Do Solar Panels Keep Your Home Cooler?
Installing solar panels on your homes roof comes with more benefits than you may think. In addition to providing a steady source of electricity, you can expect cooler temperatures in your attic area and home. The solar panels in addition to absorbing some of the sun’s rays to transfer into electricity will reflect and act as a break for thermal energy. Homes with roofs covered by solar panels can observe on average of a 5-degree drop, which amounts to significant savings on cooling bills.
Solar Heat Absorption Rate
Solar heat absorption is a common coefficient used to determine the thermal mass of a material. Thermal mass measures the amount of heat that can be stored in a material. Wood has a lower thermal mass than concrete, and solar panels have a lower absorption than traditional roofing materials. Solar panels consist of glass, silica, metals, and plastics, all of which are materials with reflective properties.
A Study conducted by the University of California – San Diego determined that due to the reflective materials, and being raised away from a roof’s surface, solar panels reduce heat absorption of a roof by 38%.
Solar Reflective Rate
The solar reflection rate determines the number of solar rays reflected by the solar panel surface rather than being converted into electricity. There are a wide variety of solar panels on the market that varies in efficiency and solar reflection. High-efficiency solar panels maximize output, allowing a home to achieve a large amount of solar produced electricity with a small installation. Even with the focus on solar absorption, efficient solar panels can reflect around 30% of light.
Raised Solar Panels
Most traditional solar panel installations do not lay flat on the roof of a home, but rather attach to guide rails elevated from the surface. These guide rails allow the weight of the solar panels to be distributed across structural beams instead of on the roofing material. These guide rails not only make installing heavy solar panels easy, but they create a gap between the solar panel and your roof.
The air gap may be small in some installations, but that gap is just what will keep your attic cool during the summer. Rather than the solar panels heating up the surfaces connected to them, they will heat up the air beneath it. Air is known for its low thermal absorption rate, meaning that the air will not transfer heat to your roof. The gap of air will act as a thermal break, keeping the heat away from entering your home.
Bringing It All Together
Not only do solar panels offer energy to offset the cost of cooling in the summer, but they keep your attic and home cooler by reflecting and absorbing a lot of the thermal energy from the sun. The wonderful absorptive properties of solar panels are just one of the many reasons why you should go solar. Contact CAM Solar today to set up your free on-site consultation and learn more about the benefits of switching to solar.