– Effectiveness of Photo voltaic Panels In the course of the Winter Months
A common misconception is that solar panels are barely effective during the winter season. Although the energy output of solar modules reaches its peak when exposed to direct sunlight and UV radiation, temperature does not play a major role in the overall performance of the solar module.
Solar panel performance in cold weather
Believe it or not, cold weather can be beneficial in generating energy given off by solar panels. Solar panels are essentially another electronic device, similar to computers, radios, or household appliances. Like any electronic device, they work more efficiently in cold weather than in higher temperatures.
The winter months can also be the best time to install solar panels for home or business owners from an economic perspective. In the cold winter months, the demand for solar systems is often lowest. However, the standard lower cost in winter will no doubt attract a decent crowd. While the colder temperatures are not harmful to the solar panels themselves, knowing the effects of cold weather on concrete is important if the base of the solar panels is to be placed in the ground directly in front of a residential or commercial building.
Will snowfall affect the power generation of solar panels?
While cold weather does not adversely affect the performance of a solar panel, other factors, such as snowfall, can affect total energy production. Even if you live in an area where snow is expected every winter, that doesn’t mean a solar panel isn’t effective. In fact, there are many cold weather climates where solar panels are very popular. Ultimately, the overall effect will be due to the amount of snow that has accumulated on the solar panel. A light dusting of the snow does not lead to any significant disruption, as the sun’s UV rays can still penetrate a small amount of snow until the wind falls off the panels.
Although the solar panels usually carry the weight of heavy snowfalls, if too much snow builds up, production levels can drop. Solar panels are built at an angle to optimize the absorption of UV rays from the sun. This also helps to reduce snow build-up as most of the snow can slide off or be easily removed. Many solar panels are installed with large frames around the edge, which can lead to greater accumulation of snow. If you live in cold weather where snowfall is inevitable, it may be worth installing a framed solar panel.
Energy generation on shortened winter days
It’s no secret that the amount of daylight on any given day is much less in winter than in summer. While this will reduce the time a solar panel will operate at full efficiency, the amount of sunlight available in most regions is more than enough to make it worth it. In a similar way, a solar module works with a reduced efficiency on cloudy days because it is not exposed to direct sunlight. However, it is important that the panel is exposed to the sun all year round and not on a specific day.
Is the energy output from solar panels worthwhile in winter?
When installing solar panels during the winter months, it is important to view them as an investment to reduce overall energy consumption over the course of the year. Even if there is a potential for a solar panel to have reduced efficiency due to bad weather and lack of sunlight, there is still a high demand for solar panel installation in winter.
Emily Folk grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania. She has a passion for ecology, nature conservation and sustainability.
In high school, she discovered her other passion: writing. After graduating in professional writing, the most natural step seemed to be to combine the two passions in one forum. Their goal is to help people become better informed about the world and how we fit into it.
Her website is Conservation Folks