Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Solar PV Power in Cold Climate

Many people interested in generating solar PV power for their household power needs are also interested to know how PV solar panels operate at colder temperatures or in cloudy conditions. Actually, PV solar panels work better at colder temperatures - some of the best efficiencies ever recorded were at the South Pole! This is because the solar cells in the panels are electronic devices that generate electricity depending on the amount of sunlight they receive, not heat. In cold climates, PV panels will generate less energy in the winter than in the summer, but this is due to the shorter days and less sunlight, not the colder temperatures.

Photo credit: altenergy.blog-city.com
PV solar panels continue to work even in cloudy conditions, although they do produce less electricity. On days with cloud cover or windblown snow, the PV panels' output power is reduced significantly. With sun angles approaching the highest limits and visibility being high, the PV panels reach their rated output power.

Many countries in the northwestern region of Europe, including Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia, make extensive use of solar power. Germany is the world's leading installer of photovoltaic (PV) solar cells, although its climate is mostly temperate. Japan is also a major installer of solar PV panels, and their climate is temperate.

An example of integrating PV technology in the daily life are solar powered parking meters which are fairly common in Germany and the Netherlands. The electricity which runs them is supplied by small solar panels on top of the parking meters, right there in the streets.

Canada is another cold-weather country where PV technology is quickly gaining ground. PV cells have been used in Canada over the last 20 years or more for many applications. Photovoltaic modules were used as standalone units, mainly as off-grid distributed electricity generation to power remote homes, telecommunications equipment, oil and pipeline monitoring stations and navigational applications. Over the last few years PV technology has also started to be introduced into urban areas, incorporated into the roofs and facades of homes, offices and factories. And the largest solar PV energy park in North America will be located on approximately 300 acres of land in the Township of Stone Mills, Lennox & Addington County, Ontario. The 19-megawatt project, known as First Light, is being built by SkyPower Corp and SunEdison Canada. The construction is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2009 and local communities will benefit from clean renewable energy sufficient to power more than 2,000 homes annually.


Anonymous said...

Yes photo volteics can be used even in cold climates. Here in Toronto we have minus 30 at the moment lol. You are added in my blogroll, I just checked and hadn't added you earlier, silly billy me!

green not mean

Anonymous said...

I love your blog and you just won the blog of the week award on green not mean..huggles..


Mariya said...

Many thanks for this acknowledgment, Jenai! This is another great award for my efforts and I appreciate it very much!

Solar Power Light said...

Useful post!

solar roof tiles said...

That's cool, i had no idea PV's were more efficient in colder climates. So why is this? I'm scratching my head here, really. Is it because the atmosphere is thinner or something?

make solar panels said...

Whether it is solar powered energy generation in colder countries or areas that get enough sunshine throughout the years, solar power has the potential to provide us with more energy than what we actually need.

Cristal L. Davidson

Unknown said...

hey the review was very detailed and useful. thanks for sharing such an informative post.

solar canada

Laura Bush said...

It’s great to come across a blog. we are the Best Solar Buy Back Deals in UK at affordable cost. to know more visit our website

Mariya said...

I'm glad that you like my blog! Thank you!