Winter weather in Oregon can be rough and difficult to deal with. But how do solar panels stand up to harsh winter conditions? Does solar even work in the winter?
The short answer is yes, solar does work in winter conditions. While cold, snow, and ice do affect your solar panels, these effects can be both good and bad.
DO SOLAR PANELS WORK IN THE SNOW?
Snow can be both good and bad for solar panels. Accumulation of snow on solar panels can decrease electricity production because it blocks the sun from getting to the solar cells.
Fortunately, in most cases snow is not a problem for solar panels. Most solar panels are at an angle steep enough to allow snow to slide off or melt. Plus, solar panels are black, which absorbs UV rays and warm up quickly. This means that any snow accumulation on the solar panels will quickly melt or slide off the solar panels as the sun warms the panels.
However, snow can be beneficial to solar panels as well. Not only can snow clean solar panels as it melts, it can also reflect sun back onto the solar panels, increasing energy production.
DO SOLAR PANELS WORK UNDER ICE?
Ice normally does not cause problems for solar panels. Since ice is clear, sunlight is not blocked, and solar panels can continue to produce electricity.
Also, solar panels are black, which allows them to warm up quicker. And because most solar panels are angled, ice that has accumulated on the solar panels will melt and slide off.
The only problem that can arise with ice is if water gets into the crevices of solar panels and freezes. Fortunately, Green Ridge Solar uses top-tier solar panels that are waterproof and can withstand icy conditions.
DO SOLAR PANELS WORK IN COLD?
Cold weather might be uncomfortable for humans, but solar panels love it.
Colder weather allows solar panels to produce electricity more efficiently. This means that on cold days with lots of sun, solar panels can produce more electricity than a similarly clear day in summer. So while snow and ice might be falling. the cold will actually be benefitting your solar panels and allowing them to produce more energy.
DO SHORT WINTER DAYS AFFECT SOLAR PANELS?
For most locations, winter days are significantly shorter than summer days. This can cause a significant decrease in your wintertime solar energy production.
Fortunately, net metering can help cover this decrease in energy production. Net metering allows you to earn energy credits when your solar panels overproduce during the long spring and summer days. You can then use these energy credits to cover your energy consumption in fall and winter if your solar panels do not cover your entire energy usage.
SHOULD YOU CLEAN SNOW AND ICE OFF YOUR SOLAR PANELS?
As we explained, winter weather conditions do affect the production of solar panels. But should you clean the snow and ice off your solar panels?
No, cleaning snow and ice off your solar panels is not recommended. Cleaning your solar panels in winter conditions can be hazardous and is not recommended. There are a number of risks and hazards that can outweigh the potential benefits of cleaning off snow and ice of your solar panels in winter.
But the good news is that your solar panels will still work in winter. Solar panels still produce energy in snowy and icy conditions. Solar energy production is normally lower than normal in winter, but this is offset by overproduction during the spring and summer thanks to net-metering.
Have you thought about going solar? It’s actually easier than you might think?
ARE SOLAR PANELS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Have you thought about going solar, but still aren’t sure if it’s right for you? We totally understand. Solar panels are a long-term investment with great payback, but it’s not right for everyone.
Fortunately, going solar is easier than most people think. The cost of going solar has decreased significantly in the last few years. Plus, generous solar incentives provide tax credits, rebates, and discounts that make solar even more affordable.
- Should You Clean Solar Panels in Winter? – Snow & Ice – Green Ridge Solar – […] And to learn more about how winter weather affects solar panel power production, read our blog titled “Do Solar…