How to Get Your Solar Panels Ready for Winter

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Let’s commencement with the bully news: Solar panels tin proceed to nutrient vigor passim the winter, adjacent erstwhile temperatures truly drop. (If you purchased star panels for your location and unrecorded determination with acold winters, you astir apt already cognize this.) But the less-convenient quality is that if your country is besides prone to snowfall and ice, you’ll request to bash a spot of attraction and prep enactment to support them functional.

Fortunately, determination are a fewer things you tin bash present to support your star panels operating arsenic smoothly arsenic imaginable during the colder months. In an nonfiction for CNET, Erin Gobler walks america done however to prep star panels for winter, and support them for the remainder of the season. Here’s what to know.

Re-angle your panels

Before we spell immoderate further, conscionable a speedy reminder that anterior to really making immoderate adjustments to your panels, you should tally this by your star sheet supplier to marque definite that it is, successful fact, your champion enactment for the wintertime months. They tin besides locomotion you done however to set the angles, successful lawsuit this isn’t thing you’ve done before.

Here’s Gobler to explicate wherefore adjusting the space of your star panels helps:

Because the prima is little during the wintertime than successful the summer, you’ll privation your panels astatine a steep space during those months. As an added perk, not lone volition a steeper space assistance to seizure much sunlight, but it volition besides assistance the snowfall to much easy autumn from your panels.

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Check your batteries

Most star sheet batteries weren’t designed to enactment successful frigid temperatures, truthful Gobler recommends keeping outdoor batteries insulated, oregon moving them indoors. If you’re opting to support them insulated outdoors, cheque successful connected them from time-to-time to marque definite the somesthesia is successful their optimal range. (This is info you tin either get from your work supplier oregon the owner’s manual.)

You besides request to show your batteries’ discharge levels, careless of whether they’re indoors oregon outdoors. According to Gobler, allowing your batteries to afloat discharge isn’t recommended, and, successful fact, “while immoderate batteries whitethorn beryllium suited for discharge levels of 70% to 80%, the recommended discharge level is really 50%.” (This is thing other to cheque successful your owner’s manual.)

If determination are circumstantial days erstwhile you cognize you’ll beryllium utilizing a batch of energy—like prepping for and/or hosting a vacation gathering—Gobler says you whitethorn privation to put successful a backup generator (if you haven’t already) and support it handy, conscionable successful case.

(Gently) region dense snow

Light oregon mean snowfall tends to descent disconnected oregon melt connected your star panels (which Gobler points retired is simply a bonus, due to the fact that it cleans the panels successful the process), but larger amounts of snowfall mightiness necessitate immoderate action.

“Solar panels that are covered successful snowfall simply won’t seizure sunlight successful the aforesaid way,” she writes. “Additionally, dense snowfall tin effect successful excessively overmuch value connected your star panels, putting accent connected the mounting points.”

But beryllium cautious (and gentle) erstwhile removing the snow, utilizing a brushed snowfall brushwood that won’t scratch the panels.

Be particularly mindful of vigor usage

Although we should ever wage attraction to and effort to trim the magnitude of vigor we use, it’s particularly important for those who trust astatine slightest partially connected star energy. Cooler temperatures and wintertime upwind aside, we’re each getting little sunlight this clip of year, which means getting little vigor from our star panels.

So, arsenic Gobler points out, that leaves you with the enactment of reducing your vigor usage, oregon being prepared to wage bigger bills implicit the adjacent fewer months. If you’re looking for ways to trim your vigor costs, you whitethorn want to revisit immoderate of Lifehacker’s previous coverage of this topic.