Though hopefully winter weather is over for now, one question we hear often in winter is “how does the snowfall affect my solar system panels?” Many homeowners who are considering solar installation may also think of this question, given the sometimes heavy snowfall we receive here in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Don’t worry, even when snow prevents us from doing much outdoors, it really doesn’t hinder your solar system panels from generating electricity for your home.
With roof mounted solar system panels, generally the easiest (and often safest) option is to do nothing. Don’t risk injury or a fall while climbing the roof to clear your solar panels, because it’s really not necessary. Your solar system panels will clear themselves in just a short time. During a light snow, it’s ok to brush off your panels if conditions are safe to access your panels.
Even with a thick layer of snow piled up on top, your solar system panels are still absorbing the sun’s ultraviolet rays. As the panels are collecting solar energy, they naturally heat up, which melts the snow and ice which may be sitting atop them. Solar system panels which are darker in color stay warmer for longer periods of time, continually melting the snow. Usually, the panels will have melted all the snow and ice cover in about a day.
Snowfall doesn’t necessarily hinder your solar system panels from producing energy during the winter months. In fact, the snow surrounding the panels and your home may cause your panels to generate extra energy. Have you ever noticed how bright a sunny day can be with a snowy landscape? The sun’s rays reflected off the snow can direct more energy towards your solar panels for absorption.
While heavy snow may seem like a burden for your solar system panels, your panels can clear the load themselves in most cases. They actually do a very good job at clearing the snow effectively in little time on their own. If you have questions about how the weather can affect your solar system panels, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Smith Sustainable Design; we are here to help with all your solar power needs.