Using Solar Panels in the Winter Months

If you decide to get solar panels installed in the UK, then no doubt, one of your first concerns will be whether you’ll get enough sunshine. After all, the British weather is more than a little unpredictable, and winter can either mean snowstorms, mild weather, or a downpour. However, the good news is that solar panels have many satisfied users in the UK, many of who have used their panels for many years, and here are some ways you can ensure you get the most out of them during the winter months.

Solar Panels in snow

Bright sunlight isn’t needed

A common myth about solar panels is that they need bright, direct sunlight to work, but really, it’s daylight in general that will power your solar panels. While you may not be storing energy in batteries on cloudy days, you should have enough to run your home. Your output can drop down to 10% or so and still power most homes.

There are ways to improve efficiency

Ideally, you need to set up your panels correctly the first time round, as this will get you the best levels of efficiency from day one. According to energy experts, around half of solar panels have been installed the wrong way round, and anything casting shade will also reduce their efficiency, especially in the winter. Consider having your panels re-positioned if they’re not doing well.

If you’re still spending a lot on electric from the grid, then you may want to consider adding solar battery storage to your system. These basically function like batteries for solar panels, storing up energy rather than selling it back to the grid, and you can then use this stored energy at night or on days when you have higher energy needs.

Snow can improve solar panel performance

Solar Panels with snow on

In the coldest weather, you may find your solar panels actually work at their best. White snow can reflect light, powering your panels, while the cold temperatures can improve efficiency. During these times, it’s worth using battery storage for solar panels, as it means you can store more energy for the increased usage during the winter months.

The big freeze can sometimes cause problems for solar panels. If your panels get covered in snow, then they won’t work, as the light will be blocked. The UK doesn’t have a huge amount of snow that settles, but it can happen on occasion. You can prevent this by having your solar panels installed at a steep enough angle for the snow to clear itself. If this isn’t possible, then you may need a solar battery so that during heavy snowfall you don’t have to rely on the grid.

You can make the most of the unpredictable weather

Rain on solar panels

While the unpredictable nature of British weather may be annoying, using solar panels and battery storage allows you to make the most of the changeable seasons. Indian summer? You can store up energy to use later. There are often long periods of snow or rain with occasional sunny days, so it’s worth getting a battery for the days when conditions are ideal.

There are many reasons to opt for solar in your home, from saving money on energy to helping the environment and rest assured that the British weather doesn’t need to be a barrier to switching to clean energy.