Its no secret that the UK doesn't have great weather all throughout the year... This is especially true in the Winter months and can lead people to thinking whether it is a good idea to get panels in the UK.
Even if you aren't in the UK, as the days grow shorter and the chill of winter sets in, many people wonder if solar panels can still generate electricity during the colder months. The good news is that solar panels do work in winter, and in some ways, they are even more efficient in cold climates. In this blog, we’ll explore the science behind solar panels and temperature, their performance during rainy and snowy days, and the benefits of pairing solar panels with battery storage to power through winter storms.
Contrary to popular belief, solar panels do not rely on the sun’s heat to generate electricity; they convert sunlight into usable energy. Even in freezing weather, solar panels continue to function efficiently. In fact, cold climates are ideal for solar panel efficiency. The photovoltaic cells in solar panels absorb photons from the sunlight, which set the electrons in motion, creating an electric current that powers our homes. In cooler temperatures, the electrons are more at rest, but as the sunlight increases in intensity, they gain more energy leading to a greater difference in voltage and, therefore, more energy production. This is why solar cells actually produce electricity more efficiently when it’s colder.
Rainy and cloudy days might seem like a challenge for solar panels, but they can still generate electricity even in these conditions. While solar panels are most productive in direct sunlight, they can utilise diffuse or indirect sunlight to generate energy. Diffuse light occurs when sunlight scatters through particles in the atmosphere but still reaches the Earth’s surface. The electricity production on cloudy days is dependent on the density of cloud cover, and although it may decrease, solar panels continue to work efficiently. Additionally, rain helps wash away dust from the panels, keeping them in top-notch operating condition.
One common concern during winter is the impact of snow on solar panel efficiency. However, solar panels can still generate electricity even when covered with snow. The dark, reflective glass of the panels accelerates snow melt, causing it to slide off before affecting performance/ Moreover, if you have roof solar panels, the tilted installation racks prevent snow from accumulating to a large extent, and a light dusting of snow is likely to blow off or disappear quickly. Interestingly, on clear, cold days, snow on the ground can reflect additional sunlight onto the panels, resulting in even more electricity production (known as the ‘albedo effect’).
One of the major concerns during winter storms is the possibility of power outages. In such situations, the grid may not provide a reliable source of electricity. However, by installing a solar panel system with battery storage, you can have a renewable and clean backup power source. Solar panels have already proven their resilience, and when paired with batteries, they can store excess energy from sunnier days to be used during stormy periods. This offers peace of mind and increased energy independence.
While the initial investment in solar panels and battery storage may seem significant, flexible financing options and solar plans with low or no down payments are available. Solar panels empower homeowners to take control of their energy usage, allowing them to weather any storm without losing access to electricity.
Solar panels are not just a fair-weather friend; they are a reliable and efficient energy course even during the winter months. Their ability to generate electricity in cold temperatures, rainy days, and snowy conditions makes them an ideal choice for homeowners across the UK. By pairing solar panels with battery storage, individuals can further enhance their energy independence and weather winter storms with ease. Don’t wait; the time to go solar is now. Take the step towards a greener and more resilient future by harnessing the power of the sun.Back to Blog