Will my solar system perform in winter?
Making the most of your solar system in winter.
IS SOLAR OBSOLETE IN WINTER?
Will my solar system perform in winter? Will my solar system handle increased power consumption over the season? How low will production go? Will I have to draw a significant amount more from the grid?
These questions are often posed to us and rightfully so. Installing solar is a notable investment for any home or business and making sure you will receive the greatest return on this investment is the main bottom line for most. While it is true that there is a drop in solar production over the winter months, that doesn’t mean your system becomes obsolete in the slightest.
DO LOWER TEMPERATURES MEAN LOWER PRODUCTION IS SOLAR OBSOLETE IN WINTER?
A common misconception about solar production is that solar panels work best on hot summer days. Solar panels rely on light to produce energy, not heat, so it doesn’t matter how hot the day is, what matters is the amount of time your panels receive direct sunlight. Australia, in particular, is lucky enough to have mild winters that still produce sunny days with minimal cloud cover meaning we see a much less notable drop in solar production compared to other places around the world. While homes and businesses will notice a drop in production caused from shorter days and weaker strength UV rays, it is far less significant than you’d imagine.
Below is the estimated daily average output of a 6.6kW solar system across the year in Brisbane:
A properly sized solar system, equipped with advanced, high quality components under the intense Queensland sun still produces enough solar power to cover the base load of the average home, even in winter. Of course there will be times, especially at night, where extra heating needs require an increased import from the grid however all in all, solar should support the majority of your needs during winter.
HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR SOLAR SYSTEM DURING WINTER
This seasonal change will show some inevitable changes in your electricity bill however, there are some proactive steps you can take to lessen the financial effects.
1. Maintenance –System faults and obstructions have an even larger impact on solar production in winter due to shortened days and lower sunlight strength. Ensuring your system is taking advantage of every drop of sunlight is vital for continued production. A general system health check ensuring your panels are free of dirt, debris and branches can help improve your production.
2. Tactical Consumption – Long summer days allow us to use higher consumption appliances at any point in the day as our energy production is higher to account for it. Peak performance hours in winter are shorter so it can be useful to optimise consumption when that window of opportunity presents itself. Using high consumption appliances like the washing machine, heating or pool pump during these peak hours means you can make the most out of the sun and draw as little from the grid as possible.
3. Solar panel placement – While north facing panes generally produce the most power, installing some alternating east or/or west facing panels can help with production in winter months as the sun sits lower in the sky.
While we can’t speak for other installers, here at Springers Solar we account for your winter consumption in the design and size your system along with many other factors to align with your energy needs. We take pride in installing only the highest quality components with proven performance to ensure your system performs in every condition for decades to come. Our in house team of engineers and solar experts tailor design your system around your home or businesses unique requirements, we do not use pre-designed systems.
If you want to find out more about installing solar or get an opinion on solar sizing for winter, contact us today!
Contact Us for a Free Quote
You can call us today, or fill out the form below for one of our experienced staff members to call you and discuss the quote. If you prefer an emailed response please make a note of that in the message. Make sure you also let us know what suburb you are from too