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Are Solar Panels in Canadian Winter Still Effective?

If you are thinking about switching from your traditional energy sources to solar panels, you might be wondering how effective they will be. During winter months in Canada, you can still harness the sun’s power to produce your electricity.


Being Independent Of the National Grid

Most energy companies are working towards reducing their use of fossil fuels and moving to more renewable forms of energy. However, this is not something that you are able to control. If you opt for a solar energy system then you know you have reduced your impact on the environment. 


The thought of being independent of the national grid and living a more economically friendly life is tempting but also daunting. Not tapping into the electricity supply that has been consistent can be concerning as no one wants their electricity to be temperamental or unavailable at certain times.


Solar Panels Use Light, Not Heat

Canada can get very cold in the winter and this is sometimes mistakenly thought of as a reason why solar panels would not be effective. Solar panels do not use the heat from the sun to generate electricity and so the temperature is largely irrelevant. The way solar panels work is by the sunlight hitting the panel, making electrons move which creates electricity. 


Therefore, if there is enough light to make the electrons move then electricity will be produced. It is true that electrons tend to move more or faster in warmer temperatures and so electricity production might be less during the winter, but this shouldn’t impact your system too much. If there is light, there can be electricity.


When Will Solar Panels Not be Effective?

As solar panels use the sun’s light, they will not be producing electricity during the night. This does have an impact in Canada during the winter because the hours of daylight will be reduced. With fewer hours to absorb light, the amount of electricity that can be produced is limited. 


Another factor to consider during the Canadian winter is the amount of snow. If solar panels get covered in snow then they won’t be effective as the sunlight is not able to get to the solar panel. Depending on how much snow falls, this may not be an issue as any residual heat produced by the solar panels will melt the snow and the angle they are installed at will mean it will just fall off. 


Storing Electricity for Dark, Wintery Days

If you live in an area of Canada where the winter will have a fairly big impact on the hours of sunlight or the amount of snow that may cover your solar panels, you will need to ensure you have an adequate storage system. Winter in Canada is certainly not a reason not to have solar panels installed as storing your electricity offers a perfect solution. 


When you have your solar energy system designed, ensure that a storage system capable of storing the required electricity is included. This will mean that you can enjoy a consistent energy supply throughout the day and night, and all year round.  

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