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Exploring Seasonal Influences on Solar Panel Efficiency

March 9, 2019

There’s no bad time of year to utilize a solar mounting solution, but you should be aware in advance that solar panels behave differently depending on outdoor conditions. This is especially true in seasonal climates where there are dramatic fluctuations in the form of weather events, temperature and humidity changes, and otherwise.

Solar Irradiance

Before we dive into the effects of the seasons, we should first mention the importance of Solar Irradiance, or SI. This is a unit of measure in watts per square metre, representing the amount of sun energy per unit area. Higher SI measurements indicate greater power. This energy reaches us in the form of electromagnetic radiation that is within the wavelength range of the receiving instrument – in our case, this would be a solar panel. Measuring SI plays an integral role in determining the effectiveness of solar energy solutions.

In short, solar panels generate electricity based on light intensity. That said, seasonal changes in weather and climate have a direct influence on Solar Irradiance.

Temperature Fluctuations

It is important to be aware that heat factors greatly into solar panel efficiency. When it is cooler and Solar Irradiance is higher, your solar panels will produce more energy. If it gets warmer, this efficiency will naturally decrease. Simply put, you’ll generate more energy in the wintertime than in the summer due to the invasive nature of heat waves and greater humidity, the latter of which has a significant impact on environmental temperature.

Cloud Cover / Weather Events

If your spring and fall seasons are typically rainier, you’ll see less energy generated. That said, don’t worry – modern solar mounting solutions will always give you some amount of electricity if installed correctly. Funnily enough, even after a snowstorm you may still generate a sizeable chunk of energy. This is largely due to blankets of snow being capable of reflecting light and brightening the environment outdoors, which essentially minimizes the impact on Solar Irradiance. In fact, that bit of snow covering your solar panels may actually be beneficial.

It’s impossible to predict forcertain what your solar energy production per season will be, but the therewill be a varying impact, nonetheless. Solar Irradiance is the defining factor,but a top-quality installation by experienced professionals is also essential.To learn more about KB Racking’s solar mounting solutions and project experience, be sure to contact us today. We’d love to helpyour business join the solar revolution.