Solar Energy in Cold Weather
Sunlight Solar, a solar installation company, dispels many misconceptions about solar energy in their blog. One of the most common myths about solar energy is that it doesn't work in cold weather, such as a New England winter. With much of the country bracing themselves for yet another big snowstorm, I thought I'd discuss the reality of solar energy in cold weather.
As it turns out, solar panels can be very effective in a cooler climate. In fact, solar panels can be more efficient in a cold climate than in hotter places with stronger sun, such as Arizona or California. "Solar panels actually work more efficiently in a cooler climate because heat degrades electricity," the Sunlight Solar blog says.
What about snow? Heavy snow can cause the panels to shut off and stop producing power but most panels are dark enough to retain heat. This can help the snow melt quicker. And when the sun comes out after a snowfall, that can give an extra power spike from the sun reflecting off of the snow on the ground. Snow buildup is usually not a huge problem, as the panels sit on an angle making the snow slide off. Check out Sunlight Solar's post about snow on your roof.
Don't forget, your total energy generation is calculated over the course of a year. This means that the days that you overproduce energy will make up for days with poor weather.
So, if you've been thinking about transitioning to solar but have been wary because you live in a cooler climate, maybe it's time to give it a second thought!
Meanwhile, to those of you who live in the Northeast (like me...brrrrr!) or anywhere else getting another snowstorm this week, keep warm!
For more info, visit Sunlight Solar's website. They do solar installations in Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.