Solar panels allow your home to take advantage of the sun’s energy to generate electricity for your home. They allow you to lower your utility bills while helping the environment at the same time. Maximizing the efficiency of your solar panel system increases these benefits and to do so, it’s important how to understand how the seasonal solar panel efficiency varies.
How Solar Panels Work
To understand how the seasons can affect the efficiency of solar panels, you first need to understand how solar energy works. Solar cells are made of two layers of silicon, one with a positive charge and one with a negative charge. When sunlight hits the cell, it causes a flow of ions between the two layers, generating an electric current.
Factors that affect solar panel efficiency and how they vary throughout the seasons:
One of the biggest factors that influence how much electricity panels can produce is how much light hits them during the day. This varies seasonally based on daylight hours and weather conditions.
Daylight hours peak during the summer and are at their lowest during the winter. This represents the overall amount of time that your panels are able to produce electricity from the sun, and can have a significant impact on the efficiency of your solar panels.
Seasons with more rain or cloudy days also result in a potential decrease in production. However, the panels can still produce energy in indirect sunlight, so you shouldn’t expect power input to stop completely.
Many people assume that summer is the top season for solar cell efficiency because of the abundant sunlight. While this factor does play a role, temperature also impacts how well solar panels produce electricity. Panels are less efficient at generating voltage in higher temperatures, although high-quality panels are designed to minimize the effects of this as much as possible.
Energy use does not technically influence how efficient your solar panel system is, but it can definitely influence your perception of this efficiency. During times of the year when you are using more power, your panels need to work harder to keep up with the demand.
In Arizona, energy use typically peaks during the summer as we run our air conditioning systems to stay cool. Cold temperatures in the winter can also increase demand, although this is often less pronounced here than in colder climates.
Efficient Solar Panel Systems
To get the most out of your solar panels, work with a skilled team of installers who will design a system that is optimized for efficiency year-round. At Solar Pros, we consider your typical energy usage, options for panel placement, and factors that affect solar efficiency throughout the year to create the best solar system for your needs. We can help you take advantage of our abundant sunlight in Arizona.