During these summer seasons, we are experiencing unprecedented heat levels all over the country. In fact, a heat index of 42 degrees Celsius has even been recorded in Quezon City just this April 22. And due to the continuing effects of global warming, it is expected that these temperatures will just continue to increase as the years progress.
It is common for Filipino homes to experience significant increases to their energy consumption and electric bills due to the prolonged use of air-conditioners and electric fans. Because of this, any amount of reduction to the ambient temperature in your home can also be a big help in reducing the frequency in which such appliances are used and the comfort level in your home, especially in the scorching summer months.
With regards to this, did you know that having a solar panel installation on your home will not only help fight global warming by reducing your energy demand and electric bills, but can also keep your house cooler?
How Solar Panels Can Cool Down Your Home
To understand how solar panels can cool down your home, we must first understand how the sun heats it up in the first place.
Sunlight is a form of energy. When it hits an object like your roof, some amount is reflected while the rest is absorbed by the object itself. And when sunlight is absorbed, it becomes heat. This is the very reason why it is a common advice to wear only light colored clothes during the summer season. Black or dark clothes do not reflect much sunlight and thus, absorbs it and heats your body up.
A similar thing happens with your roof when sunlight hits it for a prolonged period of time. Since it absorbs some of the sunlight, it heats up. This heat is then transmitted to inside your home through the ceiling, which contributes greatly to its overall temperature.
However, with a solar panel installation, the sunlight doesn't hit your roof and instead, is absorbed by the solar panels themselves. Some of this energy is converted to electricity (15-20%), some is reflected back to the atmosphere, and the remaining heats up the solar panels. Since solar panels are installed to not be directly in contact with your roof, its heat is eventually transmitted away through wind currents over and under the solar panels.
In fact, a study that was conducted by engineering researchers at UC San Diego has determined that solar panels can reduce the amount of heat that reaches the roof by 38%.
Aside from having a cooler home because of the reduced amount of heat that can get inside, solar panels can also effectively increase the lifespan of your roof because they are not anymore directly exposed to the elements.
Benefits of Solar Energy
Even if we already have the technologies, such as solar PV, to fight climate change, it would still not be successful if it does not give benefits to its end users. Fortunately for us, solar panels not only give financial benefits in the form of savings from your electric bills but they can also help in effectively cooling your home.
These benefits are most especially important here in the Philippines because we are paying one of the highest electricity rates in all of Asia while at the same time, also experiencing one of the highest temperatures.