Solar panels usually generate electricity all year round after installation. In addition to lowering your home’s electricity cost, you get clean and efficient energy when you install solar panels. Environmentally friendly energy helps with reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And yes, solar panels in the winter also generate electricity.
Most people believe solar panels work only in hot climates. However, they are known to have excellent performance across the country. We are going to look at how solar panels work during winter. Let’s get started.
Solar Panels During Winter
If you are thinking of switching to solar energy, do not let the idea of winter discourage you. Solar power is one of the most powerful and readily available resources globally, which also works during the winter. Contrary to what many people think, solar panels generate electricity from the sun’s light, not heat.
Sunlight photon particles activate the silicon’s electrons when they hit the solar panels’ cells. The motion of the electrons creates electric currents, which you can use to power your home.
During winter, the sun still shines. When the sunlight hits the solar panel photovoltaic cells, electricity is produced. The cold weather is beneficial to a solar panel’s efficiency. As there is no excess heat, the solar panels can perform optimally without the risk of overheating.
Did you know that excess heat affects solar panels’ performance? From 77ºF, solar panels start losing their efficiency. There is no risk of such a scenario in cold climate areas. Instead, solar panels supply enough electricity to power homes during this weather. In extreme winter cases, using solar batteries helps in storing energy. Users can also connect to the grid.
However, the production of electricity diminishes in these conditions. Let us look at the benefits of solar panels during winter.
Advantages of Solar Panels During Winter
- Solar panels rely on the available sunlight to generate electricity.
- The cold weather increases the solar panel array’s efficiency, thus increasing production during the available daylight.
- Sunlight moves through the snow to the panels for power generation.
- Solar panels installation angles allow the snow to slide off, letting in the sun.
- There are favorable solar incentives in states located in the northern regions.
Cons of Solar Panels During Winter
- You need to adjust the solar panels’ angles higher to capture more sunlight.
- Increase the need for the grid as the energy generated is less.
- Possible high costs because of the need to install panels with an extra durable rating and ability to carry snow.
- Need to clear off snow from the solar panels when they are entirely covered.
- Shorter days due to winter, snow, and cloud cover can reduce sunlight, reducing the amount of electricity produced.
Can Solar Panels Work in Snow?
Winter comes with not only the cold but also the snow. As a consumer switching to solar, you may have asked a few questions. Such as, what happens to the solar panels when it snows? Will power generation be affected? It is normal to worry about the snow’s effect on the solar panels.
Your solar panels can still produce energy when it is snowy. Despite being covered with snow, the panels still have access to sunlight. The light keeps the solar modules generating electricity.
Besides, you can clear the snow off the solar panels. If your solar system is easy to access, this can be a DIY exercise. You can use a roof rake to clear the areas below the panels, making room for the snow to slide off the solar panels. Doing this helps speed up the thawing process.
You can also dust off the snow. You should be careful to avoid damaging the solar panels. Snow can reduce the ability of the sunlight to penetrate the panels. A professional installer can help install the PV modules at a higher angle allowing the snow to slide off.
During cold clear days, the extra carpet of snow on the panels acts as a mirror. It reflects sunlight onto the photovoltaics leading to increased production.
Cold Weather Locations and Solar Panels
You can find solar panels in freezing climates. The PV modules heat the cabin in the snow-covered mountains. Solar energy helps support communities in Alaska and other cold areas. Seeing solar in such harsh cold climates proves that you can install solar power in your home to sustain you throughout the year. Many states in the northern region are making solar panel installation a priority.
Wind and chill also lower the solar panels’ temperature, which increases their efficiency. Having wind during winter does not reduce the electricity produced by your system. The breeze cools down the solar panels. Additionally, the wind carries away lingering clouds leading to more clouds.
Net-metering and Solar Power Storage in Winter
You can install a grid-connected solar and an energy storage system if you want an energy guarantee during winter. In this case, even when your system produces less electricity, you will still not run out. When you have net-metering, the credit you gain offsets the days with low production.
Also, you can include solar energy storage batteries to guarantee more energy independence. The backup reduces the total amount you get from the grid. It stores the energy your system generates, which gives you a better standing despite the rain, snow, or cold.
The bottom line is that solar panels work well even during winter. In some cases, the energy produced may be lower due to cloud or snow cover. However, the cold weather during winter increases solar panels’ efficiency leading to more energy production. If you are in the northern states, investing in solar panels will give you a good return on your investment.
Do you want to install solar panels before winter? Get in touch with Dynamic Slr for a seamless transition to clean and reliable energy. You can fill the free solar quote request form, and we will give you an estimate. You don’t have to worry about winter inconveniences because PV modules still work when it is snowy.