In the energy sector, there is a source of energy that everyone is looking into and that is the renewable source of energy such as solar energy. Apart from being a superb energy source, it is also sustainable. This is one of the reasons many are putting their money on applications that make use of solar energy such as solar panel street lights. According to the International Energy Agency, over 500,000 solar panels are installed each day globally. The leader in the renewable energy sector happens to be China with the installation of two wind turbines per hour.
Now, what if you happen to live in colder environs with the snows and all? It might come as a concern to you as to how good the performance of solar panel street lights will be in the winter period. A serious concern you will say, right? As you are sometimes bound to experience a few hours daylight, after all, to add to that you have the issue of low temperature, and to top it all snow can sometimes be a barrier for your solar panel.
Performance of Solar Panel Street lights in cold weather
Ok, here is the good news, the external temperature does not in any way affect the solar panel efficiency. All a solar panel need is sunlight, and it seems cold weather help solar panels perform optimally. Let’s take a look at the way cold weather help solar panel performance.
- Prevent the solar panels from overheating
Solar cells convert solar energy to electrical energy directly through a process where light (photons) is converted into electricity. So as long as the sun is up, cold weather does not affect this process at all. As a matter of fact, in hotter climates, there is a tendency for the solar panels to heat up due to the intense heat. In colder areas, this surely can’t happen, which means a cold temperature is even more of a benefit to solar panel street lights.
- Snows and solar panels
Another reason people tend to be skeptical about the use of solar panel street lights is the issue of snow. However, it is not much of a problem as people make it out to be. Firstly, snow is soft and light and mostly the panels are designed in a way that it can endure a certain amount of weight without affecting its quality and durability. Secondly, snow will generally melt or slide off the panels before it can affect their performance.
Nevertheless, in the case snow has blocked the solar panels in the solar street lights due to stormy weather, then it is quite simple to clean either by yourself or you get a professional to do that. Notwithstanding, the possibility of having snow cover the panels does really affect the panels much. This can even work in favor of the solar panel as the smooth white surface of snow can work almost like a mirror as its surface tends to reflect light.
Maintenance of Solar Panel Street lights in cold weather
If you are still worried about the performance of the solar panel street lights in winter, why not try these tips to achieve a sustainable power at the maximum level.
- Position the solar panel at a better angle
In the winter, the sunlight comes from a lower angle than usual. As a result, it is ideal to position the solar panel at a better angle to capture enough sunlight during the sunny hours of the day for maximum power generation. Ensure the panels are installed facing the south direction.
- Never rake off the snow
In the case the solar panels are blocked by snow, don’t rush to remove them immediately. You can melt the snow by hosing it with water or let it slide off itself. Trying to rake the snow might cause damage to the solar panel unless you are using a special solar panel snow rake built for such purpose. If that option is not available, get the professional to clean up the panels.
It is not necessary to live in cities like Arizona or California before communities can enjoy the benefits of solar panel street lights. As a matter of fact, colder places such as New York and Massachusetts are among the top five leaders of solar panels installation in 2016.
When you consider that a country like Germany with almost the weather as Alaska is a leader in the installation of solar panels. Then you should know that colder climates don’t have any significant hold on the effectiveness of solar energy applications. So if you seek to embrace reduced carbon footprint and save cost then you shouldn’t delay buying solar panel street lights for lighting applications.