Solar in the Winter

Happy December everyone! Now that the weather is finally cooling down and we might have some snow on the horizon, here is some info about maintaining your solar panels through the winter. 

First off, it is important to remember that solar panels use the sun’s solar radiation, or the sun’s rays, to excite electrons in the solar cells and produce a current (which turns into your electricity. So, as long as there is sunshine, your solar panels will still produce electricity (even in colder temperatures)! Only when something is blocking the panels, like shade or snow, will they stop producing solar energy. 

In fact, solar panels are actually more efficient at cooler temperatures to an extent. Panels begin to lose efficiency at temperatures above 77 degrees. No need to worry about that right now!

What about the snow?

Light snow is not an issue for your solar panels. Since solar panels are dark in color, they absorb more sunlight and heat up quicker, which will quickly melt off a light snow, if the wind hasn’t already blown it away. If there is a heavy snowfall, the snow may block your solar panels for a few hours or even a day or two. However, since most roofs are on an angle, the snow will eventually slide off. So – there is no need to worry about cleaning snow off your solar panels yourself.

However, all of this said, optimal solar panel production occurs in the spring, fall, and summer, not during the winter months. Shorter days, the angle of the sun, and frequent clouds and snow all reduce solar production in the winter. Although – key word is reduce, not eliminate! Additionally, net metering policies will allow you to keep the low price you pay for electricity in the winter months, even when your panels are producing less. Lastly, solar battery storage can allow you to make the most of your sunny, high-producing days!

As always, contact us if you are interested in a solar panel system or solar battery storage.