Solar panels in winter: how much energy they provide us

Solar panels in winter: how much energy they provide us

Solar panels in winter, are they a good investment?

Tell us honestly how many times you have asked yourself this question.

We associate the performance of solar panels with heat. The higher the temperatures, the more photovoltaic production will be generated.

And these are some of the most common mistakes that put the brakes on when betting on solar energy.

There are still many doubts about the coldest seasons.

So, today we’ll look at how solar panels work in winter, whether they’re cost-effective, and how much power they can produce.

Solar panels in winter: how much energy they provide us

Let’s start!

Let’s get to the point, are solar panels profitable in winter?

Solar panels in winter apply the same operation as in summer.

By this, we mean that the installation does not capture heat but rather the rays of light received. Therefore, the way of producing does not change.

What is happening? Photovoltaic production in winter decreases because the hours of sunlight received are lower, going from an average of 15 hours to around 10 hours during the coldest season.

They have not stopped working during the colder months; low temperatures improve system performance.

What is clear is that energy production will decrease during these months due to the reduced hours of sunshine. In these cases, the choice of the panel chosen will influence performance.

Of course, the profitability is still high, and winter should not be the reason for not betting on this source of clean energy.

The benefits of solar energy are clear, and you can amortize the system in fewer than ten years. Now, you can opt for aid for self-consumption and specific subsidies depending on the town hall where you reside.

Does the cold affect our solar panels?

Another issue that is in the continuous debate is how the cold affects our solar panels.

Do low temperatures damage the system? Well, the truth is that no. The temperature indicated by the manufacturers where the solar panels are more efficient is 25ºC. Furthermore, the performance will be affected when this figure exceeds 35ºC.

Therefore, in summer, photovoltaic production is high due to the large number of hours of sunshine that we have in Spain, but not because of the heat received.

This explains why this excess heat causes the voltage in the modules to drop and the panels absorb and channel less energy.

On the other hand, high temperatures can affect performance, reducing efficiency by 10%. So, the cold does not imply negative aspects.

And what about the rain?

Rain and clouds allow photovoltaic production because the sun continues to land on our solar panels.

But if there is no sun, how is it possible?

Here we must differentiate between direct and diffuse (or indirect) sunlight.

With direct light, more energy is produced because solar radiation goes directly from the sun to the surface of the panels. However, the diffuse light is scattered by particles in the atmosphere but still reaches the surface.

Therefore, as long as it rains or there are clouds, the system continues to produce energy, and this amount will be affected according to the density of the clouds.

Cloudy climates do not prevent photovoltaic production; we are talking between 10% and 25% of its capacity.

In addition, rain is quite beneficial because it removes the dust embedded in the plates to remain efficient.

How snow affects the performance of your solar panels: we clear up some myths.

Solar panels are efficient at low temperatures, but what about more extreme weather like snow? Does it work the same way?

Even with snow on your roof, the solar panels continue to produce power. They are prepared for it.

The reflective glass causes the snow to melt faster, sliding so as not to influence the performance of the installation.

In addition, the inclination of the racks allows the snow not to accumulate up to a certain point. Therefore, it does not present an obstacle.

Without going any further, the snow allows the reflection of sunlight on the panels, causing the well-known albedo effect. , which generates more electricity for domestic consumption.

Solar panel maintenance in winter: what should I do?

The maintenance of solar panels in the winter season hardly changes compared to the rest of the year.

Meteorological phenomena such as strong winds, dirt, or hail can affect the performance of the plates, reducing their efficiency by 15%.

So that the system’s efficiency is not affected, it is necessary to keep the panels in good condition. In addition, the time required and the cost are reduced.

Likewise, silicon is its main component and is characterized by strong resistance. It maintains the system’s quality, always considering the adverse climates that may occur.

In this way, more solar energy will be generated, and we will extend the useful life of our photovoltaic installation.

Therefore, cleanliness is essential. 3 or 4 times a year will be enough, and parts should be replaced if they are defective.

Faced with prolonged cold spells where the snow accumulates more than it should, it is necessary to pay great attention so that the panels do not remain blocked. In these cases, the best options are removing the snow manually or going to specialists who carry out the proper cleaning so as not to cause damage to the installation.

Because of the rain, you have already bought that you should not worry about. This phenomenon makes cleaning dirt and dust from the panels possible so as not to affect their performance.

How can solar batteries help in winter?

When the weather is extreme

When the weather is adverse, and significant temporary changes such as wind or heavy snowfall occur, the electrical network can be cut at any time without having electricity from one minute to the next.

But there is a solution that allows us to anticipate these problems: batteries for solar panels.

Temperatures are becoming more extreme due to climate change, and it is not challenging to lose electricity in seconds. 

Faced with these situations, solar panels allow us to continue enjoying electricity and being clean and inexhaustible.

Storing the energy not consumed in the hours of sun

When winter approaches us, low temperatures push us to spend more time at home and use various electrical appliances such as television or computers, plus lighting in the early hours as we do not have enough hours of sun throughout the day.

You can remain connected to the electricity grid to ensure supply in the hours that there is no sun, or you have another possible alternative: opt for solar batteries that accumulate the energy produced that you did not consume by the time the sun disappears.

Please take the opportunity to produce energy in the highest sunlight peaks and consume it in the following hours.

One more tip: at this time of year, it is convenient to take advantage of the first hours of the day to use the appliances that consume the most in the house, thanks to the clean energy provided by the sun.

Do solar panels work in winter?

Faced with this question, we must be calm. Yes, the solarr panels work perfectly in winter. A characteristic of photovoltaic solar panels is that they like to light a lot but not in high temperatures.

That is why they are just as efficient as long as they have an incidence of sunlight.


  • solar panels in winter
    • Advantages of solar panels in winter
    • Disadvantages of solar panels in winter
    • Performance of photovoltaic panels in winter
    • The efficiency of solar panels in winter
  • The importance of maintenance of the installation in winter

The problem during the winter in our country and throughout the northern hemisphere is fewer hours of sun. Therefore they generate less electricity.

This may be why many people doubt installing solar panels, alleging they do not work in winter. However, solar panels work in winter without any problem.

However, it is necessary to indicate that solar panel installation has advantages and disadvantages in winter. We see them below.

solar panels in winter

Observe in detail all the benefits of photovoltaic solar panels and their advantages and disadvantages during the winter.

Advantages of solar panels in winter

  • Regarding the cold: Photovoltaic panels lose performance with heat, so winter and its low temperatures help them maintain their efficiency.
  • Regarding the price of electricity: The price of electricity usually rises in winter. If you have photovoltaic panels, you compensate for this increase with your own electricity.

A warm and cozy winter with blankets and plaids 2023

Disadvantages of solar panels in winter

  • There is less sun: With fewer hours, electricity production is diminished.
  • There is more dirt and snow: Dirt, large leaves from trees, and snow clog the plates and reduce their performance.

Performance of photovoltaic panels in winter

The performance or efficiency of solar panels in winter is very similar to the rest of the year. However, this statement must go with the relationship of available daylight hours. If we consider only the amount of electricity they can produce, obviously, in winter, our solar panels generate less electrical energy.

However, if we relate the electricity produced each day with the hours of sun that the photovoltaic panels have used, we will see that the performance is similar in winter and summer.

Therefore, the performance of solarr panels in winter is similar to other seasons of the year. This is because in winter, the “fuel” used by the plates decreases, that is, the hours of sunshine. In this way, although we have the same electricity generator, logically, with less “fuel,” less electricity is produced.

The efficiency of solar panels in winter

It is clear that the efficiency of solar panels does not decrease in winter, and it is not why they generate less electricity at this time of year. Solar panels in winter, like the rest of the year, transform sunlight into electricity.

However, both the number of hours available and the incidence of the sun affect the total energy that can be generated.

This is why the installation companies carry out various calculations to adjust the inclination and orientation of the solar panels. So that optimal production is achieved throughout the year. Or, where appropriate, adapting to our consumption habits, prioritizing the use on weekends and summer, or generally for the whole year.

The number of solar panels a home needs will depend on the annual electricity consumption and the panels’ power.

How do cloudy days affect solarr panels?

Cloudiness causes the performance of solar panels in winter to decrease to 20% of their standard capacity. However, this happens the same in summer since the clouds prevent the direct incidence of the sun on the plates.

In these cases, only diffused light provides energy to generate electricity, but obviously, it is less, and therefore its performance or efficiency decreases.

The importance of maintenance of the installation in winter

Good maintenance is essential throughout the year. And more specifically, the cleaning of the solar panels. Any obstacle that prevents the arrival of sunlight to the photovoltaic panels harms electricity generation.

The leaves of the trees, the snow, and any other dirt deposited on the plates can cause a decrease in the performance of the solar panels by up to 15%.

Does it make sense to invest in solar panels during the winter?

Since we do not install solarr panels only for one season, we must answer “YES.” When we request several studies and budgets to mount a photovoltaic system in our home, it is for 25 years or more. For this reason, the installer will calculate its long-term performance, not just for summer or winter.

Solarr panels are an installation that we will have for at least 25 or 30 years. What we should care about and worry about is that in all that time, it generates more energy than the cost of its installation. And that its amortization is carried out before ten years.

How does snow affect solar panels in winter?

Those of us who live in areas where snow is common must consider that this is an obstacle for solar panels to receive the sun’s rays in winter. Therefore, if the photovoltaic panels are covered by snow, they generate less electricity or even nothing. For this reason, it is essential to regularly clean the plates and keep them free of snow or any dirt.

Photovoltaic panels are installed with a suitable slope in these areas, mainly in the north of Spain or in the high mountains of the plateau or Andalusia.

This helps the plates have the proper inclination to cause snow to fall more easily. Thus, the surface of the solar panels in winter is free to receive the sun’s rays.

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