If you are new to solar panels or experiencing a particularly harsh winter, you may be worried if they will become damaged. Luckily, the answer is no. Well, it’s mostly no.
The snow and ice can cause the panels to not work as well. But if your solar panels are properly installed, you should be fine. A lot of heavy snow can be a strain on ill-fitted panels.
Solar Panels, Snow and Ice
We quite naturally associate solar panels with the sun. That’s how they work, but capturing either the heat or the light from the sun. Solar panels for your home require the energy from the light to gather it and store it for use.
But we already expect our solar panels to work during the day only, not the night. Even covered with snow, the light can still reach the panels, they absorb the energy and they still produce.
So what happens to them in the winter? If they are covered with snow and trying to operate on limited sunlight time, will they actually work at all? Well, yes.
Solar Panels Are Self-Sufficient
Normally, solar panels are installed at an angle or slant, assuming that is the type of roof you have. Normally, the sun will provide enough heat and light in the winter to melt the snow enough to make the snow slide off, or at least to allow the light through.
The solar panels gather light but actually can get pretty hot. They are designed to simply take care of themselves, so unless there is a leak or a crack in your panel, you should not worry about it.
Normally, the snow would need to be pretty heavy and dense in order to do any real damage. Your solar panels are meant to be as strong, if not stronger than your roof, anyhow.
But when it comes to them actually producing energy, solar panels actually work better when it’s cold than when it’s warm. Just like a lot of electronics, solar systems have a negative temperature coefficient.
This means they experience less resistance and will be able to generate more electricity in colder weather. The biggest downfall to producing energy in the winter is actually the shorter days.
Should I Clean The Snow Off?
The short answer is, no. Just leave it. If you feel the snow is too heavy or full of moisture, you should consider calling an expert to do it. Contact the company that installed the solar panels, or someone with professional experience and equipment to get on your roof.
Plus, not only trying to clear snow and ice yourself is dangerous but if something goes wrong or you damage something other than yourself, your home owner’s insurance may not cover it.
Your panels will still work with the snow on them, just not as well. Besides, depending on the type of contract you have, you may have already provided your surplus of energy for others to use, which likely covers you if there is a shortage of production.
Live Smart Construction
If you are concerned about your solar panels this winter or looking for advice, contact the experts at Live Smart Construction. We can help you with any questions you may have and guide you through the entire solar panel process.
Solar panels are becoming more and more popular, so it is natural that people will have questions about them. But unless you can see the damage being caused by the snow or ice on your solar panels, just let Mother Nature take care of it for you.