather affect my solar panel system?
Did you switch to solar already? Or are you planning to in the near future? If so, you can finally begin to say goodbye to your electricity bills and say hello to helping save the earth for future generations.
Solar panels from Aztech Solar have very few negative points, but one of them might be worries about the weather. If you are worried about the effects of the Australian elements on your panels, read on. It’s not what you might think!
Debunking common Solar Energy misconceptions
Australia has the highest uptake of solar power usage in the world. Over 21% of Australian homes have rooftop solar Photovoltaic cells (PV) and over 2.59 million rooftop solar power systems were installed.
Even with these numbers, there are still common misconceptions when using solar energy. To understand that solar energy will always provide power, no matter the weather, we will help you debunk these misconceptions first:
Solar panels always need direct sunlight
Most people believe that a bright sunny day is necessary for solar panels to work. However, that is not the case. Solar panels do need particles of sunlight called photons to work, but you might be surprised to know that these photons are present even with dark grey clouds covering the sun, which is why direct sunlight is not a requirement of a working Solar Panel Cell.
Solar-powered homes and offices are safe from blackouts
Knowing that direct sunlight is not necessary, you might now be thinking think that you’re safe from blackouts – that day in and day out, the sun will rise, and my solar panels will power my electricity needs without worrying about bills. This is partially true, but isn’t the whole story…
Your solar panels will indeed power your house. However, without solar batteries and/or an independent off-grid system, you may still experience blackouts. When the national grid has a break n supply for some reason, your solar system cannot necessarily, immediately, form a stable supply of power. Without batteries storing excess solar energy, you can’t power your home or business in a blackout.
Solar Panels vs The Weather
As we have mentioned, solar panels will provide power whether you can see the sun or not. In fact, this green technology has been tried and tested for multiple weather conditions. Think of it this way: what’s the point of making the switch if solar panels are only useful on bright and sunny days? Here’s how your solar panels work under non-sunny weather conditions:
1. Hot summer Days
Average temperatures during the warmer months of December to February range from 25-26°C and can reach highs of 45°C. You can expect many days with a good amount of sun. During summer, you can say goodbye to your worries about needing the sun to power your place.
However, the summer heat affects the efficiency of your solar panel. According to certification tests, solar panels work best at 25°C. A one-degree increase in temperature is equal to a one per cent decrease in efficiency.
Further to the heat problem is the problem of dust. 2020’s ‘Black Summer’ caused the build-up of smoke, dust, and ash which, when combined with the summer and bushfire heat, solar panels had a roughly 30% production loss.
So, it is reasonable to expect that solar panels produce more power with less efficiency anytime from December to February.
2. Cloudy and rainy days
Anything that stands between your solar panel and the sun reduces the amount of energy gained. Fog, clouds, or shade from a tree may block your panels, but no worries – your solar panel is still working to produce energy. After all, direct sunlight is not necessary.
So, you can have peace of mind, go outside and check if shadows are still forming despite the number of clouds. If you see shadows, photons are present, and your panels are producing energy, although you will usually see a drop in efficiency of 10-25%.
Australian rainfall is varied but present all-year-round, which is no match for proven and tested efficient solar panels like Q cells or the LG Neon 2. With super-efficient solar panels, you can have the same amount of energy even with lesser sun intensity.
Also, a pleasant side effect of rain is that it is cleansing – rains can wash away leaves and other fallen debris that may be blocking your panels.
3. Cold winter days
Solar panels still work best when sunlight is present. However, you can trust that your solar panels work even in the colder Australian days from June to August, albeit with lower output.
But don’t panic! Remember that solar panels work most efficiently at 25 degrees. The cold weather during winter can help solar panels produce energy more efficiently. This way, you can avoid stressing over the lower output.
If you are in an area that receives snowfall, the angle of your solar panel comes into play. With the right positioning, melting snow and other debris can just slide off your panels.
Hail storms are a different story, however. Although most solar panels can withstand extreme weather conditions, they are not indestructible. During a hail storm, of course stay inside your home and stay away from windows. Hail damage could allow you to come into contact with parts of solar panels, if the storm is really bad.
If there’s a tropical cyclone warning, check the mounting of your solar panel. Tropical cyclones cause lightning and most damages from lightning are preventable through proper grounding. Make sure to prepare your solar panels for extreme weather conditions. Save time, money, and lives with the right preparation.
Proper installation makes Solar Panels Weatherproof
Weather conditions will certainly have an effect on your solar panels, but if you follow this guide, you can get the solar panels that are perfect for your home or office needs, style, and weather. There’s no such thing as weatherproof solar panels but proper installation makes all the difference.
Check out Aztech Solar’s wide range of solar power products here.
Can’t decide on your own? We will help you choose the best energy retailer. We put your needs above all else and our team guarantees top-quality installation and service.
Are you ready to receive your first $0 electricity bill? Experience the Aztech difference today! Call us at 1300 992 922 or get a free quote.