Solar panels are a tremendous source of renewable, sustainable energy. Yet, many homeowners are concerned about what happens during the colder months of winter. With shorter days, lower temperatures, and occasional full days of clouds or rain, will there be enough production to power a home?
The answer is simply, “Yes.” Solar panel efficiency is less impacted by the temperature outside and more impacted by the amount of sunlight. So, here in the Valley of the Sun, we’re lucky. We have a bounty of sunshine throughout the year. Many homeowners are surprised to learn that solar panels actually perform better when the temperatures are cooler. Cooler temperatures actually increase the flow of electricity.
Still, there is an impact on production because of shorter days. However, this can be increased by ensuring solar panels are tilted seasonally so they are facing toward the sun. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, this means facing them south. With a racking system, solar panels can be tilted for maximum efficiency.
It’s also important to clean solar panels on an occasional basis for maximum efficiency. Since we live in the desert, dust and dirt can accumulate on panels. Cleaning them isn’t a difficult task, though. The most effective way to clean solar panels is with a hose and a bucket of soapy water. Basically, it’s the same process as washing a car at home. Water, and a non-abrasive sponge will do the trick.
Of course, you can also choose to get solar panels professionally cleaned. This is yet another reason to work with a qualified solar installer when considering solar for your home. They will continue to be there after installation to answer questions and help with cleaning recommendations and tips to ensure your system is operating as efficiently as possible.