Living solar in the winter, panelanches and more
As more snow is falling across the West, we wanted to answer questions related to snow on panels, and how things work with solar systems in the winter.
Fortunately in most areas, snow is not an everyday occurrence. We have many sunny winter days, despite these being shorter than the days of summer. Even when flurries fly, snow on panels cause minimal problems… but this might not be a commonly known fact. So, we’ve come up with five quick points to help address concerns where it matters most:
- Snow on panels does NOT ruin annual production. We put in a lot of time to ensure our estimates are accurate. Estimates are based on actual data from our extensive install base (including data from systems we installed way back in 2007), which means that snow on panels for periods is a part of your projections.
So, when you look up and see solar panels bearing snow, don’t worry… you’re right on track. We’ve accounted for the times of the year when modules will be covered.
- Safety first, just leave the snow. Given the point above, we’d like to stress to not bother clearing the snow from your panels. We suggest that customers never go onto their roofs for any reason, as it’s dangerous. And accessing your roof is especially percarious in the winter.
3. Panelanche: more than a fun word. We affectionately call snow sliding off solar panels panelanches! If you’re having panelanche issues, reach out to learn about after market options and reduce the likelihood of it occurring.
4. Sunny cold weather is great for energy production. Contrary to what many believe, sunny cold days are excellent for energy production, provided your panels are snow free.
You’ll see higher efficiency in colder temperatures compared to hot (like most electronics). In the winter you’ll actually see your highest power production for each hour of sunlight.
- Trust panel durability. Don’t worry about the pressure of snow on your panels, as they’re made to bear a certain amount of weight. Panels are pressure tested and have varying ratings by panel type. We assess carefully to ensure the right panel is selected for the climate around each customer site at the start of the process, mitigating weight bearing complications up front.
If you have other snow questions that haven’t been answered above, feel free to ask us about them on any of our social media channels. Follow us here for Facebook, here for Instagram, here for LinkedIn and here for Twitter.