Solar power is a great source of energy for a home or property, but most folks who are new to it rightfully have questions. One of the questions we encounter the most is whether they work well in the winter or not.
The long and short of it is ‘yes, they work,’ but there’s some information behind it that’s valuable for any owner or potential owner to know – information that we’re going to share out today.
Solar panels require light, not heat
Just because winter is coming doesn’t mean that your solar panels will stop working. Panels require sunlight in order to operate, not heat. That being said – it’s important to understand that yes – the temperature can effect how efficient the panels operate. This, however – usually only occurs in extreme temperatures and conditions.
Solar Panels in the Summer vs. the winter
Depending on what types of panels you’ve installed on your home, you may actually have more issues when the weather is nice and sunny out in the summer than in the colder winter months.
While colder temperatures help panels convert energy more efficiently, the shorter days mean less sun. Less sun impacts your energy output. Getting around this issue is relatively easy to get around though – as you can tilt your panels more towards the sun’s direction seasonally. So in the winter, you’ll point the system south, in the summer you’ll paint it more straight on or more to the north.
Solar and snow
While we don’t deal with snow much here in Florida and it doesn’t have much of an effect on our customers, specifically; it’s worth talking about – especially to all you web searchers we’re trying to help!
Snow and general precipitation can impact the effectiveness of your solar panels, but not to the degree you’d think. Because panels are generally generating heat, snow rarely accumulates on panels and often melts before it makes impact. When it does – panels are usually tilted, so the snow seamlessly slides off. When there’s heavy accumulation, it’s easy to get them cleaned – and all you’ll have to do is call a pro to come help you.
To boot – snowfall can actually increase your energy intake due to the albedo effect. You know how skiers get more sunburn on the slopes than they do on say… the beach? Well the same effect applies here. The whiteness of the snow can actually serve as a mirror for sunlight and reflects off the snow, creating more light. More light means more power.
So long as you follow the tips above, you should have no problem generating energy in the winter.