Can solar panels still work in the winter?

· PV Industry News,About Solar Panels


  1. Why do solar panels still produceelectricity in the winter?
  2. Does winter affect the power generated by solar panels?
  3. How much electricity do solar panelsgenerate in the winter?
  4. How to avoid winter snow on solar panels?

People often assume that the best weather for solar panels is a day filled with intense sunlight and warmer temperatures. It's true that solar panels perform exceptionally well during hot, sunny midsummer days, but it's essential to understand that they are not restricted to functioning only in this time frame.

There's a common misconception that solar panels are less efficient in the winter. Although it's true that solar panels produce the most energy when exposed to direct sunlight and UV rays, it's important to emphasize that the colder temperatures of winter do not drastically affect their efficiency.

Solar panel winter

Why do solar panels still produce electricity in the winter?

Understanding how solar panels function is key. They consist of silicon wafers, a type of semiconductor where light photons excite electrons to generate electricity.

Importantly, solar panels react to all light types, not only direct sunlight. They can also utilize diffuse light, which occurs when light is scattered by atmospheric particles like rain clouds. This ability allows solar panels to remain effective in winter, even without direct sunlight.

Interestingly, rain can be beneficial for solar panels. It naturally cleans the panels by removing dirt and debris, which helps in preventing light blockage and could improve the panels' efficiency.

Despite popular opinion, cooler weather is actually advantageous for the energy output of solar panels. Like other electronic devices, such as computers and radios, solar panels are more efficient in colder conditions than in hotter ones. This trait enhances their performance and efficiency, particularly in colder regions.

Does winter affect the power generated by solar panels?

Cold weather itself doesn't harm solar panel functionality, but factors like snowfall can affect energy production. Living in snowy areas doesn't make solar panels ineffective; they are actually quite popular in colder climates. The impact largely depends on how much snow accumulates on the panels.

A small amount of snow doesn't significantly hinder solar panel performance, as UV rays from the sun can penetrate a thin snow layer until it's dislodged by wind or other means. While solar panels are built to handle heavy snowfalls, too much snow can decrease their energy output. Their angled design not only maximizes UV ray absorption but also helps in shedding or easing the removal of most snow.

In colder regions, it's advisable to select solar panels that can withstand heavy snow loads and to maintain them properly. For instance, the TwiSun X PV modules are crafted from an enhanced 6065-T6 aluminum alloy frame with a broader and thicker cavity and additional reinforcement bars, offering better protection to the PV cells. These panels can support frontal snow loads of 6000 Pa or more, increasing their mechanical load capacity by 20%, making them ideal for cold, snowy environments.

TwiSun X 390W--410W Double Glass Full Black Reinforced PV Module PERC 210mm 120cells

How much electricity do solar panels generate in the winter?

In winter, solar panel output typically decreases compared to summer, mainly due to shorter daylight hours and more frequent cloud cover blocking sunlight. For instance, a 5kW solar system that generates 20kWh per day in summer might produce around 13kWh per day in winter.

How much electricity do solar panels generate in the winter?

The reduced daylight duration in winter shortens the peak operating hours for solar panels, yet the sunlight in most areas is still adequate for their use. Cloudy days also reduce efficiency since the panels don't receive direct sunlight.

Choosing solar panels that perform well in low light conditions, like on rainy or cloudy days, becomes crucial.

IBC solar panels are known for their exceptional low-light performance, making them a great option for winter's limited daylight. Maysun's IBC modules stand out even in low light conditions, showing a significant 2.01% relative performance improvement at 200W/m² irradiance, outperforming PERC products. Their high open-circuit voltage helps achieve the inverter's operating voltage quickly in the morning and evening, thus extending power generation time.

IBC solar panels are known for their exceptional low-light performance, making them a great option for winter's limited daylight.

IBC panels also have a low temperature coefficient (only -0.29/°C), which minimizes the impact of temperature fluctuations on power generation and enhances the overall yield, making them less susceptible to winter conditions.

Additionally, IBC solar panels are highly efficient in power generation. They don't have metal grid lines on the front, reducing light loss, and have a larger light-receiving area, increased by about 2.5%, significantly boosting power generation efficiency.

IBC Series Solar Panel

The project is located on a rooftop in Germany, click on the image tofind out more

How to avoid winter snow on solar panels?

1. Install Solar Panels at an Ideal Angle for Snow Management: To enhance the efficiency of snow removal, install your solar panels at an angle that encourages snow to slide off naturally, reducing blockages. A 45-degree angle facing directly south is often recommended for photovoltaic panels. Use this formula to determine the best azimuth for your PV panel's mounting angle: Azimuth = (peak hour of load in a 24-hour day - 12) x 15 + (your longitude - 116).

2. Regular Snow Removal: When the weather permits, consistently clear snow off your solar panels. Use tools like a long-handled broom or specialized solar panel cleaning equipment to gently remove snow without damaging the panel surfaces.

Regular Snow Removal

3. Choose Strategic Locations for Easier Maintenance: Install your solar panels in locations that are convenient for cleaning and maintenance, to streamline the cleaning process and enhance overall efficiency.

Maysun offers a variety of solar panel types in different specifications and sizes, catering to a diverse range of customer needs. Their products are suitable for both residential and industrial uses, offering highly customizable solutions to help customers fully utilize solar resources and achieve significant energy savings.


Mike (2021) Are solar panels efficient in winter?

Calculator, S. (2021) Do solar panels work in winter.

Effectiveness of Solar Panels During the Winter Months - Renewable Energy Magazine, at the heart of clean energy journalism (2020) - Effectiveness of Solar Panels During the Winter Months - Renewable Energy Magazine, at the heart of clean energy journalism.

Boiler Guide Limited (no date) Will solar panels still work in the winter? | Solar Guide.

Whitlock, R. (2022) Do solar panels work in winter? The answer is more complex than you think.

Admin (2023) Do solar panels work in the winter?

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