Do Solar Panels Work In Winter?
When the cold tightens, and the snow begins to fall, as it has happened in the different cold waves that have hit the country during this season, doubts about solar energy multiply. A question recently asked from energy efficiency companies in NY: Does a photovoltaic solar panel installation work in winter? Is it appropriate if I live in an area where temperatures are shallow? These are some of the issues that are frequently raised and that pull the brake on the extension of solar as an alternative energy source. But what is true? Or, to put it another way, are winter and snow at odds with solar energy?
It is essential to know what effects these can have and what measures are taken to counteract their possible negative repercussions. Understanding them can help to demand such standards in our facilities. Here are the facts and factors revealed by thebest energy efficiency companies:
Performance of Photovoltaic Panels in Winter
In order not to delay the answer any longer, one of the leading energy efficiency company clarified it from the beginning: the solar panels continue working in winter, even when it snows. Now, if the snowfall is so intense that they have been covered, the performance will be compromised. However, the above does not translate into that widespread belief that a domestic photovoltaic installation will not operate in the colder months. The reason is simple. Photovoltaic panels for the generation of electricity do not capture the energy of heat but of light. Low temperatures are preferable to high temperatures, in terms of improving panel performance.
Winter Obstacles: Fewer Hours to Capture Sunlight
What is unquestionable is that the panels will seize fewer hours of exposure to sunlight, less energy. And that, in winter, when the days are shorter, it is inevitable. At this point, the type of panel that has been chosen will be crucial. If the installation is equipped with high-efficiency systems, the problems will be less than in other cases. Thus, anyone who is considering providing themselves with a solar energy kit should take this aspect into account. High-quality panels, anti-reflective or with mechanisms for solar tracking will be more expensive but will avoid dislikes in those months of the year when natural light is scarcer. It’s a fair deal we say!
Torrential rain usually occurs in storm systems and terrible hurricanes and may have different intensity and duration. In solar thermal and photovoltaic systems, torrential rain, in itself, has no adverse effect on the integrity of the equipment. On the contrary, the rain is beneficial because it helps to clean dust and impurities accumulated on the surfaces of the collectors. This washing helps the solar radiation to impact more cleanly, and there is a higher efficiency of the system.
Torrential rain will make the cleaning more vigorous. On the other hand, on hot days a little storm (with torrential rain or not) lowers the temperature of the photovoltaic panels, causing the panels to work better in the sun. It is necessary, however, that there is good drainage in the area where the solar collectors are located to avoid possible floods that could cause corrosion and possible deterioration of the equipment.
Hailstorms with sufficient intensity to break a solar collector are very unusual and if they do occur they will also cause significant damage to structures in the urban areas. To minimize the risk of breakage of a solar collector by hail, you must acquire those whose glass is tempered. A 6 mm thick tempered glass can withstand the impact of a 500-gram steel ball dropped from a height of 2 meters.
The wind can produce identical problems due to the structural similarity that thermal solar collectors and photovoltaic panels have. A strong enough wind can cause the sensor to fly with the consequent loss of the component and the danger of creating material and personal damage. The most dangerous wind for the solar panel is the one that goes towards the equator. (Wind from the North in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres in the Southern Hemisphere).
Maintenance of the Panels in Winter
According to energy saving services company, it is an issue that we will have to pay special attention when winter arrives. It is to work on the maintenance of the solar panels. This, no doubt, is more demanding in these months, especially for those who live in areas where snow usually makes its advent. If it is your case, it is convenient not to neglect yourself. Although the vast majority of solar panels can support a certain weight without problems, extreme care must be taken when facing heavy snowfalls.
While it is common for snow to fall quickly, in the event of prolonged cold waves the panels can be blocked. This situation poses a double challenge: that of the weight on the panel and that of energy while the panels are covered with snow. In this case, removing the blocks manually, personally or resorting to specialized professionals, will be the most appropriate solution to avoid damage to the installation and to absorb the solar energy, even in the harshest days of winter.