Harnessing Solar Power: Seasonal Changes in North America’s Energy Landscape

Hello everyone!

Today, I want to take a deep dive into an exciting aspect of the solar industry that often goes unnoticed, but plays a critical role in how solar companies, including those that supply solar panels for your home, perform and strategize – the matter of irradiance variability. And yes, I am talking about weather!

We typically think of regions like California, Nevada, Arizona, and western Texas as basking in the perpetual glow of the sun, making them ideal locations for solar companies to deploy solar arrays for home and commercial use. However, recent reports from Solcast, a company known for its groundbreaking work in tracking sunlight, have indicated that the sun hasn’t been as cooperative in these areas this past March. Surprisingly, sunshine was found to be less than normal. Meanwhile, regions from the Midwest right up to the sunny Carolinas, and most parts of Mexico, enjoyed higher than average sunlight.

So, what does this mean for solar companies and those who have invested in solar panels for their homes? Simply put, irradiance – the amount of solar power that hits a given area – deeply affects the performance of your solar arrays at home and any solar operation in general. Lower irradiance means less energy production.

Texas, for instance, despite having average irradiance, experienced immense damage to many of its large solar farms due to severe hail storms. Furthermore, haze from persistent fires throughout the month also reduced clear sky irradiance and increased soiling on PV panels, thereby affecting their efficacy.

On the brighter side (pun absolutely intended), the Midwest was sunnier than usual. The Rockies somewhat blocked the moisture-filled frontal systems from the Pacific, leading to higher than average irradiance inland. This is good news for solar companies operating in this region!

This data on irradiance is collected through a comprehensive tracking process that uses satellite data and AI/ML algorithms to calculate sunlight at a very high resolution. The figures obtained are then used to predict irradiance, which is essential for making accurate predictions about solar energy yield.

Remember, the success of a solar company or the efficiency of the solar panels for your home is hugely dependent on irradiance levels. What’s more important is that we recognize the role of other climatic and local factors like storm occurrence, fires, and cloud cover, that can potentially impact solar energy production.

Join me again next week, where we will delve further into the exciting world of solar, and unravel the intricacies that make this renewable energy source both fascinating and promising.

Original Articlehttps://pv-magazine-usa.com/2024/04/05/mixed-start-to-spring-for-solar-in-north-america/

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *