Going solar is a big decision, and although there are many factors you should consider, local weather shouldn’t be a deterrent. Solar panels are designed to work in almost any type of weather, including, snow, rain, and wind. Solar panel manufacturers test each solar panel for extreme weather conditions prior to distribution. Solar panels have great durability and respond to most weather favorably. They actually can still produce power under most circumstances!
Can solar panels work in the cold?
It is a common misconception that solar systems require warm weather to work. The sun emits photons that are spread throughout the atmosphere. Solar cells absorb these photons and convert them into electricity for your home. So, your solar system works off of these photons not the warmth of the sun. Even on cloudy, gloomy days, the sun can still penetrate through the clouds and emit these photons. Little known fact: cooler weather can also help your solar system be more efficient. When solar panels get too hot, their efficiency can decrease.
Solar panels work in many weather conditions
A solar system is a great idea nationwide. You may think solar panels only work in hot, desert-like regions, but this can be a misconception. . Solar panels are able to withstand and produce energy in various weather conditions. So despite what the forecast says for the next week, just know your solar system is up for the challenge.
There are sunny days ahead for solar! Spring and Summer are peak production times for your system. The more sun you have access to, the longer your panels work during the day. Your panels work best at converting energy when sun rays shine directly at them. The more energy you produce, the more excess you may be able to send back to the grid. Take advantage of the excess through net metering and other incentive programs, if your utility provider offers them. Sunny days help offset your annual solar production and help you prepare for a rainy day.
As the rain pours down, your solar system will continue to be hard at work. Solar panels work with reflected or partially blocked sun rays to keep your home powered. Rain will have some effect on your production, but the sun’s rays will still penetrate through the rain. Many homeowners are still able to offset their annual production because they produce excess on sunnier days. Lastly, rain may actually help keep your panels working efficiently as they wash away any dust or dirt.
It is a misconception that panels don’t work on cloudy days. The best way to know how much the clouds affect your system’s performance is to monitor your system on sunny days and compare. Your system may actually be more efficient without the excess heat. This is because solar systems prefer the cold! The sun’s rays are still able to penetrate through cloudy skies and keep your system running. Cooler temperatures help your panels evenly distributed heat.
Amazingly enough, even when covered in snow a solar system can still produce power! Scattered light filters through snow and reaches solar panels. Power production may be reduced with heavier snowfall, but your system can still produce. Solar panels are typically installed at an angle, helping snow slide right off. If you notice your panels are covered in snow, don’t worry. When the sun shines, your panels will distribute its heat, quickly melting the snow. Just like rain, snow can help clean your solar panels. If the snowfall is heavier, you could see a drop in productivity, and may have to use some energy from the grid. However, we find that many homeowners are still able to offset their energy consumption at the end of their billing period.
Solar panels are highly reliable and sturdy, they hardly notice your average winds. In most cases, damage from wind will be due to weakened roofs, not solar panels. This is why we assess your roof condition and recommend any repairs prior to installing your system. In the event that higher winds cause an outage in the grid, you will still have power if you have batteries with your system. As mentioned above, if the weather is cooler your system can still produce efficiently. You will hardly notice a change in your production if your panels are still able to get some of the sun’s rays.
Of course, you may be wondering what happens when the weather gets a bit extreme. Solar panels work in many extreme weather conditions and are manufactured to withstand most weather situations. However, we cannot predict weather conditions. Rest assured we follow all local regulations and mandated precautions when installing your solar system. Certain areas that are more prone to natural disasters have local government regulations for solar systems. Let’s discuss what happens when you are faced with extreme weather.
If you live somewhere subject to frequent tornadoes, local policies may mandate a certain level of system durability. Most cases of solar system damage are caused by poor roofing conditions. We do our part in preventing possible damage by assessing your roof condition. We recommend any maintenance before mounting your panels. In the event of a tornado, your solar system may still produce energy. If the tornado is damaging enough to cause a power outage, you will still have power if your system is intact and equipped with batteries.
Light snow will have little impact on your solar system. Heavier snowstorms can reduce its power output, but you may still produce power. if the storm covers your panels, you won’t produce energy until it slides off. But, as soon as your panels get light exposure to the sun, they will start generating again. In the event of a grid power outage, you will still have power if you have batteries.
If your area gets frequent hurricanes, there may be local policies in place to mandate solar system durability. For example, some areas of southern Florida mandate panels to be tested to withstand up to 170mph winds. We follow all mandated guidelines to ensure your panels remain safely mounted. If you live in a high risk area, we recommend you get batteries to go with your solar system. They will help keep your home powered if there is a power outage.
Not only are solar panels waterproof, but they still produce in the rain. If your panels are roof-mounted, they likely won’t be affected by floods. If they are ground mounted, you would only see some damage with continuous floods. Panel cables and the backsheets are the most sensitive to water immersion. Although one flood won’t cause much harm, continuous flooding could pose a danger. If you live in an area with frequent floods, our solar design experts will likely recommend a roof mounted system.
Freedom Forever installs across the nation
Freedom Forever is proud to serve states across the country with varying weather conditions and challenges. We offer high-quality solar panels and equipment combined with expert installation. Don’t shy away from going solar because of your local weather. Chances are you will still be able to enjoy great benefits from going solar. Our expert solar designers are happy to discuss local weather and challenges with you. They will design a custom solar system and take all local regulations and safety precautions into account.