How Do Seasons Affect Solar Panels?
Seasonal changes can significantly influence the amount of sunlight that people get every day. But how do seasons affect solar panels in collecting energy? Will the solar panels work even if clouds are covering the sun?
Many misconceptions surround solar panels, and some of them came about when this technology was still in its infancy.
Today, these panels are no longer as flimsy and inefficient as they were 30 years ago. Aside from converting more electricity even with indirect sunlight, they are now more durable – withstanding different weather conditions.
Installing solar solutions at home can produce sufficient energy for the entire year, regardless of seasonal fluctuations.
How Seasons Affect Solar Panels
Solar panels require a particular set of conditions to work in top efficiency. Here at Fusion Power, we always consider seasonal changes, even during installation.
While solar panels can still operate in areas only receiving indirect sunlight, it is still optimal to install them in places where they can remain unobstructed most of the time.
The position of the sun and the resulting shadows cast can change with the season. Therefore, our technicians at Fusion Power constantly ensure that long shadows cast by towering structures, tall trees, or chimneys will not block the installed panels.
Let us further examine the specifics of how seasons affect solar panels.
Solar Efficiency: Summer in AZ
It is only natural to assume that residential solar panel installation is more efficient in places like Arizona. After all, Arizona is the sunniest state in the U.S., receiving an annual sunlight average of 5,755 kilojoules per square meter.
While solar panels receive more sunlight during summer, the energy produced is slightly lesser than in cooler months. However, extreme heat is hard on electronics. As a result, the maximum loss in efficiency during summer in AZ peaks at around 15%.
Still, even with the effects of hot temperature, proper solar panel installation can produce more than enough electricity to power homes because of the abundance of direct sunlight they receive.
Solar Efficiency: Winter in AZ
During winter, days are naturally shorter – resulting in less time for solar panels to receive and convert sunlight to energy. However, solar panels can still collect and produce energy even on cloudy days. Additionally, Arizona is free from winter storms and snowfall during this season, with zero chance of snow accumulating on the panels.
While solar panels have slightly less light to process, the efficiency is higher since the electronic parts operate better in cooler temperatures.
Another factor that can affect the decreased throughput of solar panels is the sun’s angle. The sun’s rays cannot directly hit the panels during this season when it does not peak at a higher point.
Even with a lower amount of sunlight to process, the reduced productivity of solar panels will not increase energy costs. Since Arizona residents use less energy during this season, it counterbalances the reduced energy generation of solar panels.
Solar Efficiency in Spring and Fall
During spring and fall, the amount of sunlight may not be as abundant as it is in the summer, but panels operate at a higher efficiency during this time. Compared to winter, cloud cover is not as thick, and the sun sits at a higher angle. All of these conditions allow solar panels to produce more than enough energy during these two seasons.
Experience the Benefits of Solar Panels All-Year-Round
Recent developments in solar technology help homeowners reap its benefits throughout the year. The effects of each season on solar panels do not hinder their ability to produce power. Even if there are variations in energy output, the fluctuations in energy cost are not as volatile as the pricing when connected to a power grid.
Contact us today to learn more about how seasons affect solar panels, and start saving on energy regardless of the season with our free assessment for residential solar installation.