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Do solar panels work in winter?

Solar panels work in winter – and all year round – to give your home renewable energy. We’re here to bust the myth that the UK winter and wet weather means your solar panels stop working.

While we might not get as many daylight hours in winter, your panels will still be working during the daylight, whatever the weather.

Let’s take a look at how solar panels work in winter.

How solar panels work year-round

To understand why solar panels work year-round, it helps to appreciate how solar panels generate electricity. The panels are made of many photovoltaic cells. When light (photons) hits these cells, it knocks electrons loose from their atoms, generating energy. Not just direct sunlight, but diffuse light will also activate solar panels, which is why they can still produce electricity even when it’s cloudy or raining. 

Naturally, the more light there is available, the more electricity your panels can generate. It follows that you’ll have more electricity in the summer than in the winter as there are more daylight hours.  

This is why, when we look at the best solar panel placement on your building, we look for how obstructions like chimneys might affect the panel efficiency. We make sure that if a panel is in the shade for part of the day, the panels are set up to balance out the productivity of all the panels. This helps deliver the optimal level of electricity to your home. 

Are solar panels worth it in the UK winter? 

While solar panel efficiency does drop in winter they are still worth the investment in the UK winter.  Efficiency can drop between 25% to 50% during the peak cold months when the days are shorter but given the right set up, you can still be generating enough electricity during the darkest winter months. 

The time of year isn’t the only factor that will affect efficiency. 

When it comes to achieving optimal performance throughout the year, it is worth noting that both hybrid and monocrystalline panels tend to outperform their polycrystalline counterparts in terms of efficiency per square foot. This is due to their advanced design and superior energy conversion capabilities, which allow them to harness more sunlight and generate higher electricity yields.

And perhaps most surprisingly of all, solar panels can still work even when covered with light snow. The angled design of the panels can prevent any initial build-up, whilst any snow that does land can be melted by the heat generated before it becomes a problem.

Book a free home survey with your local Glowb surveyor today!

Built-in weather resilience

The UK is known for its inclement weather and the rain is a source of our beautiful green countryside. Solar panels will still perform during rain, wind and a winter chill including any snow days. 

Solar panels are robust and our installers consider the impact of anything in the immediate area when installing your panels. This includes making sure they are fully weatherproof. 

What temperature do solar panels stop working? 

Solar panels are pretty durable in the cold weather and it takes up around -30 degrees for them to stop working, which is just slightly warmer than the average temperature in the Arctic Circle.  While the UK winters might feel pretty cold sometimes, it never gets cold enough to stop your solar panels from working. 

Will solar panels work on cloudy days? 

Solar panels need direct or indirect sunlight so while it’s daytime, your solar panels will still generate electricity. Of course, a beautiful sunny day will generate more electricity than a cloudy day but your home will still reap the benefits of solar energy regardless of the weather. 

Start your solar panel journey today

Ready to have a green energy home year-round? Book your consultation with our team today. 

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  • What your neighbours** are saying about us

    **ok fine, they may not live on your road, but they’re useful testimonials regardless!

    5/5

    “Glowb have been great and we are delighted with the finished product. The whole team (all the trades people) have been super helpful and friendly. They have also built a plan and design to suit our house which most solar companies won’t do. We are delighted with the end product”.

    Jeremy, London

    5/5

    “An amazing solar installation company. We were absolutely delighted by our whole experience with Glowb. We had received a number of other quotations from other suppliers but Glowb stood out. We are now producing an enormous amount of energy and pretty much self-sufficient most of the time. The whole system seems to be working even better than we had hoped. We would highly recommend anybody considering a solar installation to contact Glowb”.

    Clive, Staffordshire

    5/5

    “Glowb designed a solution for our home and usage that seemed more carefully thought out than other companies we got quotes from. The team were friendly and courteous and kept us in the loop, and we always felt that the guys on-site and those back at base were all determined to deliver the best outcome. It wasn’t the simplest installation, but everybody’s attitude, professionalism and expertise made it as stress-free for us as it could possibly have been”.

    Joel, Bedfordshire

    5/5

    “Glowb have been great and we are delighted with the finished product. The whole team (all the trades people) have been super helpful and friendly. They have also built a plan and design to suit our house which most solar companies won’t do. We are delighted with the end product”.

    5/5

    “An amazing solar installation company. We were absolutely delighted by our whole experience with Glowb. We had received a number of other quotations from other suppliers but Glowb stood out. We are now producing an enormous amount of energy and pretty much self-sufficient most of the time. The whole system seems to be working even better than we had hoped. We would highly recommend anybody considering a solar installation to contact Glowb”.

    5/5

    “Glowb designed a solution for our home and usage that seemed more carefully thought out than other companies we got quotes from. The team were friendly and courteous and kept us in the loop, and we always felt that the guys on-site and those back at base were all determined to deliver the best outcome. It wasn’t the simplest installation, but everybody’s attitude, professionalism and expertise made it as stress-free for us as it could possibly have been”.

    Jeremy, London

    Clive, Staffordshire

    Joel, Bedfordshire