The solar energy industry is light years ahead of where it once was. However, many are still hesitant to make use of solar energy in their own homes and lives. There are a few reasons homeowners are skeptical about investing in solar energy; typically, those reasons will all fall into one of two categories: initial investment costs or doubt about the effectiveness of solar panels. The first reason makes sense, solar panels can be expensive to install. However, residential systems typically pay for themselves in tax credits and renewable energy within the first 7-12 years according to most experts. The second reason is a bit different because it comes in many forms. People doubt the effectiveness of solar panel science or wonder why anyone would need solar panels since they’re already hooked up to the grid. There are plenty of articles online that say solar energy isn’t worth the work for one reason or another. Unfortunately, we can’t contend every skepticism of solar energy every week, so we’ll focus on one we hear a lot this time of year, “I live in the Midwest, won’t winter do damage to solar panels?” The short answer is no, but this week, we’re going to take a look at how cold weather actually helps solar panel performance!
Cold weather can help
Because people know solar panels work use the sun for energy, they often think that cold weather is harmful for them. However, solar panels get their energy from the light of the sun, not the heat. In fact, cold weather helps the panels remain cool. Like most electronics you have in your home, they tend to overheat if left in the sun and it can hurt their performance. Solar panels are no different. The cold weather actually helps solar panel performance because the circuits remain cool while they soak up the sun.
There’s one catch
The only problem that causes issues for solar panels in the winter is the four-letter S-word everyone tries not to think about, “snow.” Snowfall covering solar panels can drastically decrease their performance. To keep your panels working efficiently, ask for a roof rake this Christmas! They are a great tool that can help you clear the snow off your equipment without getting onto the roof. Also, make sure your solar panels are placed in a position which grants them plenty of daylight, as heavy cloud cover in winter can decrease their performance slightly.
Keep your panels’ performance high
To keep solar panel performance at peak levels during the winter months, make sure to clear off heavy snowfall as soon as possible. Light flurries should not be cause for concern, but any major blockade to direct sunlight will decrease efficiency in a hurry. You should also check your monitoring system often to ensure your solar panels are working properly all season long.
To answer any questions about solar panels, how they work, or how they can benefit your home, call J-Tech Solar, your clean energy experts.