Sunlight not only charges your batteries but also powers your solar panels. Due to the less amount of daylight each day during the winter, it is especially important to make sure the energy storage component of an off-grid solar system or grid-tie solar system with battery backup is operating properly. In the northern United States and Canada, winter can, unfortunately, bring exceptionally cold temperatures, creating the worst conceivable environmental conditions for those deep-cycle batteries.
However, just because deep-cycle solar batteries perform less well in cold weather doesn’t imply you have to use them all winter. You are wondering how we can improve the performance of solar batteries at the time of year when you depend on them. By learning a few easy tips mentioned here you can keep batteries warm in winter, a very coldy season.
Do solar panels work in the winter?
Winter months are the most demanding for solar energy systems, yet they operate. Your solar energy system will function effectively even during the coldest winter months if you take the necessary safeguards.
Which types of Solar panel components can withstand snow loads
It is highly advised to buy solar panels tested to resist a particular snow load if you reside in a nation with a lot of snow and wind during the winter. Most IEC/UL-certified solar panels can withstand 2400Pa of snow and wind load. However, if you predict receiving meters of snow each winter, it’s strongly advised to get a more durable kind, such as panels that can withstand a 5400 Pa snow load. Even panels that can resist 7200Pa of snow load are available nowadays! The pressure from the snow will be extremely high when meters of snow accumulate and begin to melt or rain.
Performance of solar system in winter
Wintertime’s shorter days and “lower angle” of sunlight hitting the panel further reduce the amount of sunlight used to generate electricity. Wintertime is frequently when electricity demand is at its highest. Your solar power system will be tested in this situation, and you’ll learn if you sized it properly.
Best 10 tips for making to secure you solar system in demanding winter
Here are some helpful ideas to make sure your PV system operates at its best throughout the chilly winter months:
- Set the solar array’s tilt angle to the winter angle to get the most out of your solar system.
- Make sure you only employ the bare minimum of loads. When not necessary, turn off the excess illumination.
- Disconnect any phantom loads that continue to draw power while plugged in, even when not in use. The television serves as the ideal illustration. A TV plugged in uses the same amount of energy for 24 hours as it does for 30 minutes of operation.
- All of the high-wattage bulbs should be replaced with energy-saving models. Without reducing light output, you might save around 75% of the energy used by a 60-watt bulb by swapping it out for a 15-watt CFL.
- Never allow the battery temperature to fall below zero degrees, and pay constant attention to it.
- Keep an eye on the voltage in each lead-acid battery cell. The majority of batteries degrade gradually rather than suddenly. Regular voltage checks help find potential issues sooner rather than later.
- To save heat, make sure your home has adequate insulation.
- Use a heating system that, with the aid of a digital thermostat, maintains a fixed temperature automatically.
- Lastly, if a steady power supply is necessary, be sure to have a backup generator prepared and functionally tested beforehand. Additionally, a fuel supply would be useful.
- As an added tip you can use smart home devices that use Weather API to monitor weather and adjust the heating of the heater accordingly.
The simple conclusion is that you must carefully maintain your solar system throughout the severe winter months. You must minimize your use while maximizing your electricity generation. Remember that you are now your own electricity company, and one of your duties is to plan and maintain properly.
Make sure the compartment is well insulated if the batteries are installed outdoors, or install the batteries indoors. Don’t forget that at above -20 degree temperature batteries made up of lead would freeze and become useless.