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How Does Temperature Affect Solar Panels? 

January 12, 2024 | Reading Time: 6 minutes

How Does Temperature Affect Solar Panels? 

As a homeowner you must always be prepared for all forms of weather. Whether it’s heavy snowfall and low temperatures in the winter or hot and humid summer days. 

When buying solar panels you may be concerned about how does temperature affect solar panels. The good news is that no matter the temperature solar panels will work if they are in direct sunlight. 

There are some slight effects to solar panels depending on how hot or cold it is. Let’s break them down:

how hot do solar panels get

How Hot Do Solar Panels Get? 

In direct sunlight solar panels can reach 150℉ (65.5° celsius). Solar panels are normally the same temperature as ambient air. For solar panels, to reach 150℉ it would take extreme temperatures as solar panels only exceed the air temperature by 36 degrees. 

When solar panels get hot they will lose some efficiency. However, due to the abundance of sunlight they are receiving it is unlikely that you will not notice any drop in performance. 

Solar panels are also made from sustainable and durable materials made to last through extreme temperatures. 

Solar panels are tested at 77℉. The best temperature for optimal performance is from 59℉ to 95℉ (15°C to 35°C). 

Solar panels will never overheat like other electronic devices but they will lose some efficiency in hotter temperatures.

how temperature affects solar panels

Solar Panel Efficiency Vs Temperature

If you are concerned with how much production your panels may be losing then there is a way to estimate the loss due to high temperatures. All solar panels come with a temperature coefficient.

At Isaksen Solar, we use QCell Solar panels which have a temperature coefficient of -0.30%/°C. This means that for every 1 degree the temperature of your solar panels increases over 25°C (77°F) your solar panels will lose .30% of efficiency.

On the other hand, for every 1 degree the temperature of your solar panels decreases below 25°C (77°F) your solar panels will increase by 0.30% of efficiency. For example if your solar panels are 86°F then your solar panels will have decreased in efficiency by only 1.5%. If you solar panels are not in direct sunlight then they are usually the same temperature as the ambient air. If it is 86°F outside, your solar panels should be about 86°F. Our Q-Cell panels have an efficiency rating of 21.8%. This figure means that 21.8% of the sunlight that hits your solar panels is converted into usuable electricity. With the temperature coeffecient at 86°F your solar panel efficiency is at 20.3%. The most efficent solar panels start at 15% efficiency. Remember to keep in mind that with the increased temperature more sunlight is hitting your solar panels. The increased sunlight will make up for a loss in efficiency. Any concern of lost efficiency can be answered by solar companies in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Their solar quotes will estimate a full year of production. While there may be some efficiency lost during the year it has a minimal impact on your total yearly production if your system is built to meet your energy nees.

Also since the temperature coefficient works both ways, cold weather increases the efficiency of your solar installation.

Do Solar Panels Work In Cold Weather? 

Yes, solar panels work in cold weather. In fact, they work more efficiently. Colder weather means less stress on the electrical components in your panels and more efficiency.

Therefore, the best weather for solar panels is colder sunny days. This makes Massachsuetts and Rhode Island ideal climates for solar panels. During fall and spring there is sunlight and cooler temperatures and hight temperatures in the summer are as common as southern states.

Solar panels in the winter also produce energy as well! While there is less sunlight your panels will produce energy as long as there is sun and will do so more efficiently since the temperatures are lower.

Does Temperature Affect Solar Panels? 

Yes, temperature affects solar panels. Increase in temperature about 77°F will slightly decrease your solar panels efficiency while temperatures below 77°F will increase their efficiency. By how much the efficiency increases or decreases depends on the temperature coefficient of the solar panels.

At Isaksen Solar, we believe that temperature should not be a concern for homeowners. Sunlight will always be the most important factor when it comes the production of your solar panels. Days with more sunlight no matter the temperature will always be better for solar energy production.

If you have more questions about solar panels and temperature you can call us at (508) 717-3820, or get started on your solar quote where we answer all your questions and determine how much solar energy you can produce.