Solar power is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to grid-based energy. However, a myth about solar power that remains prevalent is that it doesn’t work well in the winter. Green Air Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. takes a look at whether or not solar panels remain efficient during this season.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
Photovoltaic (PV) cells inside solar panels absorb photons from sunlight and convert them into direct current (DC) electricity. A component called an inverter converts the raw DC electricity into AC, and regulates its voltage so it can be used in the household. A standard solar panel system is grid-tied, which means the inverter will still draw some power from the grid if there isn’t enough solar energy, such as when the sun goes down. If the solar panel only meets 75% of your house’s energy consumption, the remaining 25% will be taken from the grid.
A grid-tied system is usually enough for most households, however it still depends on a connection to the grid to operate. This means you won’t have power in case of a blackout. There are a couple of solutions to this: one is a solar battery system, which can be installed onto an existing grid-tied system and can provide as much as 8 hours’ worth of power at night or during a blackout. The other is an off-grid system where the house is completely disconnected from the grid, and the power is supplied entirely by the solar panel system and a more powerful set of batteries.
Do Solar Panels Work In the Winter?
In the winter months, there’s typically less sunlight available due to shorter days and more cloud cover. Under these conditions, solar panels won’t generate as much energy — but they will still continue to generate power, as long as there is enough light for the PV cells to absorb photons. Also, cold outdoor temperatures do not affect solar panels, as they are designed to withstand most outdoor conditions. This means you can enjoy energy savings from your solar panels even during the coldest months of the year.
According to the Department of Energy, heating and cooling can take up as much as half of your annual utility expenses. Investing in a solar panel system, as well as taking steps to making your home more energy-efficient, can help make your energy expenses more manageable. Pairing your solar panel system with a solar battery can also help you and your family through emergencies throughout the year.
Make the switch today and start benefiting from clean, renewable energy. Contact Green Air Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. today or call us at (925) 627-6527 for more information on our solar panel and charging station installation services in Concord, CA.