Desire to Know
Dr. Jane Goodall
Solar Panels FAQWritten by
John Bar on 20 Nov, 2015 | Modified 20 Nov, 2015 | Views 587
Myth: Solar panels do not require any maintenance. Dust and grime on your panels will cause the entire system to underperform.
Solar Energy Fact and Fiction
Myth: Solar panels do not require any maintenance. Dust and grime on your panels will cause the entire system to underperform. Panels should be cleaned regularly.
Fact: The sun doesn't shine 24 hrs. per day, 365 days per year. Clouds will also impact performance.
Most solar systems do not rotate with the sun, to maximize returns. Yield at various times of the day will be below maximum output.
Solar panels will lose yield above 50°C.
For homes, solar panels will produce most of the energy during the time that homeowners are at work and do not need (much) energy. In order to maximize electricity, it can be stored in batteries but this adds to cost, maintenance and complexity. Selling power 'back to the grid', isn't always ideal. Power plants must be sized for maximum use (sunshine is not guaranteed). The net effect is that solar energy is 'extra' or not needed.
A study by the Carnegie Institution for Science and Stanford University shows the ecological footprint of solar power development. Research emphasizes that there are sometimes significant trade-offs between climate and energy policy and the needs of the natural environment. 1
1. Solar Energy’s Land-Use Impact - Study by the Carnegie Institution for Science and Stanford University