Solar Panels During The Winter


Ah yes, good old Canadian winters! They make the weather in The Day After Tomorrow seem like a nice Spring day. Temperatures that reach lower than – 40 degrees Celsius, freezing rain, 2.5 + metres of snow, salt everywhere and people completely forgetting how to drive when it snows less than a centimetre are all part of Canadian winters. So with all this, are solar panels worth having especially during Canadian winters? The answer is a surprisingly yes.

DO SOLAR PANELS WORK IN THE WINTER?

solar panels in the winter

It is a common myth that solar panels only work during the Summer and Spring months, but this simply isn’t the case. Solar power output can often improve during the winter time for a couple of surprising reasons. The first being that the cold and the snow act as a natural coolingsystem for the wiring of the panels, making them more efficient.

As snow is just frozen water, the UV particles reflect right off the snow and into in the panels (this is why it seems so bright in the winter even at night). Under the government incentive Net Metering, you can use the Grid Credits you gained during the Summer and Spring months instead of paying for electricity when your panels are not producing as much energy due to the shorter days. Overall, snow or no snow solar panels are still a reliable energy source.

WHAT ABOUT THE SNOW ON THE PANELS?

Yes, we were thinking about this too, and it is again not something you have to worry about! The first reason is that solar panels are very, very strong. The average solar panel can withstand up to 540 Newtons of force per square centimetre! Because snow is so light and compact, it won’t damage the panels. Now, there are some issues when it comes to the culmination of snow on the panels that we must talk about.

If more than 5 centimetres of snow accumulate on the panels, they will not perform as needed. But, and there’s a but… the odds of 5+ centimetres of snow even staying on your panels is highly unlikely as the panels heat up when it’s sunny outside and effectively melt the snow. And let’s say that the clouds never go away during the Summertime, there is another option to remove that pesky snow. You can purchase an affordable Snow Roof Scraper from your local hardware store. These scrapers have extensions that can reach up to 15 metres, so you can clear the snow off your panels in less than 10 minutes.

Interested in Making The Switch to clean, renewable energy? We make going solar easy! 

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2018-11-06T19:53:46+00:00