Hot Weather Affects Solar Panels

King Estate solar panelsMEDFORD, Ore. –  Tuesday’s above average temperatures meant below average production for one industry.

Tom McDowell with Rogue Solar in Medford said one of the largest misconceptions about solar energy is that on hot days, panels will produce more energy.

In reality, high temperatures actually produce significantly less energy than they would on an average day.

Technicians say the reason behind that is when the conductors in the panels get hot, it actually creates resistance and energy does not flow as easily as when temperatures are cooler.

Rogue Solar has several panels installed that double as a car port at their office, and Tuesday afternoon those panels were only producing at about 60 percent of the full capacity. On a more mild day, technicians say it would typically be much higher.

“It’s probably somewhere in the 5 to 10 percent range [less] on a hot day like today. Once it gets over 100 degrees, you’re probably losing, it could be as much as 10 percent of your production,” McDowell said.

Rogue Solar also says solar panels will not be hurt from the high temperatures, but they say that conversion equipment could be damaged, and they recommend that equipment is inside or in a shaded area.

The company says panels actually produce the most energy on a clear day when temperatures are below freezing, and when that happens later in the year, it will help offset less efficient days caused by hot weather.

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