Does Going Solar Work in a Cold Climate?
by Cody McGowan, on Aug 19, 2020 2:11:00 PM
Illinois Gets Very Cold in the Winter. Will Your Solar Panel System Be Less Efficient?
When you hear the word “solar,” your first thought is probably the sun, which is bright, hot, and bursting with energy (producing 384.6 septillion watts per second). The sun feeds the solar panel system on your roof and provides the electricity you need to power your home. But what you may not realize, is that solar production is not dependent on temperature. It isn’t the heat we’re harnessing, but the power of light.
Since we live in a cold climate, some of our Illinois customers ask, “Does my solar power system become less efficient in the winter?” Read more to see why solar panels provide reliable performance during any season.
Solar, Solar Everywhere!
From Alaska to California to Illinois to Florida – and everywhere else in the world – solar panel systems are powering millions and millions of homes around the globe. Did you notice something? It doesn’t matter the location. Solar systems provide benefits everywhere – in cold or hot climates. That’s because they create energy due to their access to sunlight. Whether it’s below freezing or above 100°, they remain consistent energy source as long as the sun is shining on them.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
When the sunlight makes contact with your solar power system, it has an “electrical” effect on the photons within the solar panels. Those photons knock electrons free from atoms, which generate a flow of electricity. Then, the current is sent into your home (after passing through a converter), so you can power your lights and electrical appliances. Heat and cold are not part of the equation. They do not have a significant effect – positive or negative – on your system.
In fact, your solar panel’s components, which are underneath the panels on your roof, operate efficiently at temperatures as low as -40 and as high as 140 F. The panels themselves can withstand greater temperatures. The point is that a solar panel system has an extremely high range of performance.
Cold Is Actually Better!
And here’s the real plot twist. Solar panels often work better in cold weather. Remember, the only thing your panels require is sunlight, as well as proper positioning, to generate power. Since the sun shines in the summer and winter, you’ll have electricity all year round. In cold weather, solar power systems have been shown to absorb more energy from the sun and generate electricity more efficiently. This is likely because cold weather prevents the panels from heating up too much, slightly reducing efficiency. Therefore, cold temperatures with sufficient sunlight can be the perfect environment for solar panels to perform optimally.
Want to find out more about the benefits of installing solar panels on your Illinois home? Get started by contacting Summit Solar using our online form. We look forward to speaking with you!