With shorter days and accumulating snowfalls, winter can be a challenging time for anyone. If you have solar panels, you may be wondering what you need to do in order to power your home and business. While you won’t be getting as much output as you would be during the summer, there are steps you can take to maintain your solar panels and receive as much energy as you can.
Get rid of excess snow
Since solar panels are smooth, most of the snow that falls down will slide right off. However, if a sudden blizzard or winter storm hits your region, the snow may start to accumulate. Wait it out to see if the snow melts, but if it doesn’t, then hire a professional to scrape off the excess snow for you.
Readjust the angle
During the wintertime, the sun is at a lower angle. As such, you’ll need to adjust the angles of your panels accordingly in order for them to receive enough sunlight. You can figure out what angle is best for your location here.
No matter what you do, you won’t be receiving as much energy as you would be during the summer. This is simply because the days are shorter in the winter than they are in the summer. It’s best, then, to conserve as much energy as you can. Turn off the lights when you don’t need them, keep your house insulated, and use thermal curtains to keep your building warm.
Keep an eye on your battery bank
Extreme cold temperatures can wreak havoc on your battery bank, as lithium-ion batteries can’t perform at full capacity the colder it gets (for instance, a battery will only deliver at 50% at 0-degrees Fahrenheit). If you can, install your battery bank inside to properly protect from the cold. If, however, your battery bank is outside, then insulate it well and always have diagnostic tools on-hand to regularly check your battery bank. You should also have a generator as a back-up just in case your battery bank does fail.