Will My Solar Panels Work In Winter?

There is a common misconception about the way solar panels work which makes the British public question their worth. Let’s face it, whilst our continental cousins are basking in glorious sunshine, we’re usually trying to enjoy a barbecue in a light drizzle. We aren’t blessed with a great deal of hot weather in the UK, but fortunately for those with commercial solar panels, that doesn’t matter.

Solar panels gain energy from the sun’s light, not its heat, so even on a cold winter’s day your system will still have something to absorb. However, in winter the sun is much lower in the sky, which causes its rays to disperse over a wider area, hence the lower temperatures and reduced efficiency of your solar panels.

So exactly how well do solar panels work in winter? Well on the shortest days there are still eight hours of daylight, and even in overcast conditions that can be enough to produce between a quarter and a third of your panels’ maximum energy output.

Solar Panels in Winter

When the winter rain and snow hits you may worry if this too could negatively affect your panels, but again you’d be wrong. Most panels are mounted on an angle, allowing snow to simply slide straight off.

In the UK we rarely see the kind of extreme weather that could ever damage your commercial solar panels, and in actual fact the rain can also help to clean your panels, which saves you a job!

Also, have you ever wondered why skiers wear dark goggles on the slopes? Sunlight reflects off snow and can cause snow blindness, which is bad for someone hurtling down a mountain, but great for your solar panels in winter.

More snow means more light directed towards them, which in turn means more energy for your home or business.

Whether you are using solar panels to power your domestic home or business premises, it is always wise to take the reduced efficiency of solar panels into account during the winter months.

But now that you know you will still benefit from free energy in winter, through rain, wind and snow, perhaps it’s time to give Roofing Consultants Group a call to help plan your industrial solar panel system.