We all know that solar panels work best in direct sun light. This brings up the question of whether or not solar panels work efficiently in the winter. The answer is yes: solar panels work in the winter. But it’s a good idea to know how the process works in the winter and summer when it comes to your solar panels.
Effectiveness of Solar Panels During the Winter Months
A widespread misconception is that solar power is useless during the winter months. That concept is far from the truth.
In fact, solar panels produce about 30% less electricity during the winter than they do in the summertime. This is mainly due to the angle at which sunlight enters the atmosphere during colder seasons. The rotation of the earth’s axis is what causes the changing seasons throughout the year and causes the sun to shine low in the sky over the horizon in winter. Because of this, there is less direct sunlight hitting the solar panel’s surface. However, there is still enough sunlight to generate electricity
Although it is true that the efficiency of solar panels decreases in the winter, this decrease isn’t significant enough to make solar panels completely ineffective. To put this in perspective, solar panels can still provide enough energy to keep electric vehicles running and fully charged.
Solar Panel Cold Weather Performance
The sun doesn’t always shine, but you don’t have to worry about it when installing solar panels. Believe it or not, there are some benefits associated with solar panels in the winter and colder weather, including increased efficiency.
In fact, solar panels seem to perform even better in colder climates. Why? The cold allows for superconductivity, which can only happen in cold temperatures. This creates a more efficient conversion of energy into electricity.
According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the average temperature across the United States is around 60 degrees Fahrenheit. While summer seems ideal for solar panels, it isn’t necessarily the most efficient season for installation.
Advantages of Installing Solar Panels in the Fall or Winter
While some people wait until the warmest days of the year to install solar panels, others take advantage of the lower prices and increased demand during the slower season. By installing a solar panel system now, your first payment will be an investment instead of a donation to the utility company. You’ll also enjoy the benefits of having clean energy flowing into your house throughout the year.
If you decide to install solar panels during the off season, you’ll need some helpful guidance. Here are some things to consider:
What Is My Energy Usage Like?
How much electricity do you use each month? This number varies depending on how many lights you turn on, how often you run appliances, and whether you utilize air conditioning or heating regularly. Use this information to help determine how much energy your system will generate so you can get a more accurate solar estimate.
How Much Will I Save Over Time?
This is the most important question to ask yourself to make sure the investment is worth your time.
An average 5-kilowatt system, if installed in a mid-sized U S. home, can increase the property’s value by an average of $20k. It’s a good price increase for a house that most home buyers would be willing to pay!
Solar homes usually cost 4.1% more than comparable properties without solar. It is also important for you to know that solar loans are transferrable to new homeowners if the property is ever sold.
Are You Ready for Energy Independence?
At EcoMark Solar, we install solar systems on homes throughout Colorado regardless of the time of the year. Whether it’s winter or summer, we are happy to assist with any solar energy-related needs.
Contact EcoMark today to take the next step to starting your solar panel installation.