Do Solar Panels Still Work in Snowy Conditions?

This is a question that comes up often: “Will my solar panels continue to generate energy, even when it snows?”  The simple answer to that is YES!

Solar panels still work in snowy conditions. As a matter of fact, cold sunny weather is actually good for panels.  During the winter months, solar production is equally as strong as summer. And like most electronics, solar panels function more efficiently in cold conditions than in hot. This means that your panels will produce more power for each precious hour of sunshine during the short days of winter.

When it comes to snow, light amounts of it will have little impact on solar panels because it easily slides off, and as it melts off your panels, the snow will actually serve as way to clean them.  You see, snow actually adheres to dirt and grime that might have been sitting on your panels, and as it melts away, it takes all the dirt and dust along with it.   It’s a slightly different story however when heavy snow accumulates, which may temporarily limit the amount of energy produced by your solar panels.  But, while snow accumulation may block some light from reaching the solar circuit, light is still able to move through the snow and forward scattering brings more light to the solar cells than one might expect. So, even when panels are completely covered, they are still able to generate electricity.   If you experience a heavy snowfall, and the snow isn’t melting quickly enough, the snow can be easily removed. Following are some ideas for simple snow removal:

  1. Sweeping the solar panels free of snow
  2. Apply warm air to the system to help speed up the melting process
  3. Spraying the snow off with a garden hose

With winter in full affect, just know that your panels will still work and when the snow has disappeared you will have sparkling clean solar panels.


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For further information, please contact:
Brittaney Anderson
T: 480.348.2555

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