Do Solar Panels Work In Michigan’s Cold Climate?

07.01.2021
2 min read

Anyone living in Detroit is familiar with the bitterly cold winters that are a hallmark of the region. It’s natural that if you’re looking into a residential solar energy system as a supplemental energy source, you’d question how it would function during the winter. We cover what you can expect from solar panels during a Michigan winter below. 

Snowfall and Solar Panels

Snow falls in Michigan from about November to April. That’s a lot of time spent under cloud cover! Fortunately, solar panels do not need direct sunlight to gather energy from the sun. Just like you can get a sunburn on a cloudy day, solar panels still receive enough sunlight to produce some amount of energy for your residence. The question is how much. 

Though solar panels will generate some energy, it likely will not be as much as on the sunnier, longer days of late spring, summer and early autumn. You may need to rely more on grid power during the winter months than at other times of the year. Alternatively, if you’re looking to potentially save more on your electric bills, you could invest in a battery backup system. This works in tandem with your solar panels. When solar panels produce excess electricity, it is stored in the battery backup system for later use. It’s also useful for overnight power or in case of a power outage. 

Snowy Solar Panel Cleanup

Another fact of life with those frigid winters — lots and lots of snow equals lots and lots of shoveling. So, when a foot of snow falls overnight, you may wonder what you need to do to protect your solar panels. The good news is that you don’t need to take any additional precautions. Each solar panel has a sheet of protective glass that prevents any water from reaching the sensitive circuitry. 

And the day after that foot of snowfall, you don’t need to break out a ladder to clean off the panels. The best thing to do when snow is covering your solar panels is to let the snow melt off of them in due course. Due to the potentially hazardous conditions and the damage that could be done to the panels in the process of clearing snow off, it’s best just to be patient and let the sun do its job melting the snow. You don’t want to void your solar panels’ warranty or get injured!  

Cold Weather Is No Problem With POWERHOME SOLAR

Michigan is a pretty chilly place year-round, but even mid-winter, the power of the sun knows no bounds. POWERHOME SOLAR’s local Detroit team has all the tricks you need to capitalize on solar energy as a clean alternative to fossil fuels that could potentially save you money on electricity bills over time. Contact us today to start your journey going solar!