Do solar panels work in the winter? They do, but PV production the wintertime hinges on a few homeowner behaviors that will get the most out your solar panels winter performance.
Utah is one of the states with the highest solar PV (photovoltaic) potential, and that makes it a great place to install solar panels. Having higher potential, also known as photovoltaic solar resources, means it’s possible to capture more solar radiation here. With the latest solar panel technology, it’s easier than ever to turn those rays into energy for your home, business or even your car.
It is clear that the summer months will result in the greatest amount of solar production, even taking into account the winter months and inversions. The weather during winter months can impact the production of your solar panels in a few ways. Although snow on solar panels slows production, you can see our solar savings calculator below to estimate how much you can save as a Utah homeowner.
Traditional sources of electricity such as coal and oil emit byproducts, such as particulate dust, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and more. Throughout the year and especially in the winter, these byproducts settle in the valleys and pose numerous dangers to the environment.
When you purchase solar panels, you are reducing those risks by lowering the fossil fuel-based energy consumption of your household or business, thus reducing the production of traditional electricity and it’s byproducts. When solar is used by multiple households, the reduction of winter smog and the benefits to our environment can be quite significant.
Solar panels are increasingly effective and efficient, but they do rely on the weather. For that reason, we highly recommend that our commercial and residential customers stay connected to the grid. Doing so ensures power when battery backup runs out and it will act as a backup on stormy or snowy days.
When we calculate the size of system, we start with a 12-month history of electricity usage. In the spring and summer months it is common to over-produce electricity that then can be used via net metering credits in the winter. On days where there is excessive amount of electricity being used (more consumption than production), the grid will supply that excess power needed and stored credits will be used.
Utah is a great place for solar power because we can harvest more solar rays here, but also because it’s growing popularity is fostering a great regulatory environment for renewable energy upgrades. Salt Lake City, in particular, is quickly becoming one of the most rapid solar converting cities in the US. Together, we are reducing the negative byproducts in the air for all our residents. If homeowners in Utah can keep solar panels snow problems from impeding PV production by following the tips in this post, we’ll be even more energy-efficient as a state.