How Effective Are Solar Panels in Winter?
All summer long, solar panels have worked a treat across the country. The sun shone non-stop (well, almost), bringing fantastic energy-bill savings to thousands of UK homes that are simultaneously doing their bit to save the environment. Good stuff.
While this might be a bit of an exaggeration (the non-stop sunshine in the UK – not the fantastic savings or helping the environment), lots of people actually worry about their solar panels not working when the colder, darker months set in.
This is what our blog is all about. If you’re concerned about the productivity of solar panels in the wintertime, we’re here to put you at ease!
It’s a common myth that solar panels won’t work as well – or won’t work at all – during winter. The truth is that the cold temperature sometimes actually improves the performance and can increase solar power output! Didn’t expect that, did you?
Research shows that solar power losses caused by snow and/or cold weather are incredibly rare,
even in the deepest hinterland regions of Canada.
Yep, it’s true. White snow reflects light and often works to improve PV efficiency, and will only harm performance if your panels are completely covered.
Where are you in the world?
Where solar panels and winter weather are concerned, there are a few things to keep in mind – we’ll get to these shortly. For now, think about where you are in the world.
Even if you live in some of the more northerly regions, your winter will only last for a few months, so your days of low sunlight are limited. One more thing: the further from the equator you are, the longer your days are when the summer comes around. Your solar panels will be fine!
Here are some things to remember about having solar panels in winter.
Some say that solar panels function better in cold conditions than in hot conditions
Like most electronics, solar panels function far more efficiently in cold conditions than in hot conditions. What this means is that, for each hour of precious sunshine your region does get, your panels will work more efficiently to produce the most energy possible from that sunshine.
Your solar panels are designed to bear a certain (considerable) amount of weight, so you have nothing to worry about
A big part of our manufacturing process includes pressure-tests. These tests make sure that the panels can withstand a degree of weight. Durability is rigorously assessed to ensure that your system is rugged and ready for the elements.
If your panels do get heavily snowed on, it’s not the end of the world
If your panels are covered in snow, they will still generate electricity – just not quite as well. Bear in mind that they have to be completely covered for this to happen. In most cases that we see, the snow will fall off the tilted panels.
If in doubt, give us a call
Rain or shine, sleet or hail (and everything in between), our products are guaranteed to perform. You can rest assured that you’re covered and can continue to earn whatever the weather.
However, if you’re really not sure about the weather and your solar panels, please give us a call – we’re on 0800 112 3110!