According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Ohio’s solar power generation will reach 1.2 gigawatt-hours in 2022, demonstrating that more Ohio residents and businesses are choosing solar energy as a clean, renewable, and economical energy source. source of energy. However, with the arrival of winter, there are also some challenges in the use and maintenance of solar panels. In this article, we’ll give you some practical tips and steps on how to protect and optimize your solar panels in Ohio during the winter.
Do Solar Panels Work in Winter?
Of course, solar panels work in the winter.
Heavy snow may cover your solar panels in Ohio, which will block the solar panels from absorbing sunlight and thus affect the power generation efficiency. Therefore, when you install solar panels in snowy areas in winter, the installer usually provides a larger installation angle so that the snow can slide down naturally due to gravity, without the need for manual snow removal work. Solar panels can still work normally when there is less snow. Solar panels can even absorb heat due to power generation and can melt snow on the surface. Additionally, surrounding snow reflects more light, making solar panels more efficient.
6 Practical Maintenance Steps for Solar Panels in Ohio
- Inspect your solar panels for any damage, dirt, or dust. You can use a soft-bristled brush or a damp cloth to gently clean your solar panels.
- Check that your solar system’s cables, connectors, and brackets are secure, intact, and waterproof. If you find any loose, broken, or corroded parts, you should replace or repair them promptly.
- Check that other components of the solar system, such as batteries, charge controllers, and inverters, may also need protection from cold and moisture. They should be kept in a dry and insulated place and inspected regularly for signs of corrosion or failure.
- Coat your solar panels with some antifreeze or waterproofing agent to prevent ice, snow, or moisture from seeping into your solar system and causing short circuits or corrosion.
- Install some heaters or fans underneath your solar panels in Ohio to increase the temperature of your solar panels, thereby increasing their efficiency in generating electricity. You can also use some remote controls or timers to control the on and off of these devices to save energy and costs.
- Use some smart monitoring systems or software to monitor the operating status of your solar panels in real-time, such as voltage, current, power, temperature, etc. This way you can detect and solve any problems in time to ensure the safety and stability of your solar panels
How to Get the Most from Your Solar Panels in Ohio
Adjusting the angle of your solar panels will allow your panels to receive more sunlight during the winter. Determining the best angle for solar panels depends on the latitude of your area and the seasonal changes in the sun. Generally speaking, adjusting the angle of a solar panel allows it to capture solar energy better and increase energy output.
The sun’s altitude angle varies in different regions. Solar altitude angle refers to the angle between the sun’s rays and the horizon. In areas close to the equator, the sun’s altitude angle is relatively high, while in areas near the poles, the sun’s altitude angle is relatively low.
You can use an online tool or a sun position calculator to get sun altitude information for your area. In addition to this, be aware that the sun’s position in the sky changes with the seasons. In winter, when the sun is relatively low, adjusting the angle of the solar panel can better absorb sunlight and increase the power generation of the solar panel.
In the northern hemisphere winter, the sun is relatively low in December and the daylight hours are short. Most U.S. states have relatively low solar altitude angles and relatively short solar paths. Northern states such as Minnesota, Maine, and Alaska may experience lower solar altitude angles because they are closer to the Arctic Circle. Southern states such as Florida, Texas, and California may still experience relatively high solar altitude angles in the winter, but they are still lower than in the summer, and investing in solar energy in these areas often provides higher benefits.
Some solar systems are equipped with solar tracking systems that automatically adjust the angle of the solar panels based on the position of the sun. This ensures that the solar panels always face the sun and capture maximum sunlight. If you’re not using a solar tracking system, you might consider manually adjusting the angle of your solar panels based on the seasons. You can adjust the angle of the solar panels to a more vertical position during the winter and then adjust them back to a horizontal angle when summer arrives.
Things to Note
If you have snow or ice on your solar panels, you can use a long-handled broom or car scraper to remove them, but be careful not to damage your solar panels. You can also wait for the snow or ice to melt naturally, as the surface of a solar panel is usually warmer than the surrounding temperature.
Of course, if you have installed solar panels, you can use a snow rake to remove the snow on the solar panels when it has not melted. It should be noted that although solar panels are durable, care should be taken to avoid damaging the solar panels, as damage caused by snow removal is not covered by the warranty.
Solar panels not only save you energy and costs during the winter, they also contribute to the environment. As long as you follow our guidelines, you can keep your solar panels in good condition and performing efficiently during the winter months. If you want to know more about solar energy, you can visit Sungold solar or contact us.