Solar Panels and Snow Don’t Mix

Solar panels have compounds that are semiconductors, the physics that governs these components do not “like” extremes in temperature.

And the solar energy has to get to the semi-conductors. Who is going to clean off the snow?

The Institute for Energy research (IER) reports:
“Record cold temperatures have hit parts of Europe and Asia causing electricity prices to spike as the normal generating supplies of electricity could not keep prices in check. Spain registered its coldest temperature on record, at -35.6 degrees Celsius, and several areas of the country, including Madrid, are under 18 inches or more of snow and may get record-breaking snowfalls. The electricity price in Spain soared to nearly €95 ($116) per megawatt hour—up 123 percent from prices the previous week and nearly three times higher than the 2020 average.”


One thought on “Solar Panels and Snow Don’t Mix”

  1. Back in the early days of electricity, there were two competing systems, Direct Current and Alternating Current.

    The former was safe but couldn’t power much, while the latter was the opposite of that. Ultimately, the greater possibilities of AC won out and DC was relegated to a niche in the market that it still fills today.

    Fast-forward well over a century and we face a similar situation, whereby there are effectively two competing electricity systems. One can’t power much, while the other can. One is said to be safe, while the other is said to be unsafe.

    History tells us how this should play out. However, there’s a catch. Rather than people being left to make decisions based on facts and experiences, the safety or unsafety of the systems (to the planet and, therefore, everyone on it) is being exaggerated in the extreme, to the point where the really useful system is being sacrificed to unfounded fears.

    Just imagine if that had happened all those years ago. The World would be a completely different place.

    Although I am typing this on a piece of equipment that uses DC power, this technology wouldn’t exist if it were not for the success of AC power. Indeed, many things we take for granted today wouldn’t exist at all.

    Some things are best left to niches in the market, like DC power. A solar panel is such a thing.

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