How Winter Weather Affects Solar Farms
We’ve debunked several myths about solar energy on this blog before, including the notion that solar panels don’t work when it’s cloudy or cold. However, that doesn’t mean the weather has no effect on the operation of solar farms. At Renewables Worldwide, we don’t only provide our customers with solar energy solutions. We also give them the knowledge they need to make the best choices about their energy consumption. Now that we are approaching winter and experiencing colder temperatures, we’re exploring the relationship between winter weather and solar energy production.
The days are undoubtedly shorter in the winter, which does result in fewer hours of sunlight. However, the sun still shines in the winter, and solar farms can still soak it up. Even when the weather is overcast, sunlight still reaches the earth’s surface. As long as there is light, solar panels can convert it into electricity.
Although it may surprise you, solar panels actually perform more efficiently in colder temperatures. The electrical conductivity of the materials improves when the weather is cold, allowing the solar panels to operate more efficiently. However, there is a flip side to this scenario. Some of the other components of the solar panels are affected by extreme cold, so the temperature drop is not without its challenges.
For optimal performance, solar panels need to have a clean and clear surface. Snow piled up on top of the panels will block the sunlight and impede their ability to generate electricity. In areas where there is a lot of snow, the panels are usually installed at an angle when the solar farms are set up. This allows the snow to slide off so a technician doesn’t have to go out and clear them.
Snow can actually help solar panels generate more electricity, as long as it’s not piled up on top of them. Snow is reflective, so more sunlight can bounce off the ground and direct the light into the solar panels. The added reflection can increase the solar panels’ output and help make up for the decrease in hours of sunlight.
Renewables Worldwide | Solar Farms for Small Businesses
While you won’t get the same output from solar farms in the winter as in the summer, solar energy is still a renewable resource we can access all year. At Renewables Worldwide, we help small businesses like yours access community solar farms and take advantage of renewable energy.