Do Solar Panels Work Better in Cold Weather?

Solar Panels on Snow With Windmill Under Clear Day Sky

Installing solar panels on a roof can be a great way to reduce energy costs. While they may not work at peak efficiency during periods of rainy, snowy, or cloudy weather, solar panels generally won’t be damaged because of extreme temperatures, hail, and lightning. Read on to learn more about how extreme weather may impact your solar panels.

Cold Weather May Improve a Solar Panel’s Effectiveness

​Solar panels provide a critical service to homeowners. The panels capture sunlight and turn it into electricity that is both affordable and eco-friendly. Did you know that solar panels work even in the coldest of temperatures? Research has shown that they actually do a better job during periods of cool or chilly weather. That is because solar panels use the sun’s rays to absorb energy, not heat. Therefore, it’s more about the sunlight that is available for the solar panels to absorb, rather than the temperature that they are exposed to. Solar panels convert light into electricity regardless of what the temperature is outside.

Studies show that solar cells actually produce more electricity when the temperature is lower, due to the nature of electrons. Electrons have a decreased energy when exposed to colder temperatures, so when sunlight hits, there is a great difference in the voltage that is absorbed by the solar panel, leading to more efficient production of energy.

When snow falls on a panel, it tends to melt quickly because it is positioned closer to the sun’s rays. Therefore, you may still be able to generate energy during or after a snow event.

During brutal cold weather months, however, some concerns may arise about solar panel performance. These concerns typically have to do with heavy snow or a decrease in daylight hours. While it’s true that cold weather can affect solar panels, there are ways to deal with some issues when they arise.

How Does Cold Weather Protect Against Overheating?

The adage about “taking the good with the bad” ties into solar panel issues during the winter. Here’s some good news: During the summer months, the temperature and sunlight could overheat the panels, but in the winter, the colder weather makes overheating far less likely. So, the cold weather provides a little protection for the panels.

Snow and Weight on the Panels

Solar panels are durable. They are manufactured to withstand severe weather, albeit within limits. The excess weight derived from snowfall won’t likely be enough to crush the panels. The amount of pressure necessary to do this would have to be quite excessive. Even when rain falls on the snow and then freezes into ice, the weight probably won’t have much of an effect.

Minor damage is likely fixable, and a professional repair team could do the job. Magic Solar of South Buhl, Idaho, can help you with many different solar panel work requests. If any damage befalls the panels, we can handle repairs and routine maintenance.

Snow Blocks Sunlight

Even if no damage occurs, another problem may arise due to snow. When snow covers the panels, it blocks the rays of the sun. If the panels aren’t soaking up sunlight, they don’t have anything to convert to electricity.

Before the connected batteries drain out, it’s important to clear off any snow. Anyone not comfortable doing this job should call a professional for help.

Flying Debris Such as Hail Will Cause Minimal Damage

A solar panel undergoes a stress test before it is sold to a contractor and put on your roof. Therefore, it should be able to withstand a minor hail event or stand up to other flying debris such as sticks or leaves. At Magic Solar, our professionals can install and maintain your solar panels to ensure that they meet your needs for years to come.

What About the Risks Posed by Lightning?

Since solar panels create and store electricity, there could be a power surge if they are struck by lightning. However, there are different ways to guard against this. First, the panels installed on your roof will be grounded to prevent surges from occurring. Additionally, you can add components to your roof that will protect the panels from being hit by lightning. This is usually an inexpensive upgrade that you can learn more about during a consultation.

Call Magic Solar today to learn more about how you can benefit from solar panels in your home. We will do a full solar analysis to determine which system will best fit your needs. We have offices in Buhl and Twin Falls.

How Solar Batteries Can Help Through Winter Storms

If you are interested in installing a solar battery in your home, our team of experts can help! We can install home battery systems in your home, to ensure that you are getting the most out of your solar panel.

Keep your solar panels performing at their best by calling Magic Solar. Our team can provide a range of solar services, including panel repairs, installation, and maintenance. Contact us today for more information.


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