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Seasonal Solar Panel Performance

January 29th, 2021 | By Roger Kuznia

Home solar panels on roof

Solar panels perform best in cold, sunny weather because they generate energy from the sun’s light, not its heat. However, there are pros and cons to every season when it comes to performance and efficiency. Read on to learn more about why solar panel performance can vary by season.

How effective are solar panels in the fall?

Fall is one of the best times to go solar because solar panels are more efficient in cooler weather. While the fall months come with shortening days, the lower temperatures mean less energy is lost to heat, making it an effective time of year for panel performance.

How can solar energy production be lost due to heat? It’s easy to explain. The sun’s energy heats the electrons in a solar cell into a more excited resting state. When temperatures become exceptionally warm, those electrons in their excited resting state actually have less capacity to convert light into energy. So the cooler temperatures help solar panel efficiency.

Home solar panels on roof

How effective are solar panels in the spring?

Spring is one of the best times for your solar panels because the weather is warm, but not too hot. In fact, too much heat can cause your solar panels to decrease in efficiency as described above. Because the daily highs and lows stay within a reasonable temperature range (and days are getting longer), spring is an optimal time of year for your solar system (and your wallet).

Solar panels on roof of home with green lawn

How effective are solar panels in the winter?

It’s no secret that there’s less daylight during winter months. However, solar panels still receive more than enough peak sunlight hours in the wintertime to produce power for your home. In fact, solar panels work better in the cold because the panels aren’t losing as much of the energy because of heat loss. So despite the shortened days, you can expect your panels to perform during winter, as long as they are not covered by snow.

Solar panels on home with snow on ground

How effective are solar panels in the summer?

Summer months are also a great time for solar panel performance. With long days and multiple hours of peak sunlight, there’s plenty of opportunity to generate solar energy.

However, summer comes with its disadvantages, too. Solar panels need sunlight, but heat can hinder performance. When it’s hot outside, heat can penetrate your panel system and reduce the efficiency. This means less solar energy flowing into your home. However, the amount of sunlight during the summer means your chances of producing the most energy likely will still come in these months.

Solar panels on main house

When is the best season for solar energy production?

Simply put, solar panel performance depends on the amount of sunlight you get. Your solar system performs best during cold, sunny weather, which means each season has its trade-offs. That’s why it’s important to look at a full calendar year when evaluating solar production. The times of increased and decreased efficiency balance out over those 12 full months. Talk to a solar expert from Pink Energy today to learn more about solar panel performance and to request a free quote.

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