In case you haven’t heard we’re inching toward a record heatwave summer. With that comes warnings of blackouts and calls to conserve energy. In essence, the fodder of the solar power industry, the need for an energy source that supplements the current infrastructure; demand response energy, but what about efficiency during those high heat high demand days?
Unbeknownst to most people is that solar panel output is reduced at high temperatures, and over extended periods can lead to premature degradation. While the current increases the overall performance of the system decreases.
The standard Temperatue-rise coefficient for Solar Farms, where the rear of the panels are open and exposed to wind, is a 20 degree rise, while panel mounted on a roof are said to see at least a 45 degree rise in cell temperature. The temperature translation for a 45 degree rise is a 10% reduction in voltage produced.
Read this article on Solar Panel efficiency utilizing heat.
Also: Photovoltaic Efficiency: The Temperature Effect PDF
Also: Enhancing the performance of photovoltaic panels by water cooling PDF
Key to the innovation is a mesh solar panel, which allows air to enter the battery, and a special process for transferring electrons between the solar panel and the battery electrode. Inside the device, light and oxygen enable different parts of the chemical reactions that charge the battery. http://news.osu.edu/news/2014/10/03/batteries-included-a-solar-cell-that-stores-its-own-power/
China has bet on solar energy as a cleaner alternative to coal, but whether installed solar panels can meet the country’s need for energy is becoming a troubling question.
China had installed nearly 19.5 gigawatts of solar panels as of the end of 2013. However, “many solar installations failed to generate as much electricity as planned,” said Ji Zhenshuang, deputy director at the Beijing-based China General Certification Center, which examined 472 Chinese solar projects over the past four years.
A new solar research institute is opening in a Southeastern state where coal still wants to be king and solar is barely there: Alabama.
The state’s largest utility, Alabama Power, wants to work with the new Southeastern Solar Research Center (SSRC) in Birmingham (EnergyWire, June 12). The utility wants to evaluate how different solar photovoltaic systems operate and perform under the region’s hot and humid conditions, according to information the SSRC released last week.
via UTILITIES: Ala. goes back to basics as solar flourishes in neighboring states — Thursday, June 19, 2014 — www.eenews.net.
Complete with 6,000 solar panels, Mineirão is the first World Cup stadium ever powered by solar energy. The plant’s installed capacity of 1,600 megawatts-hour per year (1.4 MW) is enough to power 1,200 households, according to the Brazilian federal government’s World Cup website. “As it’s not possible to store all the energy, 10 percent of it will be used in powering the Mineirão and the rest will be transferred to consumers,” said Alexandre Maia Bueno with Minas Gerais State Electricity Company (CEMIG), which constructed the plant.
via How The Sun Is Powering The World Cup | ThinkProgress.
Remote Solar Isolator The Remote Solar Isolator is able to remove all lethal voltages on any solar array providing safe access for all emergency services. it stops the combining of solar panels whenever the grid power is removed.
But if you’re so inclined…
“On Wednesday morning, I was prepared. A week earlier, I had bought a snow rake. (These are hot items this year given all the snow and problems with ice dams.) A snow rake–the one I bought was about $75–is just a flat aluminum plate with a long handle. Run it down your roof and the snow comes off.”
via A tale of solar panels, snow, and roof rakes – CNET Mobile.
“In heavy snowfall, the solar panels still give off heat, allowing the snow to begin melting above them. Houses with solar panels will avoid roof cave ins because of the dispersion of the snow due to the heat of the panels.
Snow falling off panels simultaneously cleans them and therefore boosts their power output.
On days when snow covers your solar panels, there is no need to worry about your output because your total energy is calculated throughout the entire year, meaning that variations in output during winter months are made up at other parts of the year.”
via What happens when you get snow on solar panels? – Home Energy Pros.
I wouldn’t advise using a rake to clean your panels, but I’d seriously think about some Rain-X.
Most people are especially concern about their electricity generation during storms because a utility’s outage usually means your solar power system may power down IF it has not been UPGRADED to, or DESIGNED as a BIMODAL or ISLAND-capable system. Contact your Solar Power Consultant, Contractor, or Installer and inquire about Bimodal and Island-capable Solar Power Systems.