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Message started by William of Orange on Apr 27th, 2008 at 11:37pm

Title: Solar Panels
Post by William of Orange on Apr 27th, 2008 at 11:37pm
As my passion is Renewable Energy Id like to explain something that most people get mixed up with regarding solar panels. Crystalline Silicon Panels (Mono or Poly )produce more energy when they are colder against when the are hot. It can be as much as 35% difference. Yes we need the sun to provide the power and the intensity of the sun is directly responsible for the current (amps) that flows out of a solar panel. The more intense the sun the more current flows. However as the solar panel heats up it produces less volts . So with equal sunshine a panel in a cold climate will produce more power (watts) that an identical panel in a hot climate. Both would produce an equal amount of amps but the cooler panel would produce more volts and since Power (watts) is Volts x Amps the colder panel produces more power.

In practical terms when you mount your solar panels make sure they have adequate ventillation on the rear side to keep your panels as cool as possible !

To harvest all this extra power yield on cold and cloudy days on during the winter months when you need it most, a special type of charge controller equipped with special electronics named MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) is required. However they are not cheap but can be ecomonically viable on arrays bigger than 600 watts. But thats another story.

HTH WoO

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