Solar Works In Any Type Of Weather

Solar needs sunlight to work. So what happens in winter? What happens on a cloudy day? Good news: it still works.

 Screencaps of the Enphase solar monitoring app, showing actual production of a small residential system in Utah on the longest and shortest days of the year

Screencaps of the Enphase solar monitoring app, showing actual production of a small residential system in Utah on the longest and shortest days of the year

Is my solar still producing in winter?

Yes! As long as there’s light in the sky, modern solar installations are able to capture some of it.

The longer answer is: yes, but it will vary. Things your solar installer should consider include:

·        How your roof or mounting angle will affect your system design

·        What type of panels and inverters you buy

·        Trees, weather, and other environmental factors

Here at Auric Solar, we offer a Production Guarantee on each system we install. Before we set foot on your doorstep, we calculate all of these factors and more. We’re not in the business of over-promising. We have monitoring specialists for any concerns that can’t be explained by normal weather phenomena.

  Get a free quote  for your very own custom roof analysis like this one!

Get a free quote for your very own custom roof analysis like this one!

We’ve even been featured in a recent case study for our use of high-definition imagery and accuracy in proposals. It’s all part of our in-house lifetime customer support on every Auric install.

What about rain?

We know those clouds are coming. Part of our Production Guarantee is a model of total sunlight potential on every home, based on atmospheric data and climate logs from over 40 years of research with the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL).

Consider this: you can still get a sunburn on a cloudy day. We’re not implying that solar will produce the same on a sunny day versus a rainy day. But thanks to net metering, you’ll still be running on solar power, in the form of credits built up during excess production on sunny days.

Furthermore, having electronic components, solar panels operate better when they stay a little cooler. Excessive heat can damage electronics over time. So, giving the solar panels a cold shower should help them last longer than, say, letting them bake all year round in the middle of the desert.

 Estimated annual production graph for a large residential solar array in Oregon

Estimated annual production graph for a large residential solar array in Oregon

 

What about snow?

Snow covering your panels will obviously prevent them from catching rays. But snow is just very cold water. It won’t hurt the panels, and as it melts, it’ll take dust and debris right off with it.

Our production model accounts for a certain amount of snow based on the region. And because you aren’t getting the bulk of your production in winter anyway, missing a day or two from snow isn’t going to hurt.

One thing your solar installer needs to avoid is potentially creating ice dams. If panels are mounted too close to valleys, dormers, or other solar arrays on your roof, it may allow buildup of snow and ice. Not only will this prolong the melting period, it can cause costly damage to your shingles and panels. We engineer every array to avoid pinch points like the one shown below, but some solar companies will try to fit panels where they shouldn’t, just to get a bigger sale or get the job done in a rush.

 Improper panel placement, and poor wire management, may lead to problems for this solar array and roof after winter storms

Improper panel placement, and poor wire management, may lead to problems for this solar array and roof after winter storms

What about inversion?

Residents of Salt Lake City and Boise know about this all too well. For the layperson, inversion is formed by airborne pollutants building up in the “bowl” created by our mountains during certain parts of the year. It’s gross - and potentially dangerous for many people - but your panels will still produce on socked-in days. Again, it’s not going to be peak efficiency, but there’s light in the sky.

One more thing: we install solar year round, so you don’t need to worry about waiting for brighter days to get the solar up and running. Check out our install team hard at work on this ground mounted array in Colorado.

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Solar works in any kind of weather, and so do we!