Solar Panels in the Winter

January 4, 2019

As the world seems to be leaning more and more toward converting over to solar power, it makes those who live in very snowy areas wonder if these panels work well in areas that commonly have extremely bitter winters. If you are considering going solar this is probably a huge concern for you. The most common concern is whether or not these panels and snow are a bad combination. The concern is understandable, however, these panels can perform well in snowy areas, in fact, some of the most popular regions that use this type of power have snowy winters.

Do Solar Panels Work in the Snow?

Probably the most common m myth about solar panels don’t work well or don’t work at all during the winter months. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth because the colder temperature will actually improve the output of solar panels. Also, the white snow can reflect light and this helps to improve the PV performance. The only way the production of solar power will be reduced is if the panels are covered with snow.

What Happens to the Performance of Solar Panels in the Snow?

You don’t have to live in Arizona or California to get a strong performance from solar panels. While considering installing solar panels for your home, just remember that even if you live in an area that has cold winters, even the worst of winters generally only last three months, this means your days of low sunshine and heavy snow are quite limited. Also, the further away from the equator you are, the longer your days are going to be when summer hits. This means that even though you might generate a little less power during the winter, you’ll make up for it during the summer months.

Problems that might happen with solar panels are generally minimal. But, there are a few things that you should know about winter weather as you consider installing a solar energy system for your home:

  • All solar panels are specifically designed to bear a certain amount of weight this means that snow usually will not be heavy enough to cause any serious issues. This is because they all undergo pressure tests to assess their quality and durability. Ratings will vary by panel and ones with higher pressure ratings indicate that they are better at withstanding the weight of snow.
  • If the panels are covered in snow, it’s true they won’t be able to produce energy, but, it’s very easy to clean them off if you have the right equipment. We all know that solar panels need the sun to make power, so you need to make sure that you have the right equipment to keep them clean and then make sure that you periodically have them cleaned off to work properly. Basically, all you need is a special solar panel snow rake or something similar to keep the snow removed. These special rakes will remove the snow without damaging the panels.
  • Sunny, cold weather is actually very good for the solar panels. As long as the snow is kept off of them, the colder weather helps them to function a lot more efficiently in colder conditions. In fact, they actually function better in colder weather than they do in super hot weather.

Not Only Sunny States

Contrary to popular belief, the sunny states aren’t the only ones that make use of solar energy. In fact, some of the top cities that use solar energy happen to be in states such as New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York all are in the top ten. These areas are proof that you don’t need to have to worry about winter getting in the way of solar production.

So, if you are seriously considering installing a solar system for your home, please feel free to contact us today and we’ll be more than happy to answer all of your questions and help you find the right system for your budget and needs.