Do solar panels work in winter?

With the often unpredictable and sometimes temperamental British weather, many homeowners ask the very reasonable questions of whether solar panels work in winter, and whether they are suitable for our climate.
It is a widespread misconception that solar panels are not effective during winter. Whilst energy output may peak when exposed to direct UV rays, the temperature has little bearing on overall performance.

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Considerations

Even with rain, cloudier skies, or a mixture of both; solar panels will still work to produce electricity.

Solar panels are constructed from a semiconductive material, meaning that they generate electricity in response to any light, not just direct sunlight. This is why they are still fully functional even in winter.

Sometimes excess heat may actually impair a panel’s ability to work correctly. This means that there are some days in winter when panels work better than they would during extremely high temperatures in summer. So even though a solar panel will not produce as much electricity in winter as in the summer months, research suggests that a climate with both higher and lower temperatures may be beneficial to performance.

Not even a layer of snow impacts a solar panel’s performance, as the residual heat from the panel usually melts any snow that has settled relatively quickly.

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Installation

A professional solar panel supplier and installer is best placed to give advice on roof position and correct angles to ensure the maximum efficiency of solar panels for your particular home, taking into account its position and area of the country.

Manufacturers often personalise their products depending on the area of the country where they are to be installed. For instance, more northern regions do not receive as many hours of daylight as southern towns and cities.

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