How does solar panels work in the winter?
The Swedish summer season offers perfect conditions for solar panels. Long bright days and nights, with lots of sunlight. During the winter months the situation is a little different and it is not uncommon to question the effects of solar panels in the winter.
During the winter season, the sun is lower, which makes the angle of incidence slightly worse and inevitably affects the amount of solar energy your solar panelss can produce. However, not to the extent you might think!
Solar panels obviously produce their energy thanks to the sunlight, but fortunately, the sunlight needed for the solar panels to be able to produce solar energy does not actually have to be very strong. In the winter, solar panels can still absorb the sunlight, even if it is cloudy or overcast.
Can the cold during the winter affect the solar panels negatively?
Ironically, solar panels actually thrive in a somewhat cooler climate, as it lowers the working temperature of the solar panels. Excessively warm conditions mean that the solar panels can suffer from energy leakage. For every degree above 25 degrees Celsius, you can estimate a 0.4% decline in electricity generation. In other words, our cool Swedish summer days are perfect for creating solar energy!
What happens if there is snow on the solar panels?
If there is snow on the solar panels, it means that the sun must penetrate another layer to reach the solar panels. Therefore, keep the solar panels free of snow to increase the possibility of generating as much energy as possible.
Even if you have a thin layer of snow on your solar panels, up to 1 centimeter, some sunlight can still penetrate and hit the solar panels in the winter. If the panels are mounted at the right angle, thicker layers of snow will slip off in the thaw.
Remember that it can be risky to be on the roof. Do not try to remove snow from your solar panels in the winter on your own. Safety first!
Can you store solar energy from the summer and use it in the winter?
Not really, but there are solutions to even out the costs over the year. Thanks to the great weather during the summer, you will most likely have more than enough electricity during the summer period. Therefore, the most common solution is to sell excess electricity from your solar panels during the summer period and then buy some extra electricity from the regular electricity grid during the winter season. That way, it will level out financially over the year!