Snow vs. Solar: The Cold Hard Facts

February 16, 2021

The short answer: Yes, solar panels work in the snow and cold temperatures.

Let us explain.

The sun is up, so our solar panels are working efficiently to produce clean renewable energy for power grids to help offset the high demand for energy due to cold temperatures.

Even in the most frigid weather, solar panels turn sunlight into electricity. Solar panels create energy from our sun’s abundant light—not the sun’s heat. Thus, even in the winter months, if sunlight is hitting a solar panel, it will generate electricity. Electronics in general run much more efficiently in cold temperatures. This means that a properly designed system has the capability of producing more energy per hour than it does during the summer, compensating for shorter days.

What about snow? It’s not as much of an issue as you may think. Snow is light and fluffy and most solar panels are designed to withstand a minimum amount of weight to maintain their durability and quality. Since solar panels are built at an angle and the surface of the modules is a smooth glass which makes it hard for anything to stick to them, snow usually slides off or melts before it can hinder the performance of the solar panel. Additionally, snow on the ground reflects light like a mirror, focusing the sun back onto panels for an extra boost.
Even if your solar panels are completely blocked with snow, you can easily get them cleaned or call a professional to wipe off the snow. Despite snow's ability to cover the solar panels, it is not as harmful to their output as it may seem to be.

Germany gets sunshine almost as much as Alaska. Yet, it has been leading the front in solar panel installations. They have used solar energy as a primary source in their national energy mix. Germany's use of solar panels is excellent proof of how cold weather doesn’t hinder the performance of solar panels.
So, if you are thinking to reduce your carbon footprint and save some serious money on electricity bills then don’t hesitate to install solar panels. It is a great way to generate electricity all year round, and minor issues like snow blockage and cloudy weather don’t count in the long run.