The UK has a broad mix of weather conditions. While the nation is known to have a lot of cloudy skies and rain, heatwaves also occurred in recent years. You may wonder how the weather might impact the productivity of your panels. We’re investigating that in our guide.
These tips will help you protect your investment and get the most energy output all year round. If you’re in the early stages of planning a solar plant, this article also offers expert tips that will help you choose the optimum location.
How do cloudy skies affect solar panels?
Clouds can block the light, meaning less sun exposure. This is particularly true of low-lying clouds and fog. However, there are some cloud conditions that can actually benefit your solar energy production. Sometimes, high-altitude clouds can form ice crystals, which increase the brightness and intensity of the sun. Collecting information about cloud formation can help you choose an optimal location for your solar power plant, park or farm.
Surges of energy production do need to be monitored to ensure that energy is not going to waste or becoming a potential cause for electrical device failure.
What are the benefits of the rain?
If your panels are tilted, the rain acts as a natural cleaner for the surface. Despite the impacts of cloudy skies reducing your energy production, you are still benefitting.
Hailstorms and flying debris from strong winds can pose a risk of damage to the surface of your solar panels. High-quality commercial-grade solar panels should be able to withstand various weather conditions, including snow, rain and storms.
How does heat affect solar panels?
It’s not just the weather that you need to look out for; it’s also the temperature. The weather that is most likely to affect the panels is heat.
When temperatures exceed 25 °C, cell performance can decrease by as much as 1% with each degree. The optimum temperature for solar panels is between 15 °C and 25 °C. Typically, you want to avoid the panels getting much hotter than this. Otherwise, they can start to overheat and encounter problems, including decreased power output. If you want your solar plant to work at its optimum in all weather conditions, there are steps you can take.
With the recent heatwave reaching some of the hottest temperatures on record (as high as 40 degrees in South East England), it’s worth considering how you can maintain the performance of your panels.
Installing electronic components in a shaded area behind the panels can help prevent overheating. Making sure there’s good airflow for your solar panel system is also vital.
Cold, bright and sunny conditions are the most effective environments for solar cell productivity. That being said, your panels should be robust enough to withstand every weather condition in the UK. You’ll want to consider how you can keep your panels performing at a consistent level with minimal declines. That’s where ensuring you have a specialist installer and O&M provider can make all the difference.
Contact the commercial solar power maintenance specialists at Remark Group to find out more.