14 SEPTEMBER 2022
Weather phenomena and solar panels
Spain is one of the countries in Europe with the most hours of sunshine. Although it is difficult to always find perfect weather conditions, it is not a necessary aspect for an installation to be profitable.
There are many myths about the effects that weather events can have on a solar panel system. A resilient system can continue to generate energy at a good rate despite bad weather.
- Clouds and rain: On cloudy or rainy days, PV panels continue to produce electricity. These systems continue to generate energy at a good rate even if they do not produce the same amount of energy as on a sunny day. In fact, rain can be more of an advantage than a problem, as the water helps to clean the hard-to-reach parts of an installation.
- Lightning storms: Although unlikely, there is a possibility of lightning striking a PV installation. In such an event, to avoid a surge, PV installations are grounded, so that the voltage will be shunted to earth to channel the power surge.
- Wind: Most panels can withstand high winds of up to 230 km/h, so if the installation is done correctly, strong winds should not be a problem. It may even have a positive effect on the performance of the systems, as it reduces the temperature of the system, improving its performance.
- Snow: Heavy snowfall can cause a conventional panel to temporarily stop working. Depending on the technology of the panel, the effect of snow is different and the most benefited from this would be the bifacial technology, which would continue to produce on the lower face, thanks to the light reflected by the snow or ice.
- Hail: the hailstones that we have all experienced at some time do not have the capacity to break a panel. The panels are capable of withstanding large impacts, in particular most solar panels are capable of withstanding hailstones up to 40 mm thick.
In view of this, we already know that photovoltaic installations can withstand any type of weather conditions, although it is necessary to complement this with good maintenance to ensure correct operation and safety in order to achieve the highest performance.