Do Solar Panels Work During the Winter?

Snow covered house

Now here is a myth probably most of you have been wondering about. Is it true that solar panels only work properly during the summer while it’s bright and hot? Do cold weather, wind or snow affect the performance of your solar panels? Is there any way you can configure them to have increased exposure to the sun?

Let’s try and find out if these questions can be answered!

Solar panels do not require heat or a clear sky to produce energy. Sunlight is the only necessary resource, and it’s available to us 365 days of the year, so the answer is yes. Solar panels can and will produce energy for your home during the winter because sunlight is the only requirement for them to work.

Weather do not affect them too much; wind, rain or snow have no significant effect on the amount of sunlight that can reach the panels, although clouds can be somewhat of a hindrance because they physically block the sun, therefore reducing the amount of light the solar panels can absorb. Rain and wind can even help keep the panels stay clean and wipe off debris and dust.

There is a catch though.

Days are shorter during the winter and that means less sunlight and less effective energy. But still, even during the darkest days, they still can produce about a third of their optimal output, and that should be enough to cover the basic electricity needs for your home. As mentioned above, weather may not have a direct effect but panels need to have a clear contact with the sunlight. Light snow is nothing to worry about since the heat and the angle of the panel will help the snow melt and fall off, but in case of heavy snowfall, it is advisable to clean it off manually if really necessary. You can read more about how different weather conditions affect your solar panels here: 

Is there a reliable way to optimize your solar panels?

Yes, there is. During the winter the sun’s position is lower in the sky and therefore the optimal angle of your panels will also have to be lower. Depending on the system, you can adjust the angle throughout the year for optimum energy income. Some systems can be manually adjusted to have more sun coverage over the course of the year, some are programmed to adapt automatically to the position of the sun every day, but most of them (usually for domestic customers) are fixed on a roof and unfortunately, cannot move.

Is solar energy reliable during the winter?

The correct answer to this question is both yes and no. Due to shorter days and lower sun position during the winter, solar energy, unfortunately, is not the most reliable source of energy for your home. But you will be surprised just how much can be squeezed out during the colder part of the year. You shouldn’t really expect your solar system to be in complete charge of water warming or be able to run your electric heating, but this eco-friendly system sure pays off in the long run.

Contact Greenshine New Energy at

72 Fairbanks, Irvine, CA 92618, USA


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