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How Does the Cold Affect Solar Panels?

by Kelly Anderson, on Jan 7, 2020 12:02:22 PM

Important factors when considering solar system cost


As the winter air settles over Chicago, you’re probably doing your best to stay warm and comfy. But while you’re inside enjoying hot drinks and cozy blankets, your solar panels are on the roof withstanding the elements. As cold as it gets in Illinois, you may be concerned about how the weather will impact your panels -- and whether or not that will add to the overall solar system cost down the road. We have the answers you need right here.  

See Also: 3 Common Myths About Solar Energy (and What Not to Believe)

Solar Panels and Cold Weather

There’s a certain logic to it: if solar panels are designed to absorb sunlight and turn it into electrical voltage, then they should do better in places that get sun all year ‘round. Chicago doesn’t have a tropical climate, and it’s not a desert, so will panels work optimally?

The thing to remember is that solar panels work by turning photons -- light -- into electricity. They don’t use the heat at all. So, any place that gets sufficient sunlight will generate the appropriate amount of electricity.

In fact, heat can cause your panels to overheat and work less optimally. In many situations, solar panels actually operate more efficiently in the cold than they would in high heat areas. And because the power is usually stored in a battery or put on the grid via the net-metering program, the energy you’re using isn’t typically the same energy your panels are currently absorbing. That means you won’t have to worry about cloudy or overcast days.

And what about snow? Generally, snow is fairly light and thanks to the position and design of your panels, it will likely just slide off before it can pile on and disrupt functions.

Work with a Local Expert

At Summit Solar, we want you to save money by going solar. If we can’t do it, we won’t pressure you into buying our system.

Thanks to various state and local incentives, switching to solar is easier than ever before. By installing solar panels, you may be able to pay less on your local energy bill than you would by sticking with your current electric company. 

We want to build a custom system that operates efficiently and looks great on your home. And we do it with white-glove service that guides you through every aspect of the process, from initial discovery and shading analysis to final installation. We’ll even get the permits and paperwork taken care of for you. 

Ready to find out if solar is right for you? Click here or give us a call at 888-884-3557.

Topics:Net MeteringCold Weather