Do Solar Panels Work In The Winter?

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With February upon us, and Spring just around the proverbial corner, we are starting to notice the increase of daylight with each passing day. But, it is still Winter (brrrrr), with some parts of the Atlantic Provinces experiencing extremely cold temperatures. Given how cold it has been, you might be wondering if your solar panels will work throughout the nippy spell. The good news is solar panels are powered by light, not heat, so they will continue to fuel your home all year round.

Solar panels work by absorbing energy from the sun and converting it to electrical energy, however, shorter daylight hours and overcast conditions mean they will often produce proportionately less energy than in summer. Regardless of time of year, the panel’s collectors need to be kept clear, in order to channel the sun’s radiation and charge the photovoltaic cells.

Solar panels are usually designed to allow as much snow as possible to slide off, but heavy snowfalls have the potential to completely block your solar panels. As long as your solar panels are blocked, they won’t be able to work properly. But most solar panels can be cleaned easily, so call a professional if this happens to wipe any heavy snow off safely. This will ensure that your solar panels are getting access to as much light as possible, before darkness sets in for the night.

Light snowfall, however, might not be as much of a problem as you may think. Light snow isn’t heavy enough to have much of a negative effect on solar panels and will usually melt before it becomes an issue. In fact, a light dusting of snow can actually make solar panels produce more electricity. The whiteness of snow reflects off sunlight, working much like a mirror. This is the same principle that explains why skiers burn more on the slopes, and it can help your solar panels work more efficiently.

Despite snow’s ability to block solar panels and affect their output, snow is not the mortal enemy that it may seem to be, and a properly installed solar PV system should produce 60-70 percent of your home’s electricity needs throughout the year, so it’s definitely worth making the most of this renewable energy source.

For more information about a Solar Energy Solution for your home or business, please contact AZTEK SOLAR for your free on-site evaluation and ask about the $10,000 cash-back rebate now available.

AZTEK SOLAR is a leading Nova Scotia residential and commercial solar installer, serving Halifax, Dartmouth and the surrounding areas throughout rural Nova Scotia.

With expertise in a wide variety of systems, including Solar PV (grid-tied) systems, solar hot water and solar pool heating systems, AZTEK SOLAR has helped hundreds of Atlantic Canadian homeowners, farm operations and business owners alike lower their energy bills while reducing their carbon footprint.