Posted on 20 April 2020
A common misconception surrounding solar panels is the idea that during the colder months, solar panels do not work as well or at all. While it is true that they generally produce less energy in the winter, due to shorter days with less consistent sunlight, you can still achieve maximum use of your solar panels, even in Australia’s coldest months.
Autumn is here and winter is just around the corner, which means solar panel users are thinking, “what can I do to maximise the energy conducted from my solar panels?”.
Did you know solar panels actually function better in cool, sunny weather than the relentless Australian summer heat? Most solar panels optimise at 25 degrees Celsius and for every degree above this, the panel’s output efficiency is reduced. With that being said, here are a few tips you can easily implement this winter to ensure you are still getting as much energy as possible from your solar panels.
Before installing solar panels, consider the optimal placement for them on your roof, which will depend on which way your home faces the sun. Whether it’s winter or summer, as long as they are not installed on a roof facing south, you should see a return on investment.
Also be sure your solar panels are placed at an optimum angle according to the sun. The general rule of thumb is that panels are angled at the latitude angle plus 15 degrees, to maximise winter sun exposure. However, in reality, the angle will depend on the architecture of your home. In Adelaide, solar panels will be positioned at an angle of 35 degrees, equal to the latitude angle of the city.
Each Autumn, consider performing an inspection on your solar panels in preparation for winter. During this time, give each one a good clean and scrub off any dirt or debris that may have been collected. If cleaning your own panels isn’t an option, consider reaching out to a service provider for solar panel maintenance and system checks. Regular checks help keep efficiency high and ensure your system is running properly.
If your solar panels perform well, you may have already looked into potentially connecting a battery to your system for increased storage. Solar battery storage gives you the opportunity to store solar energy to use during peak times. With winter comes cloudy days and shorter hours of sunlight, meaning that storing the energy collected on good days could be vital to energy efficiency on bad days. Installing a home battery can also save you even more money, as South Australian households will have access to $100 million in State Government subsidies and $100 million in loans to pay for the installation of home battery systems.
To learn more about the benefits of solar panels or to request a free quote to install a set on your home or business, contact Solar Power Direct for more information.