Do solar panels work in winter? – The short answer to that question is- Yes.
It is commonly believed that solar panels do not generate power when the sun is not shining. But that is a myth. There is a misconception that solar panels will be ineffective in cold climes, snowfall and rain. Solar panels are the most efficient when there is direct sunlight. Still, even when weather conditions diffuse the sunlight, they can generate energy and help you be self-sufficient for your energy needs.
Solar panels need light and not heat
Solar panels use sunlight and not heat to generate electricity. Sunlight reaches Earth on most days except in the poles. Efficient solar panels use sunlight to the maximum extent and generate power. Moreover, when there is a cloud cover, the sunlight is scattered but still reaches Earth. Solar panels can utilize this sunlight. In case of a thicker layer of clouds, energy production decreases but solar panels are much more efficient than they are given credit for.
Lower temperatures lead to higher efficiency
When the sunlight particles hit the solar PV cells, the electrons present are put in motion creating electric currents. Like most electronics, solar panels function more efficiently in cold conditions. When the temperature drops, the panel produces more voltage, which leads to the generation of more electricity.
Effect of snow on Solar panels
Solar panels work well when it snows, too, as long as they are not engulfed by a lot of snow for an extended period.
Even when it snows, sunlight does reach the solar panels allowing the solar cells to generate electricity. The solar panels are usually installed at an angle. This ensures that the snow does not get accumulated on the panels, blocking the light from reaching them. When the snow melts it cleans up the solar panels. The panels without debris become even more productive. Sunlight can also penetrate through a moderate amount of accumulation of snow, allowing the solar cells to generate electricity. Our solar panels undergo pressure tests to assess the extent of weight they can withstand, and we can recommend the best-suited panels depending on the snowfall in your region.
Of course, heavy snowfall does halt power generation. But on an average, there is no substantial effect of it in most places.
Solar is a solid investment in all weather conditions. So, whether winter is coming or not, it makes the best sense to install a solar installation and become energy independent.
Have More Questions?
We understand that a solar solution is a significant investment, and you may want to know more before you take the plunge. Get in touch with us @ email@example.com or 703-657-0090 to learn more about our solar solutions, service and maintenance offerings and financing options.