Nationwide Home Solar Power Contractors and Information
We recently received an excellent question from one of our friendly readers to the north. Hailing from Calgary, the question is a common one among residents of Canada and the northern United States: "How will solar panels work in a climate with eight months of snowfall?"
There's no denying that solar power is not as effective in cold and cloudy climates as it is in sunny deserts or equatorial climates, but it does have its place. According to Natural Resources Canada, an average, grid-connected (no batteries) photovoltaic system in the Calgary area (southwestern Canada) has the potential for 1200-1400 kilowatt-hours of solar electricity each year. Obviously, that is not enough to power the average home, but could certainly make a difference, especially in that four months of relative sunshine. Still, don't look to solar to provide all your energy in Canada, unless you are living an especially energy-conservative lifestyle.
Our reader also brought up another important point regarding snow on the solar panels. She guessed right on the fact that the panels would not function if blocked by snow. In many cases, snow won't be much of an issue because the snow, if the panels are tilted at optimal angle toward the sun, will be inclined to slide off the smooth surface. Nonetheless, if you have solar panels in snowy climates, some winter maintenance will be necessary, such as a quick broom sweep. There shouldn't be a need to get them super clean of snow, as the panels create heat on their own from incident sunlight that will melt them clean. Of course, climbing up onto your roof in the dead of winter can be a dangerous proposition. For that reason, many folks in Canada, Alaska and similar locations opt for ground-mounted solar systems so that access is not an issue.
Thanks for your question and I hope we've answered it!
Interested in Home Solar Energy?
Fill in your details below and certified solar contractors will give you FREE estimates.
They stayed within the estimate, arrived here on time & did a great job, I would definitely use Don again & recommend him to anyone.
Very professional, handled changes that were made without a problem.