Is winter a good time for solar?

Much of the technology we take for granted would have seemed impossible 75 years ago. Computers, for instance, were complex behemoths used by the government to analyze arcane data–today, your iPhone has more raw computing power than the computer that sent the Apollo astronauts to the moon. It also takes better pictures than your old camera, better videos than your old camcorder, holds all your music, and if you’re lost, it can get you home again–this is basically like Star Trek. We’re still waiting on interstellar space travel and teleporters, although the self-driving car could be a step in that direction.

Harnessing the life-giving energy of the sun to power your home is similarly straight out of science fiction. And like most sci-fi scenarios, there’s a fair number of misconceptions about how solar energy works. One of the more common ones is that solar panels draw on heat from the sun, and are therefore ineffective in the winter. This isn’t the case. But don’t take our word for it–just take a look at this chart:

12months_PV_output_7kW_system

This shows the output of one of the solar systems we installed over a period of 12 months. As you can see, it continues producing year-round. The dip in production during the winter months is due to the shorter days, not lower temperatures. In fact, the system functions more efficiently in cooler temperatures, partially offsetting those shorter days. And of course, by spring,the system back to full capacity again. Science fiction? No, science fact!

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