A very common myth about solar panels is that they only work in warmer areas. This is simply not true! Solar energy is more reliable today than ever before thanks to improving technologies and growth in the industry. Utility experts can use new tools to maintain a consistent flow of energy, even during times when sunlight is not its strongest.
With these advancements in technology, we can achieve a stable amount of electricity while reducing our carbon emissions. Read on to learn how solar panels work even in the colder months.
How does solar work?
Solar power is harnessed energy from the sun that is converted into electricity. It’s the cleanest and most abundant resource in the world because sunlight is natural and replenishable.
We often forget that the sun’s power has little to do with the temperature outside. Solar panels absorb the sun’s light energy, not heat, to generate electricity. Just because it is approaching freezing weather outside does not mean the sun can’t shine just as bright as it does in summer months!
There’s no need to worry about your solar energy system in the winter months. They will still generate plenty of electricity!
What if there’s not any sunlight?
Since sunlight levels vary, solar energy systems typically are connected to the grid to ensure that there are steady levels of power. When sunlight is low, grid professionals can accommodate using a variety of tools in order to provide a consistent amount of electricity. The following improvements allow operators to ensure a constant flow of energy in solar homes:
Accurate Forecasts: Grid operators can adjust electricity sources when necessary thanks to detailed weather reports. These professionals can accurately forecast solar outputs, therefore modifying the grid as needed on days when sunlight is low. This ensures that homes with solar energy maintain a consistent amount of power throughout the day, no matter what the weather is like.
A Dynamic Grid: No energy source is perfectly reliable – even fossil fuels like coal and natural gas are susceptible to interruption. Therefore, electricity grids are made to handle these disruptions by using reserve power sources when necessary. Most solar panels still work through the community’s grid system even though the panels produce their own energy. If solar power does diminish, grids will use other sources to fill the gap.
What if it snows?
Snow flurries and light snow falls have virtually no impact on your solar power system’s ability to produce electricity. Typically, light layers of snow easily blow off in the wind. Even if this is not the case, light can still scatter through thin coatings, and therefore light can reach the panels to generate electricity.
Heavier snow can temporarily prevent your panels from generating power since light cannot get through thicker layers. However, heavier snow can clean your panels improving efficiency in the future. This is why we advise our customers to sit back and relax when snow accumulates on their panels.
That’s right – let it be! We highly suggest that homeowners wait for the snow to melt off on its own. Once the snow starts to melt and slide off the panel, any debris that was on the panel is gently wiped away. This natural power wash will leave your panels as good as new!
If you have any questions about your solar panel system, call us at 1-800-MOMENTUM or visit momentumsolar.com for more information.