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Winter Energy Myths

Has the weather got you gloomy? Colder temperatures can decrease a person’s energy, sleeping patterns, and overall mood. Along with these personal side effects comes some misconceptions that energy for solar panels must be sluggish too. Let’s heat up your knowledge about energy use in the winter months. We’re ready to shine a light on common winter myths and help you understand how solar can be a valuable energy source before summer temperatures hit.

Myth #1: Solar panels need heat to create energy.

This myth is #1 for a reason. Many believe that to reach optimal solar energy, they must live in a hot climate. Surprisingly, this is not true! Solar power comes from the sun’s light, not its heat. PV panels reach maximum energy efficiency at 77 degrees Fahrenheit and slow down as the temperature rises. That means that although winter days are shorter in comparison, it makes up in productivity with the cooler weather.

Does this mean that you shouldn’t go solar if you live in a hot climate? No. The length of sunlight in a day makes up for the extreme heat. Choosing a premium panel brand also helps. Our premium panel, Panasonic, has achieved the world’s highest output temperature coefficient available. When most solar panels are struggling with the increased temperatures during the summer months, Panasonic HIT® modules reliably generate power and limit efficiency losses in the heat. This means that you can stop worrying about this myth and feel confident that solar panels produce productive, sun-powered energy all year round.

Myth #2: Solar panels will not produce during foggy or hazy days.

The less-dense the sunlight is, the less power a PV panel will produce. Though estimates range by manufacturer, solar panels will generate about 10-15% of their normal power output on a cloudy day. The cooler weather helps offset this, allowing PV panels to produce clean energy even when it seems not likely. 

Myth #3: Solar panels do not work in states where it snows.

Many think that solar panels only produce efficient energy in the sunniest states. But this is false! Solar power can still help save a significant amount of money due to higher energy rates. Panels can continue to produce energy during a light snowfall.  Although energy production can stop during heavy snow, it starts right back up once the sun comes back out. The combination of melting snow on a slanted panel is also beneficial in cleaning the solar panels. A roof rake is helpful for any snow that does not melt or slide off. And snow on the ground, reflecting the sun, will help PV panels increase their production too! An experienced design team can help design the right number of solar panels, their angle (slant) for optimal sunlight absorption, and increased energy savings for you year-round.  

Myth #4: I can’t have solar panels in hail states.

While they are made of tempered glass, solar panels are designed to withstand hail of larger than 1 inch in diameter, falling at approximately 50 miles per hour. However, it is important to have solar panels added to your homeowner’s insurance policy in case of a catastrophic event. Many insurers will add solar panels for little to no added cost to your premium.

Don’t let common winter myths and gloomy moods get you down. With these misconceptions dispelled, you can feel confident in finding out how else clean energy from the sun can improve your energy efficiency and savings. Contact us to set up your free, in-home consultation. 

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