Green Living

Is it worth installing solar panels in the Winter?

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One of the biggest questions asked by people thinking about installing solar panels at their property is whether it is a good idea or not to install solar panels during the winter? Whether you are looking to install solar panels at your place of work to help charge up a solar powered generator as a backup energy source, or for personal use at home to charge certain appliances, you might wonder whether it’s best to wait until the summer months when there are longer daylight hours. 

Let’s have a look at the truth behind this. It is important to understand how solar power works, especially at a time where solar power can help the climate change challenge that we are all facing.

In a country like the UK, where we are used to our fair share of bad weather, all-year round, it is only natural to wonder about solar panels and how effective they will be during winter. When you look at how solar cells work however, you can begin to understand the folly in this worry. The photovoltaic cells that make up solar panels are often made with silicon, and they become energised when they come into contact with photons (or light particles). The energy is then transformed into an electrical current within the cell. 

Solar panels rely on the light from the sun, rather than high temperatures. Like most electrical equipment in fact, solar panels work better when there are clear skies and slightly lower temperatures. If the temperature is too high this could actually lower the efficiency levels of a solar panel system. 

What this means is that the winter is the perfect time to install solar panels at your property, whether a residential or business property. It is also as good a time as any to power up solar powered generators for back-up use or for road trips or remote short-term locations like construction sites. It gives you the chance to get things installed and up and running during the winter months when there is less sun, but you are still creating energy. By the time you get to the summer months, the peak sunlight months of March to October the systems will be in full working order.

The only consideration is if you are in an area where you get snowfall during winter. Sunlight will not reach the solar cells until snow is cleared from the solar panel system, although it shouldn’t pile up on solar panels due to the tilted design that maximises sunlight exposure. In the UK we rarely see heavy snowfall, so this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. When it comes to cloud cover, solar panels can still produce a surprisingly high amount of electricity, though obviously not as much as when there are clear skies above. The perfect situation is to use portable solar generators to store solar power when there is a lot of sunlight, to use at times when you need energy during the night or days where not as much energy is being produced.

Switching to solar power provides you with the clean energy you need to power single appliances, to power your home, business, or a solar powered generator that is the perfect back-up or remote site energy source. If you are not quite ready yet to install solar panels, or you wish to store solar energy for emergencies, there are some great options for solar generators to hire, providing you with that clean, renewable energy to help power your business or home.

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