Solar Panel Performance in Winter
You might be wondering if your solar panels are still producing energy during winter when it’s colder weather, which is why we’re busting the myths about winter and solar power output.
Can my solar panels generate enough energy in winter?
As we typically associate solar panels with the sun, a popular misconception is that solar panels work best on hotter days. People tend to think that solar panels convert the heat from the sun’s rays into electricity however solar panels are in fact powered by light rays.
Despite the temperature dropping, the sun being lower in the sky and the days being shorter at this time of the year; in Queensland, solar panels have been proven to be more efficient in lower temperatures when compared to the higher temperatures in the summer months. This means, a cold bright day will produce more electricity from solar cells than a hot bright day if the daylight hours are the same.
With more than 11.5 million solar panels installed nation-wide, we’re lucky in Australia to be amongst some of the countries with the most natural sunlight in the world all year round.
Absorbing mostly ultraviolet (UV) light, most modern systems will continue producing enough solar electricity to comfortably power your home and operate heating all winter long!
What about when the sun is hiding behind clouds and rain?
Depending on cloud density, science has shown that UV light can penetrate clouds and consequently the average solar panel can produce 10 – 20% of its rated capacity. This means that the denser the clouds, the less sunlight will reach the solar panels.
Even with limited sunlight hours and cloudy days during the winter months, solar panels can still receive the optimum energy they need to adequately keep you and your family warm as long as they get unobstructed sunlight for at least a few hours a day.
To make the most of the light, the solar panels may need to be adjusted to a higher angle in winter to capture more light.
Solar power is a reliable and resilient energy source and the bottom line is that winter weather and solar electricity work well together. Get in touch with our solar experts for guidance and advice on design, installation and the servicing stages of solar energy for your home this winter.