Solar panel installation has been growing enormously in recent times. The use of solar energy for homes and businesses ensures the use of natural renewable resources and gives us many added advantages. One such advantage is the reduction of electric utility bills.
Do Solar Panels reduce heat? Yes. This is another crucial advantage that people fail to consider. Solar panels reduce the heat in the roof by up to 38%. Is it not great? Of course, yes. On a hot sunny day, your house will not be as hot as a furnace.
In this article, let us look at how heat enters the home and how solar panels help reduce them.
Does heat enter through the roof?
Yes. If not roof, then in what ways? The heat occupies the rooms through the roof. On a hot sunny day, you can feel up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit or more in your room.
This process is known as conduction. So, what is conduction?
Conduction is when the heat spreads across the roof, and it then warms up the attic and the entire house.
Conduction is the primary way heat can penetrate the house, but it is not the only way.
Before moving on further, do you know what the attic is? An attic is that space or room just below the house’s roof, and it may also be known as a garret.
An attic gets most of the heat from the roof and leaves only a part of it to the room. So, if you have an attic at your house, it will attract the most heat. Even if you have the best insulation, heat will always find its way to penetrate the home.
If you want to stop the heat penetration, you may install a heat-reflecting roof or increase the attic insulation.
Even if the home is structured with a thick concrete roof, heat can easily flow from the top to the house. But, imagine that if the amount of heat passing through the roof is reduced considerably, then the attic might hold on to the part of it, and the heat that penetrates the entire home is reduced. But, how do you do that?
You need to install a solar panel. Solar panels cool the roof and let us look more into how it does.
Do Solar panels help to reduce the heat?
Yes. Solar panels help to reduce the heat that reaches the roof. The exciting fact is, the solar panels absorb an adequate amount of heat during the summer and also help to retain the heat during the winter.
The roof is the only layer between the sky and your house, and it is the only way the heat can enter and leave the house. Solar panels help in assisting the penetration.
But, can simple insulation on your attic do the same job?
Some researchers say that, with the advent of technology, the high-end insulation available in the market these days performs the same way as solar panels but not as much as them.
However, there are proven studies that depict that installing solar panels helps in reducing cooling costs. Further, you will find a comfortable temperature during the winter.
There are a few conflicting studies that show that support both aspects. But, simply installing solar panels can best serve the purposes.
Why Is it necessary to keep the heat off the roof?
As mentioned earlier, heat enters the house using the conduction mechanism, and this means heat passes through solid material and penetrates the other side.
You can notice that even the best-insulated attic can get as hot as 150-degree Fahrenheit during the summer. Let us consider an example.
On a hot sunny day, if you touch the wall inside the house, you can feel them as hot as the wall’s surface outside the home. If this is the situation of the walls, which are exposed to sunlight only during a part of the day, imagine the roof’s situation.
When the sun sets, the heat in the outside wall passes through the strong insulation and gets inside the house. That is why heat is felt in the evening and night inside the house.
What do you do when you feel the heat? No – your solar panels do not work once the sunlight is out of sight. You need to reply to the batteries and generators to cool down the temperature.
But, do batteries and generators work as best or better than a solar panel? Certainly not.
The easy solution to stop the heat from penetrating the house is, reducing the heat in the roof. And how do you do that? Yes. Installing the solar panel on the rooftop reduces the heat at the roof to a bare minimum. Hence, your energy consumption level also comes down.
So, why do you need to keep the heat off the roof? Your utility consumption goes up, and cooling and maintenance costs are high.
Do Solar Panels make your Attic cooler?
Yes. The solar panels can make your attic cooler. The solar panels absorb the sunlight both directly and indirectly throughout the day.
If there are no solar panels, the heat in the roof is transferred to the attic. The solar panels help absorb the heat that would have been transferred to the attic through the roof and convert the heat into electricity. The loft will not accept that much heat if the roof receives less heat.
If the attic absorbs less heat, there will be a reduction in energy consumption, and so does the electricity bills.
Important Solar Rates
While determining if the solar panels help reduce heat, it is essential to know the meaning of two important terms – Solar Heat absorption rate and Solar Reflective Rate.
Solar Heat Absorption Rate
The maximum amount of heat stored in a material is known as thermal mass. The solar heat absorption rate is a coefficient used to determine the thermal mass of material.
For example, the thermal mass of the wood is lesser than the concrete. The solar panels have lower heat absorption rates when compared to several roofing materials.
Solar panels are made of glass, silica, metals, and plastics. All these materials have reflective properties, and it is the reflective property of all the materials, which helps reduce the heat absorbed by the roof by 38 percentage.
Solar Reflective Rate
The Solar Reflective Rate is when the solar panels reflect the solar rays rather than converting them to electricity. Not all the panels have the same solar reflective rate, and several solar panels are available at different reflective rates. The efficient solar panels can reflect up to 30 percentage of the total sunlight.
What happens to the heat produced by the solar panels?
There are several solar panels available at different capacities and efficiencies. Highly efficient panels aim at maximizing the output, thereby reducing the heat. Most solar panels do not lay flat on the roof, and they are fixed in an elevated position in the raft mounted on the top.
This ensures that the weight of the solar panels is distributed along with the entire raft in the roof. These rafts create a small gap between the panels and the roof.
This gap helps keep the attic cooler by enabling the flow of air during the summer. So, the solar panels heat the air in the gap rather than heating the roof’s surface. This air is also referred to as thermal break, which keeps the heat away from the roof.
So, now let us answer – Do Solar Panels Reduce Heat? Yes. It certainly does. It not only cools your attic during summer but also reduces the cost of cooling, and it uses both absorption and reflection techniques. These techniques are one of the several reasons why you should consider installing solar panels.