Do Solar Panels Work in Winter?

Solar energy is becoming the most important source of electricity in many places around the globe, replacing non-renewable energy production. Each day more and more countries are implementing this technology in order to contribute to a greener environment.

Solar panels are proven to be an efficient method of producing energy without causing any pollution or impact on the environment. But, what happens with countries that don’t have much sunlight? Aren’t they capable of producing solar energy? It is a valid question taking into account the only source needed to produce energy is the sun. But before we need to know how solar panels work.

Solar energy works thanks to photovoltaic cells, which are little squares 6-inch large made of silicon layers and solar panels have 60 of 120 of it. When the sunlight hits the panel, these cells absorb it and photons (which is how particles of light are called) knock electrons (particles of energy) in the silicon layers. Charged electrons are driven through a circuit generating electricity to then go back to the silicon part and repeat the process.

So, what happens when there’s no sunlight or it’s too poor because of winter? Do solar panels continue working properly or they cannot be used during the season? The answer is yes, they continue producing energy even during winter when there’s almost no solar light but not at their higher levels of efficiency.

It is estimated that a solar panel produces at least 320 watts of electricity; this amount of energy is enough to provide power energy to an average home without any other source of electricity needed. Solar panels work more efficiently when sunlight hits directly to them so they can reach their full potential, so when winter arrives and they suffer a drop in their efficiency levels, which can cause to need more panels to get the same quantity of energy as in summer.

They will continue working during winter, there’s no actual need to get another source of energy for these times but it is important to take into consideration that during cloudy days they will not produce the same energy they are used to. An impediment for panels to produce energy is snow. Snow cover is the only thing that can stop them from working correctly.

Nevertheless, solar panels are made to prevent this from happening. They are placed in the right angle so snowflakes can slide off and don’t block the pass for sunlight.  To sum up, there’s no reason to worry about stop receiving solar energy during winter but it is important to be aware of their efficiency levels.

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