energy of the sun and convert it into electricity

A solar panel is a device that can take the energy of the sun and convert it into electricity.

Photovoltaics are more efficient at sea level due to the increased amount of solar radiation, which produces more output voltage.

Thus, solar modules installed at a certain height in front of the ground can improve efficiency and output.

Solar Radiation

Electromagnetic radiation emitted by the sun is called solar radiation or sunlight. Many technologies allow us to absorb solar radiation and convert it into useful energy such as heat or electricity.

The technical feasibility and economic feasibility of these technologies in a particular location is determined by the amount of solar energy available.

One technology is the installation of photovoltaics (PV), which uses solar panels to convert sunlight directly into electricity. In the upper atmosphere, the Earth receives 174 petawatts (PW) of incident solar radiation. 70% is absorbed by clouds, oceans, and land masses and about 30% is reflected back into space. The solar panels we use today actually use 70% of the energy we get from the sun and use the work of the panels to meet our energy needs.

The amount of solar radiation reaching a particular location on the earth's surface depends on geographic location, season, time of day, local landscape, and local weather.

What happens with the change in altitude on Solar Radiation?

Associated surface air molecule, ozone, aerosol, and cloud abundances decrease with atmospheric altitude, and solar ultraviolet radiation increases with altitude.

Recent studies show that solar energy is more efficient at high altitude than at sea level. This confirms that higher altitudes have more direct radiation and less diffuse radiation.

As a result, full solar radiation is available at higher elevations, creating a more efficient PV system than ground-mounted PV systems.

Read MoreSolar Energy: What you need to know

Analogy: Solar Panels efficiency and Altitude

Solar panels do not perform consistently in all conditions and certain factors can affect efficiency. These factors are:


  • Shades, a type of sunscreen, pose a major obstacle for solar panels.

  • Shade is not always the same as cloudy skies, but such days do not fully protect the panels from sunlight, resulting in less productive power output from the panels.

  • In haze conditions, the module will continue to receive and convert sunlight, albeit at a slower rate. Placing the solar panels at a higher altitude reduces the shading effect and increases the power output.


  • Weather conditions have a great effect on the performance of solar panels. Snow and hail can be a nuisance that keeps solar panels from working, but it doesn't stop them completely.

  • Snow panels retain enough heat to melt the snow on them, but hail can break through the glass of the solar panels.

  • Placing solar panels at higher altitudes can moderate weather conditions and increase efficiency.


  • The solar panel is immune to common blockages such as dust and dirt. These clogs prevent sunlight from reaching the solar cells, reducing solar irradiance and efficiency.

  • Accumulates over time, the more clogs, the less effective the solar panel. Placing the solar panels higher will increase the amount of solar radiation and improve efficiency.

  • Installing solar panels at higher elevations minimizes these factors and improves efficiency.

  • Installation at a higher altitude therefore allows full sun exposure. You can create a more efficient photovoltaic system than a ground-mounted photovoltaic system.

Technical performance parameters of a Solar plant at high altitudes

Output Voltage

The DC output voltage of the solar panel increases slightly at a certain height above ground. A certain height solar panel will have more solar radiation and slightly increase the output voltage.

Output Current

The output DC current of the solar panel also increases slightly at a given height above ground. A solar panel at a certain height has more solar radiation and slightly more output current.

Output Power

Output Power = Output Voltage * Output Current

Output power is estimated, so an increase in output voltage and output current will also increase the output power of the solar panel at a constant height above ground increase. Placing solar panels at a certain height above the ground will increase the output by 7-12% compared to ground-based solar panels.


Solar panels are more efficient at a certain height compared to the ground. Solar panels of a certain height have more solar radiation and produce more electricity.

The efficiency of a photovoltaic system is efficiency = input power/output power

The efficiency of the same system is higher because the output power is increasing at a constant level.


Solar panels are warmer than the ground at a certain height. Solar panels have more insolation at a given altitude, which increases the temperature of the solar panel.


Solar panels get less moisture at a certain height than the ground. Solar panels have more insolation at certain altitudes. As a result, the temperature of the solar panel increases and the humidity changes as the temperature changes, causing the humidity to decrease. If no moisture is added to the air, the moisture will decrease as the temperature rises.


Solar panels rise above the ground at a certain height. Solar panels at a certain height can have more solar radiation, produce higher output, and serve more people compared to ground-based solar panels.

Locations which suits the most for Installation of PV plants at High Altitudes.

The basic idea is to use high-altitude platforms to significantly improve the performance of photovoltaic (PV) modules, as solar irradiance increases significantly at high altitudes.

Suitable locations for installing solar panels at high altitude are:


  • When installing a higher rooftop solar panel at a height of 27.432 meters/90 feet above the ground, a 7-12% increase in output is observed at the same time and intensity of solar radiation.

  • At the ground level, gas and moisture factors and factors affecting population existence, including emissions of various gases from the masses, fossil fuel use, etc., can actually play a role in stopping or limiting. Observed. It's the correct number of intensities to reach the solar panel, making it less effective.

  • However, installing the solar panel at a certain height will reduce the above factors and increase the output power and efficiency.

  • Installing solar panels on high roofs is therefore particularly suitable for urban areas.

Mountainous Areas

  • Higher-altitude solar panels can capture more solar energy because less solar radiation is absorbed by the thinner atmosphere at higher altitudes. Arrays on mountaintops have certain advantages over urban installations.

  • Solar panels on top of mountains help generate electricity in the winter. Solar panels installed on top of mountains produce more electricity in the winter than solar panels installed on the roofs of low-lying buildings.

  • In many countries, installations on top of mountains can reduce power shortages during the winter months.

Solar Balloon Above Clouds

  • Floating solar balloons can be used above clouds with the potential to produce 3x more energy per foot.

  • The balloon collects solar energy and feeds it into a fuel cell that converts the electricity into hydrogen to keep the balloon afloat.

  • During the night, the cell recovers hydrogen, converts it back into an electrical charge, and releases it to the ground.

Advantages of installing solar panels in high altitudes

Disadvantages of installing solar panels at high altitudes

  • Higher overall cost.

  • Shorter PV system life.

  • Maintenance cost is a little high.

How Waaree can Help?


How Waaree can Help

Waaree Energies Ltd. is the flagship company of Waaree Group, founded in 1989 with headquarters in Mumbai, India. It has India's largest Solar panel manufacturing capacity of 5GWs at its plants in Surat and Umbergaon in Gujarat. Waaree Energies is amongst the top players in India in Solar Panel Manufacturing, EPC Services, Project Development, Rooftop Solutions, and Solar Water Pumps and is also an Independent Power Producer. Waaree has its presence in over 380 locations nationally and 20 countries internationally. Step on to your cleaner journey by contacting us at 18002121321 or mail us at

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