Updated: Apr 28, 2020
With the first snowfall of the season blanketing the front range of the Rocky Mountains, homeowners of Colorado and Wyoming may be wondering about the energy production of the solar panels on their roof. Well grab a cup of hot chocolate, and let Apollo Energy, one of Denver's top rated solar companies, answer solar's most common cold weather questions.
This may come as a surprise to some people, but Winter actually provides a few benefits to solar electricity production:
Like most electronics, solar panels run more efficiently in cold weather. The low temperatures cause the molecules within the panels to move closer together, becoming more dense and absorbing more sunlight. So even though there may be less hours of sunlight in the winter months, more electricity may be produced per hour.
Have you ever noticed how bright the sun seems on winter mornings? Because solar panels convert sunlight into electricity, white snow that reflects light onto solar panels will actually facilitate more energy production.
Snowfall is a free cleaning service for solar panels. Although solar panels require minimum upkeep, some residents in dry areas like Arizona and Nevada may see less electricity production due to dust and dirt build up. Here in the front range, a fresh snowfall will clean any debris right up.
Do solar panels work if they are covered in snow?
No. If your solar panels are covered in snow, sunlight will not be able to reach them, and therefore they will not be able to produce any electricity.
How can I remove snow from my solar panels?
The best way to remove snow from solar panels is simply to wait until it melts. Not only is the sun a great way to produce renewable energy, but it is also extremely helpful in quickly removing snow from panels. With shining blue skies following most snowfall in Colorado and Wyoming, and average roofs sloping at about 30 degrees, snow will often melt and slide off of solar panels within a day of most major storms. For especially heavy snowfalls, some homeowners choose to remove the snow manually by spraying them with a garden hose, or using a roof rake.
Are solar panels hail resistant?
Yes! You can read more about how solar panels withstand hail here.
Thinking about solar and want a free quote?
Get in touch with your local experts at Apollo Energy.