By The Loop Team • 7 July, 2020

Do solar panels work in the winter?

Yes, they do! Solar panels do work in winter. 

That’s because they’re powered by daylight rather than heat.

How solar panels work

Photovoltaic, or PV, cells are grouped together in panels which are usually mounted on your roof. Each photovoltaic cell fits between two thin layers of semi-conducting materials, usually silicone. When light energy from the sun strikes the solar cell, electrons are knocked loose from the atoms in the semiconductor material. These electrons can be captured in the form of an electric current.

Do solar panels work in the winter 1

Solar panels generate a direct current (DC) of electricity. They’re wired into your home and attached to an inverter, which will probably be in your loft, which turns the power into an alternating current (AC), the type of electricity we use day-to-day.

As solar panels convert energy from the sun into electricity, they’re 100% green and don't release any carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases. They also help you cut your energy bill, pair well with an electric car, and help you become more self-sufficient at home.

Winter, cloud and snow

As it’s daylight that powers solar panels, they still work in winter and on cloudy days.

This is true even during even the severest of winter weather, and research has shown that solar panels can generate electricity in snowy areas and other harsh environments. Light snow falling on your panels has little impact, as the wind can easily blow it off, and even heavier snow shouldn’t entirely stop electricity production.

Do solar panels work in the winter 2

However, while the winter can’t stop solar panels from working, their output will be lower than in the summer as the days are short.

But overall, solar panels enable you to benefit from a renewable energy source, the sun, all-year round, not just in the summer.


Subscribe to our regular newsletter below to become part of the Loop community, and receive regular updates to help you make smart decisions about using less energy.