SPIS Toolbox - Ambient Temperature

From energypedia
►Back to the Start Page ►Back to the Module Page ►Go to the Next Chapter

2.6 Ambient Temperature

As the name suggests, this parameter looks at the temperature of the areas surroundings. This has two main effects on SPIS potential: 1) affects the efficiency of SPIS and 2) affects the crops and livestock found in an area.

On efficiency of SPIS, temperature is a key factor in the design of pumping systems as it affects the functionality and life span of solar PV equipment. The flow of electricity and the voltage output of solar panels depend linearly on the operating temperature of the panels. Lower temperatures produce reduced resistance to electricity flow resulting in higher voltage outputs; higher temperatures increase resistance and subsequently lead to lower voltage outputs. High ambient temperatures also affect the performance of the system’s inverter by reducing its frequency which in turn reduces its efficiency and the flow rate of the pump.

Due to the variability of climate in different regions, most panels do not operate under ideal temperature conditions. To correct this, panels in hotter regions of the world are often designed with cooling systems to keep the panels within certain temperatures. Additionally, PV systems in different temperature environments must be sized to ensure that the output voltage is not too high, which could damage the equipment.

The range of crops and livestock that are suitable in an area is often affected by ambient air temperature. Analysis of thermal regimes using agro-ecological zoning discussed in the previous section can reveal crops and livestock suited to a region based on its temperature. This may then inform the need for SPIS for the said region.


  • Determination of ambient temperatures in potential SPIS markets
  • Selection of suitable solar technology based on temperature regimes
  • Determination of suitable crops and livestock based on temperatures

Data Requirement

  • Global AEZ by FAO and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis


  • Meteorological service providers

Important Issues

  • Panel selection should be done with ambient air temperature in mind to maximize efficiency of the system and to ensure adequate voltage output.

►Back to the Start Page ►Back to the Module Page ►Go to the Next Chapter