12/04/2018

How the NJ Seasons Affect Your Solar Panels

There is never a dull day in New Jersey! With all four seasons to enjoy, a single year brings us snow, rain, winds, and everything in between. As beautiful as the seasons are, the changing weather conditions place added stress on our homes.

For those with solar panels installed, a noticeable effect takes place when the seasons change. It’s important to understand how the weather impacts your own system so that you can have realistic expectations throughout the year.

Let’s explore the different ways that your solar system is impacted by New Jersey seasons.

Solar Panels in Summer

Many people assume that a hot summer’s day is ideal for solar energy production, but this isn’t exactly true. Solar energy is generated from light, not heat, so higher temperatures do not lead to more energy ─ higher production in the summertime is simply a result of longer days.

When the air temperature is cooler, the materials in your solar cells operate at a lower energy state. The sun that shines down onto the panels operates at a high energy state, making the energy production greater. On a hot day, the solar cells are already operating at a high energy state so when high-energy sunlight hits the cells, it’s less efficient.

Not all solar cells are the same, so it’s important to know the individual performance of your panels. Pay attention to the temperature coefficient, a percentage that tells you how much production levels drop after a certain temperature. For example, if you see a -0.50 percent temperature coefficient at 77 degrees, this means that energy production drops by half if the temperature is over 77 degrees.

Solar Panels in Winter

To much surprise, a cold winter’s day can improve solar panel output. For one, the chillier temperatures increase efficiency. Second, snow on the ground reflects light and boosts solar cell performance.

However, if your panels are covered with snow, they will have a harder time absorbing sunlight. Luckily, the angle of the panels should encourage the snow to melt off quickly. If this isn’t happening, clear off the panels using a roof rake.

People are often surprised to learn that cold, sunny weather is ideal for solar panels. As long as snow is not covering your panels, they can generate a lot of energy during the winter months. Perhaps this is why the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) has New Jersey ranked in the top 10 states for the highest amount of installed solar in 2016!

More homes and businesses are considering solar panel systems to control energy usage, improve efficiency, and decrease energy costs. For your estimate on residential solar panel installation in New Jersey, contact Suntuity Solar today.