Winter is coming. Freezing temperatures, heavy snowfall, and rapid winds can all impact your solar panel system…unless you take the proper precautions. Solar panels are made to last, but a bit of maintenance and attention can ensure they produce as much energy as possible during the cold, short winter days.
1. Reduce Your Home’s Energy Consumption
While solar panels can pull power during the winter, it may be at a slightly reduced rate. Shorter days, overcast skies and snowfall will impact productivity, but you can minimize your electricity use to maximize your savings with these tips:
- Ensure your home is properly insulated
- Use a heating system that is automatically maintained
- Turn off lights when they are not being used
- Disconnect electronics that consume power even when off, such as TVs, cable boxes and laptops
- Open and close curtains when beneficial
- Replace high wattage bulbs with energy-efficient ones
2. Maintain Your Battery Bank
Cold weather can severely cut battery capacity and lifespan, but you can avoid issues with proper maintenance. Start by storing the solar panel system batteries in a well-insulated space with sufficient thermal mass and protection from sunlight, like a well-vented box in a garage or shed.
Technology can also play an important role in maintaining your batteries. Sensors can warn you if battery temperatures drop below recommended levels, charge controllers can help batteries reach 100% charge (based on temperature), and a battery management system (BMS) can monitor temperature and maximum capacity to prevent batteries from overcharging and exploding.
3. Keep Panels in Top Shape
Maintaining the panels themselves is most important, as you want them to work as efficiently as possible. Panels should be tilted at an angle of at least 40 degrees; that way, snow can’t collect as easily. An investment in a solar panel snow rake or similar tool made for removing snow is also recommended. If sunlight can’t reach the panels, they won’t produce energy. Also, if you can’t reach the snow because of the panels’ location, hire a professional. Finally, the bolts holding up the panels should be checked regularly. If they are loose, the wind could damage them, so tighten them as necessary.
Contact Us for Solar Panel Installation in New Jersey
Interested in transitioning to solar panels? Our New Jersey solar installation specialists can teach you how to take care of your solar panels, as well as the benefits of consistent clean energy.
Call (732) 253-4052 or contact us online to speak with a Sea Bright Solar representative today!