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Are Solar Panels Effective in The Cold Weather

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Solar energy is gaining more recognition from customers across the globe. Solar panels are the best form of making use of solar energy. The Solar Industry Research Data (SEIA) predicts that the growth rate of solar power would exceed 12 GW in 2019. The number of homes and commercial spaces that are installing solar panels is growing every year.


There are still some misconceptions about solar panels, their working, and maintenance.

The main advantage of solar energy is that it is clean and can be safely suited for domestic purposes. There are many customers who are even producing surplus solar power and exporting back to the grid and making a sizeable amount of money too.

Hence, it is important that customers understand the do’s and don’ts associated with solar panels. As you move ahead in this post, you will understand the working of solar panels in cold weather.

How do solar panels work?

Before digging deep into the working of solar panels in cold weather, let us have a brief discussion on how solar panels work. Solar panels are made of dark-colored cells that absorb sunlight to the maximum and generate electrical power to meet domestic and commercial needs.

When light falls on the solar panels, the electrons in the panels get excited and contribute to the flow of current. In any other case, higher the energy falling on an atom, easier is the excitation of electron and hence higher the current produced.

Unfortunately, in the case of solar panels, it is not always correct. Solar panels are power tested around 25°C (77°F). When the ambient temperature gets hotter than design specifications, the power generated from solar panels decreases. Hence, the notion that one can obtain more power from solar panels when the sun is hotter is wrong!

Solar Snow

How cold weather impacts solar panels?

Solar panels need sunlight for the production of solar power. They are not affected even if the temperatures are lesser, as long as the sunlight is present. It means if you are living in a place that has more snowfall, and the sunlight, you could still be a happy owner of solar panels and can obtain solar power as other customers in sunny areas do.

Do you know that colder temperatures are actually good for electronics? The same holds true for a solar panel too. In fact, solar panels work at higher efficiencies during colder temperatures.

Solar panels and snow

Another concern that people living in snowy regions face is if snowfall and accumulation of snow on solar panels would affect the performance of solar panels. Strictly speaking, solar panels are designed to withstand the weight of snow accumulated and can work as usual as long as there is enough sunlight.

  • Besides, snow starts melting down or sliding down with temperature and hence snow would not hinder the performance of your solar panels.
  • Snow, being white in color helps in reflecting back the UV rays and aids the functioning of solar panels too. Of course, this holds good as long as there is no accumulation of snow on the panel. According to Solar Magazine, research from Sweden reveals an interesting fact: while there is less light during the spring and autumn, solar panels are more efficient in cold weather.
  • If the snow is too heavy, it can limit the amount of electrical energy produced by solar panels, but understand that the snow around can cause scattering of light and deliver more light to your PV panels than you expected.
  • If you are worried that snow accumulation may break your solar panels, be assured that solar panels of any reputed brand undergo intense pressure testing and are made sure that they can bear a maximum weight that has been prescribed in the manufacturer’s ratings.

Tips to dealing with snow on solar panels

  • Solar panels are by themselves titled for many reasons, one is to facilitate the easy sliding down of snow. It means snow even though it accumulates, will slide down easily.
  • If the snow accumulation is more and is not sliding down easily, you may use solar panel snow rake, that is specifically designed for removing snow from panels.
  • Do not use any other harsh or rough methods to clear snow from panels; you may end up damaging the panels.
  • It is always better to take the help of professionals who are specialized in taking care and maintenance of solar panels. Read about Solar Panel Maintenance and Cleaning companies.
  • Ensure that your solar panels are tilted to the south in the winter for maximum absorption of sun and to prevent snow accumulation on the panels.

solar panels snow

  • Choose a solar panel that has no frames in its design. Absence of frames makes the sliding of snow easier and aids in the continuous production of solar power. If your solar panel has frames, chances are that the accumulation of snow can cause local stress and can cause damage to your solar panels. For further guidance, you can take the help of your solar panel manufacturer or seller.

What statistics say?

If you take a look at what the statistics of Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) are showing about the success rate and the usage of solar panels in colder areas, you would be better convinced about the fitness of solar panels in colder climates. So, here we go!

  • In 2019, it is in the states of Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York that there has been the highest amount of solar panel installations done across the USA. And not to mention, that these places are among the top 5 of the coldest places in the USA.
  • Besides, people living in these areas are successful at saving more during winter months, as they do throughout the year, owing to the uninterrupted performance of solar panels.
  • Among the European countries, Germany which is noted for its temperatures at par with Alaska is progressing in terms of usage and installation of solar panels, year after year.
  • Germany has also been in the top three countries that are effectively utilizing solar power through PV panels, which is yet another proof that snow and solar panels are not foes after all!
  • Researches have proved that during winter days, solar panels produce around one-third of the power that they normally generate during hot sunny months.

Author Bio:

The article is written by Anshul. Anshul is working as a Content Writer at with the goal of seeking the universalization of solar lifestyle. 



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