When winter rolls around for us, we know the drill: put on some big socks, drink three times as many cups of tea as usual, and grumble about the dark evenings. We know to take steps to make sure our homes and cars run as they should in difficult conditions. But what effect do the winter months have on energy generated by solar panels…
Light, not heat
The thing to remember about solar panels is that they work on the light from the sun, not its heat. Solar panels absorb light directly from the sun, and diffused light reflected off buildings and clouds for example. Since there are fewer hours of daylight in the winter months, solar panels will inevitably produce proportionately less power. This just means you would automatically draw your power from the grid while the panels are out of action.
Solar panels need to stay exposed to the light. So if they’re covered in snow, they won’t produce as much power – but they should still generate some energy for you. However, when the snow melts, they’ll be good to go again.
Cutting through cloudiness
We expect grey and cloudy days in winter, but solar panels aren’t fazed by them. They keep producing electricity even on dull days. Again, if they’re not producing much because of low light, you might be getting your electricity from the grid but you won’t notice any difference.
Compare energy providers
Solar panels can be a big up-front investment to install, but could help to cut your electricity bills in the long term. Although we don’t compare solar panel installation companies, we can help you compare energy providers. It’s good to weigh up all your options when choosing an energy provider, and comparing is certainly an efficient use of your time.