Do Solar Panels Work in Winters? All You Need to Know
One of the most frequently asked questions about solar panels is “Do Solar Panels Work in Winters?” and the answer is YES. It is a myth that solar panels only work during the summer and do not work during the winter. This concept is not based on reality because research has shown very different results. Winters are marked with various conditions based on the regions. In Pakistan, the areas near the sea do not experience a harsh winter. The plains of Pakistan, such as Lahore that experiences the toughness of winters to some extent however, it doesn’t snow here, which could pose a problem. The northern regions are cold, and it usually snows there heavily, but it is not a matter to be worried.
Will Electricity Be Produced During The Winters?
Yes, the electricity will be produced during the winters as the solar panels do not use the Sun’s heat but its radiations that provides energy to the electrons in the solar panels. It is similar to getting a sunburn on a cloudy day. Certain factors which will decide your output are as follows:
The intensity of The Radiations
The radiations keep on reaching the Earth with similar intensity in winter as they reach in summer, so in terms of this aspect, there is not much difference between the two seasons. This means your solar panels will produce almost the same amount of electricity if it depended upon intensity alone.
Duration of The Day
The duration of sunlight hours is reduced during the winters. They are shorter as compared to the length in summers. The decrease in the span of sunlight received by the panels causes a reduction in the total sunlight produced. Here is the primary difference between cold days and hot days, which will affect your system.
Efficiency With Temperature
The efficiency of the solar panels increases with the drop in temperature to a certain extent. The researchers have found the optimum temperature to be 5 degrees Celsius, and higher temperatures show a decrease in production. The temperature in the plain regions of Pakistan during winters is around 5 Centigrade, which means that solar panels are working more efficiently in winters. This efficiency nullifies the effect on production from a shortage of sunlight hours.
Conclusively, there is not much of a difference between electricity produced during summers and winters.
Dealing with the Snow
The snow concerns people living in the Northern regions of Pakistan as they face relentless winters, and snowing is also an issue for solar panels. In reality, it’s not a big problem because of the following reason:
The solar panels are installed in a tilted way to absorb maximum sunlight for long periods. This tilting is not only beneficial in summers but also prove advantageous when it is snowing during winters. If the snow is falling on the panels, it will melt after the solar panels receive radiation from the Sun and will slip down.
The Dark Color
The darker color of the solar panels allows them to absorb more radiations and get warm more quickly that melts the snow down no matter how heavy it is. Solar panels are generally warmer than the surroundings by 20 degrees centigrade, and thus even a little bit of sunlight is enough to warm them up. These solar panels can melt the snow off the surface of the panels quite easily.
The Winter Benefits Of Solar System
The winter season can prove even more beneficial and profitable than summer because of the following reasons:
The cooler weather has proved to increase the efficiency of the solar panel systems. Less electricity is lost to heat and related phenomena, and more output is available for the customers to use. To find the optimum performance efficiency of the solar panels, the researcher keeps the temperature at 5 degrees centigrade. The lower temperatures of winter mean that the solar panels are working closer to their max efficiency.
Net Metering Advantage
The production of electricity is not reduced a lot in winter and is comparable with that produced during the summer. However, comparatively, the use of electricity during winter is decreased considerably. There is excess electricity that can be transported to the utility grid system via the Net Metering system and earn money/credits through it.
Anti-Soiling Function of Snow
The snow has anti-soiling properties, which means that when the snow falls and is collected on the solar panels, the tilting position and the heat from the panels melt the snow, and it slips down. The snow, when melts, takes all the dirt along with it cleaning all the solar panels. This cleaning again helps increase the output of electricity production.
The production of the solar panel systems is also affected by the phenomenon of the Albedo effect which refers to the reflection of sunlight from the surface of the Earth. This reflection depends upon the material on which the sunlight falls, and in winters, the white snow proves to be the best reflective surface for solar panels. The reflection from snow particles helps increase the productivity of the solar panels.
Prepare for Summer
Winter is the perfect time to prepare for summers. You can get your solar system installed during the winter season, and it will be running at optimum capacity during summers. The net metering system usually takes up to 90 days to be installed after the submission of the application. This makes the early months of winter the perfect time to get the solar system, so before summer you have a running net metering system that will help you sell electricity and use the credits earned to be used in summer.
The layer of solar panels acts as an insulation against the cold weather and helps you keep the inner temperature warmer than outside. It also performs a similar function during the summer season, keeping the inside cooler than the outside.
Electricity Rates Decide The Importance Of Solar Panel System
The weather does not decide the value of your solar system as it is an investment that goes for the whole year and not a specific season. Furthermore, the value of getting a solar system is dependent upon the rates of electricity, environmental impact, and the goal to achieve a better future. In Pakistan, the electricity rates have increased by many folds during the past two decades and on the contrary, the price of solar panel systems has decreased by more than 90% during this period. Keeping in mind the soaring high electricity bills, switching to solar is the perfect solution to get rid of hefty bills and increasing load shedding. By going solar, we are not only saving electricity and money, but we are also contributing to saving the environment. Solar energy is a clean source of electricity, and we can get free electricity from it, making it the most affordable and cost-effective solution to a number of our energy-related problems.
The Time For Solar Is Now
Right now is the perfect time to get your solar panel system and free yourself from worries of bills and load shedding. Solar technology is at its boom right now, and waiting for further improvements is not going to reap as many benefits as getting a solar system would. The time to take control of your electricity needs and the way to fulfill them is right now during winters as it will also help you for the time when you will want to stay cool, and you will require much more electricity for that.
Get your Solar System and take an informed decision after getting your customized proposal from our solar consultant. You can arrange a meeting with them to get your personalized solar system package designed, and we shall install it as soon as possible so you can harvest the benefits of your system without wasting much time.