With temperatures soaring to highs of 90°F (32°C) in Britain this week, you might assume that the scorching heat will have a positive effect on solar power generation.
But experts have warned that it may actually have the opposite effect.
Speaking to MailOnline, Professor Alastair Buckey from Sheffield Solar at the University of Sheffield said: ‘Solar likes sunshine but it doesn’t like being hot.
‘We always get the best performance in spring when the air is cool and the sky is really clear.
‘We’re very unlikely to see any solar records broken this week – simply because it’s so hot and solar panels are less efficient in the heat.’
Their warnings come as a fire was even sparked at a solar farm in Verwood, Dorset during the afternoon sunshine, damaging some of the 81,400 panels.
Some 20 firefighters from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service were called out to the blaze at 2:43pm.
A 500ft by 330ft patch of grass burned for three hours at the 113-acre site.
The exact cause of the fire is still being investigated by.
Temperatures have already hit 90°F (32°C) this week and will do so again today before dipping slightly between tomorrow and Friday – then bouncing back at the weekend with an unprecedented 104°F (40°C) possible.
How do high temperatures affect solar panels?
Although solar panels absorb energy from the sun, hotter temperatures actually make them less efficient.
Photovoltaic solar panels work by absorbing light energy and using the energy to ‘excite’, or energise, electrons.
An electrical field is then created across the layers of silicon in the cell, allowing the electrons to flow as electricity.
The greater the intensity of the light, the greater the flow of electricity.
But the hotter the panel is, the greater the number of electrons that are already in the excited state before the photon hits, reducing its efficiency.
Higher temperatures also increase the electrical resistance of the circuits that convert the charge into electricity.
Modern hybrid solar panels are designed to suffer less from the heat, but they can still lose 10 per cent of their rated efficiency on hot days.
This is part of the reason why Cornwall is the best county for solar energy in the country, home to over 8,000 solar sites.
It has over 15,000 hours of sunshine annually, but typically stays fairly cool allowing for the solar panels to work efficiently.
How much solar power does the UK generate?
Over the past decade, solar power has emerged as a viable solution to both the energy and climate crisis.
The latest Energy Trends report from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy stated that solar photovoltaic generation increased by 21 per cent from last year.
This was driven partly by a 2.2 per cent increase in capacity, but mostly due to an additional 1.2 sun hours on average per day – the highest for the first quarter since 2003.