Do Residential Solar Panels Really Work in the Winter?

residential solar Oregon

Do Residential Solar Panels Really Work in the Winter?

In Oregon, cold winters are to be expected. Many Oregonians who are interested in residential solar panels wonder if the frigid weather is a problem – and we’re glad to say that there’s no need to worry about chilly temperatures.

Home photovoltaic (PV) systems generate energy all year long, including the winter months. The idea that a solar array will stop working when it gets cold is downright false, and it stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of how residential solar panels produce electricity.

Solar Panels Need Light – Not Warmth – to Create Power

When we talk about residential solar power, we often use the term photovoltaic as a synonym. Photovoltaics refers to the conversion of light into electrical energy – and the concept has nothing to do with temperature.

As the sun’s rays shine down on a solar array, the silicon cells within each photovoltaic panel become energized, creating a flow of electricity. UV rays are always beaming down, as the sun is still present no matter how cold it gets outside. Since home PV systems require light rather than heat, low temperatures don’t prevent solar power production.

Solar Panels are More Productive in Cold Temperatures

A residential solar array will generate more electricity during the summer than in the winter, but the longer summer days are the reason for the energy boost – not the warmer temperatures. When it’s cold, photovoltaic panels actually work more efficiently.

Contrary to what many people think, heat diminishes solar power production. Research has shown that as temperatures rise, the photovoltaic panel efficiency starts to decline. So, the cold winter weather here in Oregon won’t keep a home PV system from generating electricity. And the chillier it gets, the more productive the array will be.

Solar Panels Can Produce Enough Energy to Power Your Home

Oregon sees fewer daylight hours during the winter, but that doesn’t mean you have to rely on getting more of your household electricity from the utility grid. As long as your photovoltaic panels get at least a few hours of unobstructed sunlight, they can provide you with ample energy.

Your professional contractor will calculate how much photovoltaic power reaches your Oregon home each day, then use this information to determine an appropriate size for your home PV system. And, your contractor will position your array to optimize sunlight exposure. Therefore, you can count on continual energy production, all year long.

Schedule a Residential Solar Site Evaluation this Winter

Do you have other questions about solar panels? Or are you ready to take the plunge and install a home PV system? Either way, the Nationwide Solar team is happy to help.

An award-winning photovoltaic contractor, Nationwide Solar offers free consultations and estimates to homeowners in Oregon, Washington and Utah. To discuss residential solar panel installation with our friendly and knowledgeable team, contact us online or give our office a call today.

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