Winter is in full swing across Australia, which typically brings a flurry of questions about a solar systems efficiency during these colder months. While it’s no secret that solar systems are most efficient when the sun is highest in the sky and the daylight hours are long, that doesn’t mean that they don’t perform well in winter.
If you are considering making the switch to solar energy, don’t let the idea of winter deter you. Here’s all you need to know about solar systems in the winter and how to maximise their performance.
Do solar panels work in winter?
This is one of the most common questions our team receives regarding our residential solar power systems. The short answer is yes, solar panels work even when it’s below freezing, because they convert sunlight into electricity, not heat.
In fact, a solar panel’s efficiency is actually improved in lower temperatures – rather, it’s winter’s shorter sunshine hours that can decrease output from June to August. However, the decrease is not drastic enough to write off using solar power in your home.
Tips For Maximising Solar Systems Efficiency In Winter
Chase the winter sun.
Your solar panels will achieve the highest energy output when they are directly facing the sun. Because the sun is lower in winter, it will hit your solar panels at a different angle than in summer. If you already have your panels installed and they are adjustable, you can tilt your panels during winter to catch the most sun possible.
Check your panels regularly.
Since the days are shorter in winter, you will want to make sure that when your panels do see sun, they are not obstructed in any way. This includes regularly checking for any leaves, grime or dirt build up on your panels. You will also want to observe your panels throughout the day to lookout for any branches you may need to trim if they cast a shadow on your panels at any point of the day.
Consider your appliances.
For the best results from your solar system in winter, you should schedule out when you are going to use your appliances and make energy-saving swaps. Here are some quick tips to extend your winter solar power:
- Consider using home appliances only during daylight hours, if possible.
- Run your high-energy appliances like dishwashers and washing machines only on sunny days.
- Change high-wattage lights to warm white LED lights to save energy.
- Consider swapping appliances to ones with good energy ratings.
Invest in a solar battery.
During wintertime, you’ll still have many days where the sky is clear and the sun is shining. When these days do occur, storing the energy could be extremely beneficial – especially for those living in places where consecutive cloudy days are common in winter. Purchasing a solar system and battery together or adding a battery to your current system can extend electricity into the evenings in winter.
Start Saving With Solar Power Today
Our team is committed to helping Australian families discover the benefits of solar power for their homes, even during winter. If you are interested in installing a system in your home or are looking for additional details on how you can save money on your electricity bills, contact Solar Service Group on 1300 40 41 42.