Solar panels in winter

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Solar panels in the current realities are a profitable source of electricity. 

Many people buy them not only for domestic consumption, but also for substantial earnings on green energy.

But many people think, given our climate, is it profitable to buy a solar battery, and how much does a solar panel produce in winter? How to deal with energy in winter and how efficient are power plants in the winter season? How do solar panels work in winter?

We analyze this issue in our article, but before that, a small spoiler. Yes, solar panels also generate energy in winter, but with some conditions.

Solar panels in winter

The myth that solar panels run on heat

The stereotype says that the hotter the weather, the more energy the station generates. This is not true. Solar panels do not work on air temperature, but on the amount of sunlight. And remember how dazzlingly the sun shines on a snowy frosty day! Moreover, high air temperatures, on the contrary, reduce the efficiency of solar stations. Therefore, on a sunny frosty day, there will be more energy than on a June afternoon.

Many may object that frost and sun do not come every day during the cold season. Yes, indeed, on cloudy days, solar panels produce less energy. But, it very rarely happens that the battery is not fully charged for a whole winter day. The main condition for this level of efficiency is a correctly calculated solar power system.

Due to which the performance of solar panels decreases in winter

However, all the same, in total, the solar panel generates less energy in winter than in summer. This is due to the following factors:

  • short day length. This is logical, less light – less energy. In summer, the batteries are powered for 12 hours, in winter the maximum performance does not exceed 2.5-3 hours;
  • extended path of rays through the atmosphere. In a vacuum, light does not scatter, but in a dense air medium – yes, in winter the angle of inclination of the photon flux increases, the path through the atmosphere increases by 4-5 times;
  • latitude factor. In the northern regions, this affects production. Small solar power plants are turned off in winter and not used due to low efficiency, but this does not apply to Ukraine. In our area, you can profit from solar stations at any time of the year.

Proper use and care in cold conditions

In order to achieve maximum efficiency of solar panels in winter, it is required to change the angle of inclination of the structure, taking into account the season. In winter, the angle decreases, the rays hit not perpendicular. Some consumers install batteries in a universal position, but then the highest efficiency cannot be obtained either in winter or in summer. But a certain average output can be obtained.

Proper use and care in cold conditions

Changing the angle of inclination as the seasons change is more troublesome, but also more profitable. The winter angle of installation of the panels is 10-15 degrees in order to capture the oblique rays of the low-lying sun as efficiently as possible. If the area is accustomed to heavy snowfall, the panels are installed vertically to avoid snow sticking. It is required to monitor the cleanliness of the panels, and be sure to clean off the snow from them. But it is better to leave snow around the panels. Firstly, as we have already said, at low temperatures, solar stations work more efficiently and the surrounding snow provides additional cooling. And secondly, the surrounding snow will additionally reflect light, which will increase the efficiency of the solar panel in winter.

Other myths and facts about solar panels in winter

The demand for solar panels in Ukraine is growing, and at the same time, the number of myths is increasing, which are very often not justified. And most of the various rumors relate specifically to the functioning of solar power plants in the winter season:

  • Due to the short daylight hours, solar panels operate at a loss in winter, so they need to be turned off for the winter. There is some truth in this, the length of daylight directly affects the efficiency of the solar battery in winter, but using innovative inverters and an electric energy storage system, even in winter you can get enough solar energy;
  • also using additional equipment, you will increase the efficiency of using batteries in the winter;
  • the summer efficiency of solar panels is the highest, and the efficiency of solar panels is lower in winter. Statistical studies show that the work of solar power plants in the off-season shows the highest efficiency, given the efficiency of converting green energy into electricity;
  • interesting fact. In winter, solar panels are cheaper, so if you are planning a purchase, do not wait for summer, but buy right now.

Proper installation and additional equipment will help you get enough energy all year round for your needs and make a profit.

How to increase the efficiency of solar panels

For sufficient performance of solar panels in frosty and cloudy weather, a battery is used. Solar panels in winter will accumulate and store the energy received in the last hours or days.

However, be careful, in winter the risk of a short circuit or battery failure increases, so a controller is also needed:

  • PWM. Device with pulse-width modulation;
  • MPPT. The instrument monitors the maximum power point. The MPPT type controller monitors the increase in current and does not allow the panel power to decrease. Even in winter, the device maintains an optimal load throughout the entire time.

We also repeat that the angle of inclination matters. During heavy snowfalls, it is better to place the panels at an almost right angle. Also, the solar battery needs to be cleaned in winter:

  • snow is washed off with water from a hose if the air temperature is not too low (so that the water does not freeze);
  • if the first method is not suitable, the snow is carefully swept from the panel;
  • and finally, you can buy toy blasters and clean the panels with a light ball. It will not damage the panel, but it will create vibrations that will cause the snow to fall down.

High-quality solar panels, with the correct installation and a set of equipment, will be effective at any time of the year. Contact us and we will help you choose a solar station for your specific needs and requirements.

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