A lot of myths are floating around when it comes to solar panels and house temperatures. Some folks claim that solar panels necessitate more air conditioning (AC) because of how they hold and retain heat. This phenomenon is alleged to be so significant that it even causes global warming.
Thankfully, the exact opposite is true. Solar panels are actually one of the best ways to reduce your reliance on AC. This blog explains why.
The Cooling Effect of Solar Panels
Solar panels cool your roofs because they prevent direct sunlight from reaching the roof’s surface.
According to Climate Cafes, solar panels reduce the amount of heat energy reaching a house by 38%. This keeps houses several degrees cooler, thereby reducing the need for air conditioning.
The reduced need for air conditioning in turn minimizes CO2 emissions. It also reduces energy consumption, leading to cheaper bills.
The ability of a roof to heat up depends on the type of roofing material used. Different materials, such as clay, metal, asphalt, wood, and sand bricks, have varying heat absorbance and reflection properties.
For instance, roofs made of wood or clay are less likely to get hot compared to those made of metal or asphalt, which can become scalding hot.
The Science Behind Cooler Roofs
Solar panels cool roofs in various ways, including energy conversion, reflectance, convection, and shading.
Energy conversion entails solar energy being converted into electrical energy with the help of solar panels. On average, solar panels have an efficiency of approximately 20%. This means that 20% of the solar energy hitting the panels is transformed into electricity. The solar energy that’s converted into electricity has no warming effect on the house. Without solar panels, all of the incoming solar energy would warm the house.
Solar panels also cool roofs through reflectance. Solar panels are housed in either black or dark blue glass, and they’re bordered by an aluminum frame. These materials reflect a small amount of sunlight, resulting in a reduction of heat absorption and cooler house temperatures.
Convection is facilitated by the gap between the roof and the solar panel. This gap allows airflow that cools down the panels, the roof, and subsequently the entire building.
Lastly, shading (the obstruction of direct sunlight reaching the roof) also aids in cooling down the roof’s temperature.