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Do Solar Panels Work in the Winter?

Shah Newaz Alam Sep 29, 2018
People have many doubts regarding solar panels. One of them is that, do they work in the winter season? To answer this question, we need to understand how do these panels work.

What is Solar Energy?

It is the renewable energy derived from the sun. If proper ways can be found out for harnessing solar energy for meeting all our requirements, then undoubtedly, we will never face any more problems regarding energy requirements.
The amount of solar power or energy falling on the Earth is constant, and is referred to as the solar constant. It is the nuclear fusion reaction in the sun that causes the formation of this type of energy. Four hydrogen nuclei combine to form a helium atom in this reaction.
However, the helium atom formed by the fusion of the hydrogen nuclei has less mass, as compared to the combined mass of the hydrogen atoms. The remaining matter is send out into space in the form of radiation, or what we term as solar energy.

Working of Solar Panels

The solar energy falling on our planet can be conserved or used by any of the two methods, through photovoltaic cells or by boiling water. In the second case, the heat generated from the boiling water is used for the generation of solar energy.
Solar panels absorb the sun's energy, and convert it into electrical energy. These panels consists of a huge number of collectors, which are used for absorbing the sun's radiation, and the photovoltaic cells in the panels are charged in this process. The batteries can be used for meeting the electrical energy requirements at your home.

Working of Solar Panels in the Winter

The heat from the sun has nothing to do with the working of the panels. It is the sunlight that is responsible for this process.
Low temperature during the winter does not affect the working of these devices. In fact, in most of the cases, the panels work more efficiently during the winter months. Days in winter are shorter than the summer period. Hence, the panels are not exposed to sunlight for the same duration as that of the other seasons.
In most places, the sky remains clouded during the winter, which causes less amount of sunlight to reach the panels, thus reducing the electrical energy required. If the place where you are staying gets a lot of snowfall, then the panels may get covered by snow, and hence, the amount of solar energy reduces.
But you can always clean the panel's collectors, and besides this, in a day with bright sunlight, snow also melts very easily. The photovoltaic cells will get charged up during winter too, hence there is no problem in using solar panels, and thinking of their constraints during winter.