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Solar Panels and the Snow

Jessica PirroApril 26, 20197820

A common myth when it comes to solar panels is, if you live in area’s where you get snow, your solar panels won’t work in the winter. But the cold winters actually improve the solar panel output.

The snow also can help improve PV performances by reflecting the light. In fact the only time winter will actually hinder the solar panel performance is when the solar panels are covered in snow.

Just because you don’t live in an area like Los Angeles, doesn’t mean your solar panels will have a weak performance. If you live in northern America and are considering solar panels one thing to keep in mind is, the worst times of winter usually last three months.

A plus side when it comes to solar panels and living further away from the equator is, when you live further away from the equator, your days during the summer last longer. Which means, if your solar system is producing a little less power in the winter, there will be plenty of sunshine to make up for it during the summer time.

Sunny states aren’t the only place where home owners should consider going solar. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York in the top 10 rankings for states that have the highest installed solar amounts in 2019.

The largest percentages of solar installs in these colder states actually come in the winter. One of the main reasons for this is the relation to electricity prices and the winter months and savings being one of the biggest factors when people are considering going solar.

Germany is proof that solar panels can be used in cold climates. Germany has sunshine levels that are very similar to those of Alaska’s and for the past 10 years, Germany has led the nation in solar panel installs.

Not only has Germany led the nation in installs, solar also is making a huge contribution to their energy mix, proving that solar panels and snow can work.

If you are considering solar panels and live in an area with snow there are a few things that you may want to keep in mind.

Every single solar panel has to go through a pressure test. These tests that these solar panels go through will assess the panels durability and quality. The tests determines how much weight the panels can endure and typically, snow will not be heavy enough to cause any issues for the panels. The higher the rating the panel gets based off the tests, means the more weight the panel can endure.

When there is snow covering your panels, they can’t produce power, however, with the right equipment, solar panels are easy to clean off. Because solar panels need sunlight to produce power, when covered in snow they aren’t going to produce any power. But a lot of panels are installed at a tilt causing the snow to slid off on its own. Sometimes waiting for the snow to slide off the panels can take time. Luckily there is a solution. You can clean off your solar panels by getting a solar panel snow rake, or purchasing a tool that is similar and won’t cause any damage to your panels.

When it’s cold and sunny out, it’s actually good for your solar panels. Some of the best energy production months are winter months. Just like other electronics, when they are hot solar panels slow down. When it’s cold and sunny outside solar panels actually produce more per hour of sunshine in he sunshine.

A plus side when it comes to solar panels and living further away from the equator is, when you live further away from the equator, your days during the summer last longer. Which means, if your solar system is producing a little less power in the winter, there will be plenty of sunshine to make up for it during the summer time.

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