How Do Season Changes Affect Solar Panels?

How Do Season Changes Affect Solar Panels?

Solar panels are a great long-term investment, but how do seasonal changes impact their efficiency? Should you be worried about paying more in one season than the other? The last thing you want to face are unexpected expenses from an investment that’s designed to save you money. Find out if you’ll need to make some adjustments to your annual budget to match the output from your solar panels.

Want help with a residential solar panel installation?
Contact Bell Solar & Electrical Systems today to save on energy all year!

What Factors Affect Solar Panel Efficiency?

Solar panels are rated to work in a certain set of conditions, but the amount of energy they can be expected to produce changes with the seasons. The physical location of your solar panels may also receive more or less sunlight as the position of the sun and shadows change throughout the year. It’s important to take seasonal changes into account when determining the placement of your solar panels. Stormy or cloudy weather can also reduce the amount of energy your panels collect, as can searing temperatures. 

Seasonal factors that can impact solar energy production include the following: 

  • Location
  • Weather
  • Time of day
  • Temperatures

Keep reading to find out how each of these can be affected throughout the year and what it means for your investment.

Location

The position of the sun will change throughout the year, with the solstice marking the point where the sun emits light with increasing or decreasing intensity for several months. A building and different parts of a roof can get more or less sunlight or shade throughout the year. To maximize your solar panels’ output, it’s important to avoid any shadows that can occur throughout the day across the seasons due to the changing position of the sun.

Weather

Much of Las Vegas’ cloudy weather occurs in the fall and winter, which already have less intense sunlight than the spring and summer. While your solar panels will continue to produce during these times, they’ll make less energy and you might have to draw from the power grid. High winds are common in the spring and summer and can blow dust or debris onto your solar panels, which may require cleaning to maintain optimal production.

The Time of Day

Las Vegas receives an average of 6.41 hours of peak sunlight per day, which increases to 7.13 hours in the summer and drops to 5.84 hours in the winter. Peak solar times vary throughout the day over the course of the year, with winter leading to higher energy production in the morning and less in the afternoon. This can impact how much you pay for energy, as you may have to draw from the grid during different times of day than in the summer. 

Temperatures

High temperatures during the peak solar production months can actually reduce the amount of energy that your solar panels are able to produce. Even though the sunlight is less intense in the fall, your panels can still produce a large amount of energy thanks to less stress being out on their systems. However, the loss in efficiency due to high temperatures usually hits a maximum of around 15 percent in Las Vegas.

Will I Pay More for Electricity in Winter With Solar Panels?

While your solar panels will likely produce less energy in the winter months, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to pay more. People often use less energy in Las Vegas in the winter, which can counterbalance your solar panels’ lower overall energy generation. Solar solutions can produce energy throughout the year and, despite seasonal variations, can help you save on overall energy expenses.

Save on Energy During All Seasons with Solar Panels

Even with seasonal variations, solar panels can reduce the amount you pay for energy and reduce volatility in energy pricing for your home. You can also avoid surprise charges when you know what to expect from your solar panels in each season. If you’re considering a residential solar panel installation, contact a reputable solar panel installation company, like us, today!