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Solar Panel Effectiveness & Production in the Winter

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Winter Solar Power


One of the most common questions asked about solar energy systems is whether they work during the winter months. Homeowners and businesses still receive the same benefits from their solar energy systems even during the coldest time of year.


From a pure performance standpoint, most people don’t realize that solar panels actually perform better in colder conditions than they do in the heat of summer. Yes, solar panels produce less total energy during winter, but that’s the result of fewer daylight hours, not the temperature. That’s because solar panels work on light, not heat. Similarly, overcast weather conditions will cause a slight decrease in production, but that’s the case during any season.


Snow can block solar energy output, but snow usually melts quickly and can be swept off solar panels. However, snow can actually provide a temporary boost to electricity production when sunlight reflects onto solar panels, much like a skier can get sunburn on a sunny winter day. Also, the slope of solar panels, that are installed at an angle allow the snow to slide off quickly.


Throughout the year, solar cells convert sunlight into electricity, which is either used immediately or stored in batteries for future use in your own back-up source or through the utility power grid. This acts as a safety net, making up for any shortfall in solar power output.


Contact us to learn more about how we can help you take advantage of solar energy's year long cost savings.