The recent record-breaking heat waves in Europe are not a great thing for solar panels as extreme heat is not great for solar energy efficiency.
Source: Gardel Electrical/Youtube
Although clear skies and consistent sunlight should be great for solar, the heat that has been scorching Europe has sent electricity bills soaring, and with the ongoing shortage of natural gas due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, renewable energy has had to step it up.
Last weekend, Germany broke the country’s record for solar power output, and even higher levels are expected with the next wave of heat. However, if the temperatures stay high for a long period, it can slow down the energy output of solar.
Fortune reported that solar panels are made and tested to function optimally at around 77°F, or 25°C and most can still operate at high efficiency between 15-35°C or 59-95°F. However, any higher, companies warn the efficiency can drop fast.
As the temperatures in Spain, Britain, and other European cities are already rising above 40°C (104°F) or are expected to reach that soon, solar output could take a huge hit.
Projects worldwide are developing new ways to utilize solar panels and move away from dirty fossil fuels. Architecture students in Barcelona just built a solar-powered greenhouse that uses 50 percent less energy than it produces. Virginia is transforming abandoned coal mines into solar farms, and a start-up is helping retrofit old buildings in Brooklyn to use clean energy. We hope that companies can begin to produce solar panels that can withstand higher temperatures.
The latest climate report from the IPCC is a final warning for governments around the world about global warming, so it’s great to see companies taking the initiative and working towards a renewable future!
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