During the winter, solar panels will produce less energy for your Albuquerque home. This is for a variety of reasons, including the shorter days, the sun’s lower angle in the sky, and the presence of snow. That said, solar panels can perform well in cold temperatures, as the panels are less likely to hit their peak temperature and may therefore produce solar energy more efficiently. So, maintaining solar panels to ensure that they perform optimally in the winter is important for solar panel owners.
While lower output is inevitable in the winter, you can get the most out of your panels in the winter by taking proper maintenance measures. Below, you’ll find out top solar panel maintenance tips to implement during the winter months.
Clean Off Your Solar Panels
While, as we mentioned above, solar panels can perform well in colder temperatures, snow accumulation is undoubtedly an obstacle. Heavy snowfall can take time to melt off of the surface of your solar panels. When snow is sitting on top of the panels, they’ll be inhibited from producing energy from the sun.
To keep snowfall from obstructing your solar panels, clear snow and ice off of the surface of your panels whenever possible. This is usually only necessary after a large snowstorm. After smaller snowstorms, the sun will likely melt the snow naturally in very little time. Solar panels have a dark surface that will accelerate the melting process in direct sunlight.
Note that you should only try to clear snow and ice off of your solar panels if it’s safe to do so. If your solar panels aren’t safely accessible for cleaning, contact your Albuquerque solar experts for help. It’s not worth it to injure yourself trying to clean snow off of your solar panels.
To clean snow off of your solar panels, you can take a few different approaches:
- Use a hose to spray the snow and ice off of the panels. If you opt for this method, be mindful of the temperature of the water. It should be lukewarm, as cold water may freeze the snow further, and hot water could create too drastic of a temperature change.
- If you can access your roof safely, you can use a non-abrasive brush or broom to sweep the snow off of your panels.
Save Energy At Home
Conserving energy at home is one way to maintain your solar panel system during the winter. By using less energy, you can ensure that the energy produced by your solar panels will be enough to power your Albuquerque home.
Here are some energy conservation tips to implement at home:
- Check on your home’s insulation and ventilation. Both are crucial to the energy efficiency of your home.
- Turn off the lights when you leave a room or leave the house.
- Switch to LED light bulbs, which are far more efficient and will use less energy over time.
- Keep the windows and doors closed while your heater is running.
- Unplug electronics when you aren’t using them.
- Consider thermal curtains to prevent heat loss through the windows.
Ensuring that your household isn’t wasting energy is even more important during the winter months, when your solar panels won’t be producing as much energy.
Take Care of The Batteries
Your solar panels’ deep cycle batteries need to be maintained for optimal performance. To maintain the batteries, first ensure that they’re installed inside. This is important for temperature regulation, as the batteries’ performance can suffer in extreme temperatures. If the deep cycle batteries are installed outside, be sure that they’re housed in an insulated compartment. If the temperature outside drops below zero, lead-acid batteries may freeze.
Additionally, check the battery voltage of the panels’ deep cycle batteries. It’s important to charge the batteries if they drop under 12 Volts DC.
As a final battery tip, if you own an off-grid solar panel system, keep an ample store of antifreeze distilled water. You may need it for the batteries and check on the water level to know when it’s time to refill.
We at EcoSave Solar are here to help with all of your solar panel needs. Contact us today for more information about solar panels in Albuquerque.