As we humans are innovators, we tend to bring 2 and 2 together and make it 5. While the math isn’t right, it indicates we are creative, well, sorta. But during our childhood, we did a lot of things with a piece of mirror.
Burning a hole in papers, books and even starting a campfire. Even the scouts get training on this. Which is fun, and a great survival trick. You can even send an SOS with a mirror or reflective object.
This begs the question, can you use mirrors to redirect sunlight on a solar panel? Joey Tribbiani would be proud of your creative thinking.
Well, turns out you can. As solar panels depend on sunlight, redirecting them using a mirror will do the same thing. But there are also some risks involved, which is why the solar panel manufacturers don’t include them. Let’s talk about both of them.
Using Mirrors To Redirect Sunlight On Solar Panels | Yay Or Nay?
We all know how solar panels work right? Sunlight falls on them, it absorbs the power and creates DC energy, inverters convert them and store them in the battery for use. Simple thing. But you do not get sunlight at the same place throughout the day.
Which means you are missing out on a lot of potential daylight. And if your panels couldn’t be in a better place, you are doomed. Also, you can’t just pick them up and move them around, you would get shocked, injured, or even die.
Mirrors can be your perfect solution to this inconvenience. Simply placing a mirror or two around your solar panels will direct sunlight on them throughout the day. You would have to calculate the exact pattern for a day to make the adjustment though, but it’s worth it in the end.
Also, make sure these mirrors are a bit bigger, so they have more surface to reflect.
As it is established that you can use them, there are a few cautions too. Mirrors not only reflect light but also energy. And energy is in the form of heat. Which the sun is full of.
Solar panels have a specified temperature to work with. They generate energy efficiently only under that temperature limit. Over that, they will not absorb the energy.
At the same time, continuously focusing the mirror on your solar panels can cause a fire. Remember the time you burnt your friend’s schoolbag? The same thing will happen here. This is why it is suggested you do not use too many mirrors and check the temperature. Maybe remove them when it is too hot outside to safeguard your solar panels.
Otherwise, yes, you can definitely use mirrors to redirect sunlight to your solar panels. Just don’t go crazy with them.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers – FAQs
Why don’t we use mirrors for solar panels?
The reason we don’t use mirrors for solar panels is that they not only reflect sunlight but also create heat at the same time. And solar panels get damaged due to heat. Also, they don’t generate energy under temperature.
Do mirrors amplify sunlight?
No. Mirrors only reflect the light from its source, which is toned down. So amplifying is out of the question.
Can glass act as a solar panel?
Regular glass cannot act as solar panels. But solar glass windows can act as solar panels. Building Integrated Photovoltaics or BIPV is a technology that integrated solar panel principles on glass. So you get to generate solar energy from the glass without the need for any dedicated solar panels.
So it is safe to say you can use mirrors to redirect sunlight on your solar panels. But make sure to measure your solar panel’s temperature. If the mirrors are causing the panels to heat up over their recommended temperature, best to remove them. You don’t want to damage the equipment that you installed to save your bills, do you?