How does temperature affect solar panels?
Solar panels absorb energy from the sun’s light, not from its heat. This means that even in cold temperatures, your solar panels will generate electricity as long as sunlight is hitting them. In fact, your photovoltaic panels will run more efficiently on a cold, clear day than in hotter weather.
Why do solar panels work more efficiently in cold weather?
Many people are surprised to learn that solar panels are able to more efficiently convert sunlight to power in cold weather. This is explained on the molecular level – electrons are at rest (low energy) in cold temperatures. When these electrons are activated by sunlight (high energy), a greater difference in voltage is attained by the photovoltaic panel, resulting in a higher energy output than the panel could create on a warm day.
Because of the Front Range’s 300 days of sunlight a year and cold winters, you can reap more from your solar panels than people in other parts of the country.
Do solar panels work in snow?
The short answer is yes – if it’s a dusting. However, when snow accumulates on your photovoltaic panels, progressively less of the sun’s photons get through as snow builds up on the panels reducing their energy production levels. Luckily, on the Front Range of Colorado, a few days after most snowfalls the temperatures are above freezing; this combined with solar panels generally being installed at an angle allows snow to slide off and electric production to resume.
In winter a solar system will not produce as much power than during the longer days of summer, but they still produce clean, renewable power for your home or business.
Do solar panels stand up to hail?
Quality solar panels are very resistant to hail damage, and often your roof is more likely to be damaged than the panels themselves. Many homeowners have inspected their roofs after a hailstorm to find that the solar panels and the portion of their roof covered by solar panels were protected from damage while surrounding areas of the roof sustained damage. In very rare instances, hail can damage solar panels, but most home insurance policies cover that damage just as they do the roof. Still, the chances of hail actually damaging your solar panels is slim.