Do Solar Panels work in hot weather?

It pains me to have to post stuff like this.
It’s just simple common sense. Of course they do.

And yet…

This is quite clearly BS, and if you need to be told that it’s BS, you probably also need to seek professional help.

Yes, the UK switched on a coal-fired power station a few weeks ago.
No, it wasn’t because solar panels stopped working.

…liberal-minded news outlets like The Guardian blamed maintenance at nuclear plants in Scotland and inter-tie maintenance on an undersea cable from Norway.

And much as I’m no fan of the Guardian, oddly on this occasion, it turns out that they were far more likely to be correct than those making the assertion that it got too warm for PV panels to work properly.

They’re built to function from -40C to +85C. Performance does fall when temperatures go above 25C, but only by 0.34 per cent for every additional degree. That’s pretty marginal stuff, according to Solar Energy UK. Even at close to boiling point, power output would only be around 20 per cent lower it says, other factors being equal.

“It’s not actually a big deal. High temperatures only marginally affect the overall output of solar power – it’s a secondary effect” says the UK’s leading technical expert on the technology, Alastair Buckley, Professor of Organic Electronics at the University of Sheffield.

Yet another example of someone who read something on Facebook believing that they now hold the same expertise as someone who has been studying the subject for their whole academic career.

It got up to a whole 30C, which is hot for the UK in June, but isn’t really hot when you compare it to the rest of the world. If this temperature had really wiped out the UK’s solar energy production, then basically, no country within a band 50 degrees north to 50 degrees south would be able to utilise solar panels.

Add in the countries north and south of there that can’t use solar because there isn’t enough sun (a genuine concern in placed like Svalbard) and suddenly that’s basically the whole world.

So why would any columnist try to paint this clearly incorrect picture, seemingly in a bid to discredit renewable energy?

Well, I guess it depends on the columnist:

Shaun Polczer is the Business Reporter for the Western Standard, based in Calgary. Formerly, a business reporter for the Calgary Herald, he has also held senior positions at the Daily Oil Bulletin, and the London Petroleum Economist.


Sadly, the comments beneath his piece (I’m not giving him any extra traffic by linking to it), tend to suggest that the ability to think rationally and critically might also have been knocked out by the heatwave.

Next week: Why do ice skates not work in the cold?