solar technology

Sunlight Makes You (and Your Solar Panels) Sleepy

Summer feels like a day on the beach. People are sandy, warm and tired. You may have noticed that as the sun gets hotter, your body just wants to sleep. The desire to relax as you soak up the sun is not only because you love lying on the beach. There’s a scientific reason people feel more tired after a day in the sun. You’re not as energy efficient when the sun zaps your energy and, as it turns out, neither are your solar panels.

Body temperature changes

When you’re out lying in the sun, your body is absorbing photons and heat. This heat causes your internal body temperature to rise. With the sun beating down on you, it takes more effort for your body to stay cool. As kids, our bodies are smaller so we don’t notice it as much. With larger adult bodies, it takes more energy to cool off. High temperatures and bigger bodies make it harder to keep a low body temperature. Even the slightest change in body temperature can affect your mood. People typically notice grumpiness, fatigue, and sleepiness after spending a few hours under the sun.

Sun exposure

Sun exposure causes a lot of chemical reactions in the body. You’re soaking up extra vitamins and producing extra Melatonin, among other chemical reactions. All of this extra activity can lead to extra tiredness after a day in the sun.

Extremely high temperatures often lead to dehydration as your body sweats out water. Drowsiness is a symptom of dehydration, as well as thirst, dry skin, headache, and lightheadedness. Dehydration increases your risk of heat exhaustion. Dizziness, fatigue, lightheadedness, nausea and cramps are signs that indicate heat exhaustion. If you notice any of these symptoms after a day in the sun, take them seriously and get medical help.

Beat the heat

If you want the sunshine but not the fatigue, drink plenty of water. Munch on salty snacks to help replace the salts that your body is sweating out. Try not to go out in the hottest part of the day and avoid direct sunlight. Spend some time in the shade or create your own with hats and umbrellas.

Sunlight and solar panels

The same sunlight that zaps your energy has the potential to power homes, cars, and cities. Solar panels harness the sun’s rays to give your home an energy boost. When you’re feeling drained after a day in the sun, your home is powered by clean energy. That being said, it’s important to distinguish the difference between light and heat.

Solar panels convert light into energy. More sunlight means more electricity to power your home or business. A clear, sunny winter day can produce just as much energy as a sunny summer day. High temperatures can actually decrease the efficiency of your solar panels. When the system gets too hot, it produces less energy. Reduced output can also be caused by the angle and the location of the solar panels.

Maximize solar panel use this summer

One way to get the most out of your solar panel system this summer is to use your large appliances during the daytime. Solar panels produce the most energy during daylight hours. Washing clothes and running your dishwasher in the middle of the day will help you take advantage of that energy surge. Try and limit your energy use after dark as another way to conserve energy. Long days and short nights during the summer months make this easier to do.