LARGEST STUDY TO DATE DISCOVERS 25 PER CENT POWER LOSS ACROSS UK
Researchers at the University of Huddersfield have undertaken the largest study to date into the effectiveness of solar panels across the UK and discovered that parts of the country are suffering an overall power loss of up to 25% because of the issue of regional ‘hot spots’. Hot spots were also found to be more prevalent in the North of England than in the south.
Dr Mahmoud Dhimish, a lecturer in Electronics and Control Engineering and co-director of the Photovoltaics Laboratory at the University, analysed 2,580 polycrystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) panels distributed across the UK. The UK has been fossil-free for two years and demand is constantly increasing for renewable energy.
After quantifying the data, Dr Dhimish discovered that the panels found to have hot spots generated a power output notably less than those that didn’t. He also discovered that location was a primary contributor in the distribution of hot spots.
Photovoltaics hot spots are areas of elevated temperature which can affect only part of the solar panel. They are a result of a localized decrease in efficiency and the main cause of accelerated PV ageing, often causing permanent damage to the solar panel’s lifetime performance. According to Dr Dhimish, this is the first time an investigation into how hot spots impact the performance of PV panels has been conducted from such a large-scale dataset and says the project uncovered results which demonstrate the preferred location of UK hot spots.