DIY Solar Panels Shield Your Home from the Summer Heat Posted on 20 Jun 09:00
You know that you can count on DIY solar panels to power your air conditioner this summer, providing you with cooling relief from the sweltering heat, but did you know that rooftop panels also can reduce the amount of heat that enters your home?
According to a study through the University of California at San Diego, roof-mounted photovoltaic panels help keep buildings cooler — yet another interesting side benefit of adopting solar energy.
DIY Solar Panels Act as Rooftop Shades
When the intense summer sun hits your roof, heat enters your home and raises the temperature. Rooftop photovoltaic panels block much of this heat from even reaching your roof.
In addition, a solar array is typically mounted on a racking system that is slightly elevated from the rooftop surface. Because of this, air can circulate between the photovoltaic array and the roof.
Due to both of these factors, a roof-mounted solar energy installation creates a thermal barrier that keeps the interior of your home cooler.
In fact, the UC San Diego researchers found that, during daylight hours, the roofs of buildings with solar arrays are up to 5 degrees cooler than similar buildings without photovoltaic panels.
Rooftop Solar Panels Cut Summer Cooling Costs
Sure, 5 degrees may not sound like much during the dog days of summer. But when you consider the financial impact of this cooling effect, you may be a bit more impressed.
The study determined that rooftop photovoltaic panels can reduce a building’s annual cooling load — the amount of heat energy that must be removed by the air conditioner to maintain a constant temperature — by up to 38 percent.
This can reduce your summer cooling costs significantly. According to the study, the savings you’ll see over the lifetime of your DIY photovoltaic panels could amount to 5 percent of the cost of your DIY solar energy system.
Cooling the Roof Around Your DIY Solar Panels
You can further decrease your home’s annual cooling load — and therefore, the amount of energy your air conditioner uses — by cooling the areas of your roof your solar panels don’t cover.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, these revolutionary cool roofs can stay more than 50 degrees cooler than standard or dark roofs.
How do you make your roof cooler? You can apply a solar-reflective coating to its surface. These coatings, available for most types of roofing materials, are simply painted on to shield your roof’s surface from ultraviolet light.
To learn even more about the benefits of adopting solar energy, visit Solar GOODs, the online DIY solar superstore. Our simple system design tool and helpful how-to information will set you moving in the right direction for saving money with DIY solar panels.