The UK is suffering from an overall 25 per cent solar power loss because of the issue of regional hot spots, a new study has claimed.
The study, carried out by Dr. Mahmoud Dhimish (a lecturer in Electronics and Control Engineering at the University of Huddersfield), also suggests that the physical location of photovoltaic (PV) solar modules is the leading factor in the distribution of hot spots across the country.
The global spike in energy costs and the issue of climate change has forced several countries across the world to focus on renewable energy, including solar. In the UK, solar power has made significant progress over the past nine years: solar modules generated 20 GWh in 2009, and 10,420 GWh in 2016.
Despite its huge advantages, solar energy comes with its own challenges, including costs, efficiency and reliability. A technical issue that can affect all of these factors is known as 'hot spots': areas on solar panels that have an elevated temperature. These hot spots result in lower power output, thereby decreasing the overall efficiency of the panel.
In the study, Dr. Dhimish analysed the effectiveness of polycrystalline silicon PV solar panels across the UK. The study also tried to understand the factors that initiate hot spots on solar panels in different regions of the country.
Dr. Dhimish's team examined more than 2,500 PV modules distributed across the UK and found that the physical location of the solar panels is the leading factor in the distribution of hot spots. Hot spots were found to be more prevalent in solar panels located in the north of the country, compared to those installed on the southern coast.
Over 92 per cent of the PV modules affected by hot spots were in the north - where the impact of heavy snow and hoarfrost are more significant.
Coastal locations were found to exhibit lower risks for causing multiple hot-spotted solar cells in PV modules. Dr. Dhimish believes that the cooler winds in coastal regions might be a factor protecting PV panels from damage.
Dr. Dhimish recommends installation of most solar panels in coastal locations as climatic conditions in coastal regions are more likely to protect them from the damage caused by hot spots.
J1043+2408 was observed for more than 10 years, and its radio light curve exhibited a periodic signal repeating in about 563 days
Success of Unity's test flight means Virgin Galactic is now close to taking its first paying tourist into space
V3 puts the pro-level football GPS tracker through its paces, and asks if it's more than a gimmick
Finding refutes many earlier studies that suggest that galaxies don't have much dark matter at the time of their birth