Solar panels are LESS efficient at high temperatures, expert warns amid UK heatwave

With temperatures jumping to 90°F (32°C) this week in the UK, it’s safe to assume that the scorching heat will have a positive impact on solar power generation.

But experts warn that it could actually have the opposite effect.

Speaking to MailOnline, Professor Alastair Bucky of Sheffield Solar at the University of Sheffield said: “Solar loves sunshine but doesn’t like heat.

“We always get the best results in the spring when the air is cool and the skies are really clear.

“We are unlikely to see any solar records this week – simply because it is very hot and solar panels are less efficient in the heat.”

Their warnings were issued when a solar farm in Werwood, Dorset, even broke out during midday sunshine, damaging some of the 81,400 panels.

While you might think that scorching heat would have a positive effect on solar power generation, experts warn that it could actually have the opposite effect (file image).

Yesterday, firefighters put out a major fire at a solar farm in Werwood in Dorset, where a 500-by-330-foot patch of grass caught fire.

Yesterday, firefighters put out a major fire at a solar farm in Werwood in Dorset, where a 500-by-330-foot patch of grass caught fire.

Photovoltaic solar panels work by absorbing light energy and using that energy to

Photovoltaic solar panels work by absorbing light energy and using that energy to “excite” electrons. An electric field is then created in the silicon layers in the cell, allowing the electrons to flow in the form of electricity.

Heatwaves are becoming “more intense” and more frequent due to climate change, scientists say.

A new study suggests that climate change is “uniquely” linked to some extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, but its impact on others, such as severe droughts, may be overestimated.

Over the past three months, monsoon rains have caused catastrophic flooding in Bangladesh, and severe heatwaves have scorched parts of South Asia and Europe.

Meanwhile, a prolonged drought has pushed millions of people in East Africa to the brink of starvation.

A review of extreme weather hazards by Oxford University, Imperial College London and Victoria University of Wellington shows that climate change is making heat waves more intense and more likely, and their impact in terms of lives lost and financial costs is underestimated.

Read more here

About 20 firefighters from the Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service were called to the scene at 2:43 pm.

A 500-by-330-foot patch of grass burned for three hours on a 113-acre site.

The exact cause of the fire is still being investigated.

Temperatures have already hit 90°F (32°C) this week and will do so again today before dropping slightly between tomorrow and Friday before bouncing back over the weekend with an unprecedented 104°F (40°C) possible .

How do high temperatures affect solar panels?

While solar panels absorb energy from the sun, higher temperatures actually make them less efficient.

Photovoltaic solar panels work by absorbing light energy and using that energy to “excite” electrons.

An electric field is then created through the layers of silicon in the cell, allowing the electrons to flow as electricity.

The greater the light intensity, the greater the flow of electricity.

But the hotter the panel, the more electrons are already in an excited state before the photon hits, which reduces its efficiency.

Higher temperatures also increase the electrical resistance of circuits that convert charge into electricity.

Modern hybrid solar panels are designed to suffer less from heat, but they can still lose 10 percent of their rated efficiency on hot days.

This is one of the reasons why Cornwall is the best solar county in the country with over 8,000 solar stations.

It has over 15,000 hours of sunshine a year but usually stays pretty cool, allowing the solar panels to work efficiently.

How much solar energy does the UK produce?

Over the past decade, solar energy has emerged as a viable solution to both the energy and climate crises.

The latest Energy Trends Report from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy states that solar photovoltaic power generation has increased by 21% compared to last year.

It was partly due to a 2.2% increase in capacity, but mainly due to an additional 1.2 hours of sunshine per day on average, the highest in the first quarter since 2003.

Yesterday, solar power in the UK peaked at 21% of total electricity generation at 7.8 GW, slightly down from the day before at 8.8 GW.

Electricity generation by fuel type yesterday.  Solar peaked at 21 percent electricity contribution at 7.8 GW, slightly down from the day before at 8.8 GW.

Electricity generation by fuel type yesterday. Solar peaked at 21 percent electricity contribution at 7.8 GW, slightly down from the day before at 8.8 GW.

During a heat wave in mid-June this year, solar power flooded national grids across Europe as demand for air conditioners skyrocketed, according to the report. bloomberg.

In the UK, on ​​June 12, solar generation provided enough power to meet about 26% of demand.

As of May 2022, the maximum solar capacity in the UK is over 14.6 GW, according to Solar Energy UK, enough to power more than 3 million UK households.

This figure is expected to continue to rise, with 0.73 gigawatts of solar PV installed in the UK in 2021 alone. Eco Experts reports.

The current UK record for peak solar PV output was set at 9.68 GW on April 20, 2020, when the London average was a cool 54.7°F (12.6°C).

“March and April 2020 were really good and we got over 30% of solar back then,” said Professor Buckley of Sheffield Solar, whose data is used to forecast ESO’s National Grid.

Although solar panels absorb energy from the sun, higher temperatures reduce their efficiency.

Although solar panels absorb energy from the sun, higher temperatures reduce their efficiency.

What does the future of solar energy look like in the UK?

The UK is projected to have a surplus of electricity by 2030 due to massive investment in wind and solar power. analysis published in May.

The vast amount of energy produced by renewable sources could be wasted within a decade without a significant increase in energy storage technologies, says consulting firm LCP.

The UK electricity grid operates on a supply and demand basis and therefore needs to be kept in balance to keep the system running and avoid power outages.

If more energy is produced than required, it is wasted.

This particularly affects wind and solar energy because, unlike coal and nuclear power, their energy production cannot be scaled up on command to keep up with demand.

Chris Matson, Partner at LCP, spoke with TimeHe said: “For more than half the time in 2030, the UK’s renewable and nuclear energy system will be producing more energy from renewable sources and nuclear power than it uses.

“The mere loss of this generation will harm consumers and investors alike, so a holistic systems approach is needed to minimize the cost of reaching net zero.”

He said the UK needed to speed up the delivery of technologies such as batteries, pumped hydroelectric power plants and electrolyzers.

In March, data from eBay showed that the number of customers looking for solar panels on the online marketplace rose by nearly one-fifth from last year.

The firm said solar panels, which use the sun’s rays to generate energy, or large batteries to store it, make up six of its ten most popular do-it-yourself products.

This was reported by the energy consulting company Cornwall Insight. electricity bills could rise from today’s record £1971 to £3245 in October and then to £3364 in early 2023.

SOLAR ENERGY EXPLANATION: ENERGY IS CONVERSED FROM SUNLIGHT TO ELECTRICITY

Solar panels convert the sun's energy into electricity (image)

Solar panels convert the sun’s energy into electricity (image)

Solar energy is the conversion of sunlight energy into electricity.

There are two methods for obtaining solar energy.

Photovoltaics, a type of solar panel built into a calculator, are capable of directly converting light into electrical energy.

However, in concentrated solar power systems, mirrors or lenses are first used to collect sunlight falling over a large area and focus it, creating heat that can be used to power a steam turbine and generate electricity.

The performance of solar panels depends on the sunlight they receive in a given location, a factor that depends on both latitude and climate.

Optimal locations for solar farms include the arid tropics and subtropics, and deserts lying at such low latitudes are often cloudless and receive about 10 hours of sunshine each day.

According to NASA, the eastern part of the Sahara – the Libyan Desert – is the sunniest place on Earth.

In 2017, solar energy accounted for 1.7% of global electricity generation and is growing at 35% annually.