Do Solar Panels Work Underwater?

Posted 10 months ago by Manual Thomas

All of us know that the sun is the powerhouse of our solar system, and it’s also responsible for supplying us with all the energy we need to live. 

Solar panels are one way that people can harness this power, but do solar panels work underwater? 

The answer may seem a little complicated at first glance, but don’t worry! In this article, we will explore how solar panels work and whether or not they’re suited for use in water.

So without further ado let’s go into details.

Underwater Solar Panels

First thing, let’s define what the word “underwater” means in this context. It doesn’t mean that there is any water inside the panel itself. 

Instead, it refers to the fact that these are solar panels that are installed in water. So, they are not just close to or next to the water but actually submerged under it.

And while “underwater solar panels” may sound like something straight out of a science fiction movie, rest assured that these devices are very real and can produce clean energy in some pretty amazing ways.

These panels don’t look like your conventional solar panels. Instead of having a flat surface, they are more similar to the shape of a plate. 

Besides, They are designed this way so that no matter how strong the waves are on top of them, they won’t move or be pushed by them.

Related Article: Are Solar Panels Waterproof?

Do Solar Panels Lose their Efficiency Under Water?

The potential for underwater solar cells has been proven at depths up to 50 meters in very clear waters, with efficiencies that range from 55% to 65%. For cloudier sites, it may operate between 10-15m deep

The recent experiments have shown how efficiently these new technologies are submerged underwater and their ability to make use of different light sources like blue sky or starlight. 

Also, The tests found out this about them: firstly they can harvest energy much more efficiently than you might think; secondly, it doesn’t take too long before there’s enough power generating capacity available on demand–even when operating close.

But, if you want to get the best value for your money, then always make sure that you are getting a panel that is made specifically for underwater use. 

This means that it has been tested and certified for this purpose and will perform every bit as well as its land-based counterpart.

Additionally, If you don’t do your research before making a purchase, you could end up with a panel that is not only useless underwater but also a hazard to the marine life in your area.

Related Articles: How Solar Panels Work In The Rainy Seasons?

Types of Cells That Suits Under Water

Scientists have discovered that gallium indium phosphide (GaInP) cells are well suited for underwater operation given their high efficiency in wavelengths between 400 and 700 nanometers (visible light), as well “intrinsically low dark current”. This makes them an excellent choice when working under low-light conditions.

Also, The use of Crystalline Silicon versus Amorphous was first implemented in aquatic environments with limited success due to some unforeseen issues associated with both technologies’ performance while under the ocean waves. 

However new research about osmoregulation has helped shed light on why marine organisms have evolved over time just so they may survive having less sunlight reaching them.

Related Article: 7 Ways to Protect Solar Panels from Hail

Challenges Faced when Installing Underwater Solar Panels

The biggest problem with installing underwater solar panels is related to the structural engineering needed to ensure that they are installed perfectly on the ocean floor. This means being able to withstand currents, large waves, and storms without getting damaged. Furthermore, the cables that connect them to the energy harvesting machines need to be specially designed for this task.

Another thing you should consider is how easy it will be to maintain your panels when needed. In most cases, just getting out there and undoing all the nuts and bolts required can be very time-intensive and even dangerous under harsh conditions. It’s one of the reasons why they are so far not being used in their full capacity.

One last thing you need to be aware of is how much it will cost to actually have these panels installed on your property. 

The materials they are made out of are very expensive, but most manufacturers include this expense in their price since by now there’s a market for this kind of technology.

Related Article: Can An Electrician Install Solar Panels?

Why Would You Install Solar Panels Underwater in the First Place?

There are several reasons why you would want to have solar panels installed underwater. 

First of all, since the waters around many countries receive a great deal of sunlight throughout the year, it is only natural that this is used as an inexhaustible source for clean energy.

What’s more, these panels are less likely to be affected by volatile weather conditions, while they still receive plenty of sunlight.

And while conventional solar panels can be very expensive and require a lot of work to get installed (not to mention that their efficiency isn’t always the greatest), these ones actually benefit from this since they will never move or be affected by any weather events.

Another great thing about underwater solar panels is that they are great replacements for the old dirty diesel generators that many pleasure boats still use.

Of course, it’s important to remember that while these panels can produce a lot of energy, not all of it will be usable since you don’t want the electricity in the ocean to cause problems with marine life. 

This means that when calculating how much power you are getting from them, you have to keep in mind the losses they produce.

Related Article: Does A Solar Panel Have To Be In Direct Sunlight?

How Much Electricity Can Your Underwater Solar Array Produce?

It’s impossible to tell you the exact number because there are so many different factors at play here that it will depend on. 

There are different models out there with capacities ranging anywhere from 100 watts all the way up to 1000 watts or more, which should be enough to provide all the electricity you need.

There’s also the fact that if you live near the coast, then your panels will receive much more sunlight compared to places further inland or close to larger bodies of water like rivers and lakes. 

This means that they will produce energy even when it’s overcast outside which can be very advantageous depending on your local weather patterns.

Last Words

It is still in the early stages of development. So the price of these underwater panels is far more than that of normal ones. 

Besides, Before making the decision to install them on your property you should consider all pros and cons before making any final decisions.

We hope you enjoyed this article as much as we did.

Do you have any questions? please, let us know in the comment section below.

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Manual Thomas