Solar Panels In Snowy Weather
It may be the "most wonderful time of the year", but when the winter hits, how much energy can you really generate? More than you may think. A common myth is that solar panels won't work at all during the cold winter months. This may be true for snowfall, but not the colder temperatures.
The colder temperatures can actually increase panel performance. When snow is on the ground, it can reflect light and help improve PV performance. But there has to be a downside of winter performance, right? There is. If your array is covered with snow, it will drastically effect your performance.
If you live in a state that suffers from substantial snowfall, ONIT Energy recommends getting a process in place before it starts falling. If you live in a single story home, you can often clear your panels off with a simple roof-rake. These can be purchased at local hardware stores for $25-$40. Some versions even have telescoping extensions that can extend a few more feet and help you reach the peak of your roof.
If you have a 2 story home with a minimal grade on your roof, you may need to climb a ladder, but can get the results without having to get on your snow-covered slippery roof surface. Stay off the roof, if you can!
If you are a Christmas Movie fan, Clark Griswold may have left lasting impression on you. Christmas time roof-climbing should be left to the guy in the red suit.
With more cloudy days, your performance will go down but your panels continue to work well in the winter. Panels are often angled to let water and snow slide off effortlessly, but they will occasionally need help. To optimize your winter time solar energy generation, be sure to keep them clear of snow!
Cold, sunny weather is actually good for panels. Winter months are actually good for solar energy production, as long as they are kept clear of accumulation. Similar to your computer needing a fan to keep it cool (form optimal performance), solar panels will function more efficiently in cold conditions.
If you live up north, solar is still a great energy saving solution. New York state has some of the worst snowfall nationwide, and it also generates some highest new solar energy customers every year. The winter season seems like it is never ended, but even with the record breaking snow fall, blizzards and storms - it only lasts three months. This means that days of low sunlight and heavy snow are limited.
Solar panels undergo pressure tests to assess durability, and for quality. Higher pressure ratings will indicate that your panels are better at withstanding the weight of heavy snow. Being durable is good for your long term investment, but your panels need sunlight to produce power.
Call ONIT Energy today to learn more about going solar. 682-284-1174