Do Solar Panels Work in the Winter?
Yes, solar panels will continue to function throughout the winter. Although cold weather has no effect on solar panel efficiency, other factors such as accumulated snowfall and shorter days can reduce the amount of energy produced by the panels throughout the day. Solar panels will only stop functioning if they are completely covered in snow, otherwise their performance is unaffected.
However, don’t let this worry you! During the summer, your solar panels will generates more electricity than your property consumes during the day. The surplus electricity is returned to the utility grid and thanks to net metering, you can be compensated for excess electricity with credits (if your utility supports net metering). These credits help pay for the electricity you use from the utility at night, after a blizzard, or when you use more energy than usual.
Do Solar Panels Work in the Rain?
Yes, solar panels will continue to operate in the rain, but output may be lower than on sunny days. Solar panels work best during sunny days but can still produce at least 30 to 50% of their maximum output in cloudy weather and 10-20% of their maximum output in heavy rain. If you rely completely on solar energy to power your home, solar batteries can provide backup power during rainy days.
Do solar panels work when the sun is not out?
The more sunlight that hits the cell, the more electricity it produces. However, even when there is no sun, solar panels can still produce electricity. Solar panels are built to operate in all weather conditions, including cloudy days and at night.
Solar panels generate electricity by leveraging ultraviolet light. Even on a cloudy day, ultraviolet light is present. Infrared light, which can also be used for solar energy and is present on cloudy and dark days, has less energy than visible light but can still be converted into electricity by solar panels.