How Well Do Solar Panels Work In Winter? | Simply Solar

At Simply Solar, our mission is to build a cleaner, more sustainable future by helping homeowners and business owners throughout the San Francisco Bay Area make the switch to solar power. As the Bay Area’s number one rooftop solar installer, we offer top-of-the-line products and bring years of expertise to bear in designing our rooftop solar power systems for maximum output and efficiency. But while modern solar panels are remarkably powerful, they’re still vulnerable to changes in sunlight, and that begs the question: do solar panels work in the winter? 


How Well Do Solar Panels Work in the Winter? 

During the summertime, a rooftop solar array can power a home or a business and then some. But what happens when the days get shorter and temperatures drop? Do solar panels still work in the winter? 

The short answer is yes, solar panels absolutely work during the winter. In fact, the conversion of sunlight to electricity actually works better at colder temperatures, which means that rooftop solar panels often improve their efficiency in winter. Most home solar systems will see some level of reduction in total power generation due to fewer daylight hours or increased cloud cover, but the increased efficiency helps to minimize this shortfall. 

While snow is rarely a problem for our Bay Area rooftop solar panels, it’s worth mentioning that solar panels can’t produce electricity when they’re covered by snow. This is extremely rare, though: solar panels are flat, installed at an angle, and absorb heat from the sun as well as light, so it usually takes a heavy storm to coat them with snow. Normally, snow melts or slides off the panels during winter, allowing them to continue functioning normally. 

While overall solar power output usually falls during the winter, it’s important to remember that thanks to California’s smart grid and net metering system, you still come out ahead on an annual basis. By selling surplus power back to the grid during summertime, solar system owners more than make up for the amount of extra power they need to pull from the grid during winter.


Contact Your San Francisco Solar Panel Installers

In sum, solar panels do work in the winter, and the increased efficiency of the panels often means that the reduction in power is often less than people expect. And with the mild winters and frequent winter sunlight of the Bay Area, it’s even less of an issue for our customers! Ready to free yourself from the grid and reap the benefits of owning your own rooftop solar system? We make it simple – start the process and get your free solar estimate today!