You may have asked yourself at some point or another – does solar power still work in the winter? The answer to this is a resounding “Yes!” While sunny summer days are obviously optimal for producing solar energy, that does not mean that solar power only works on sunny summer days. In fact, solar panels are actually more efficient in cold weather. Here are some winter weather facts in regards to solar power.
Solar power comes from sunlight, not heat.
Sunlight, not heat, is what starts the solar power process. Put very simply, sunlight hits a solar panel and particles of energy are converted into electrons. Those electrons are converted into direct current, which is then converted to alternating current (AC) – the type of power that comes through our electrical outlets. While cloud cover does diminish the amount of sunlight that reaches your panels, it does not block it altogether. If it did, it would be nighttime any time it was cloudy!
What about snow cover?
A complete snow cover will prevent a solar panel from producing electricity. However, the panels are smooth and are generally facing the sun. Because of this, most of the snow will melt on its own. If a significant amount of snow has fallen, it may be necessary to use a special snow rake to remove the snow from the panels in order for them to continue production.
SunPower panels are built to withstand the elements.
Since there are varying weather extremes, it is necessary to construct solar panels in a manner which can withstand the elements. That is why we choose SunPower products, which have been rated number 1 in durability by third-party testing. They have even been used by NASA on the polar ice cap in Greenland. If SunPower solar panels can survive the polar ice cap, they will surely be able to perform well on your roof!