Snow vs Solar Panels

When the winter season blankets Canada in a layer of snow, questions about the effects of snow on solar systems often arise among homeowners.

Snow vs Solar Panels

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Snow & Solar Myths Debunked

When the winter season blankets Canada in a layer of snow, questions about the effects of snow on solar systems often arise among homeowners. At Orizon Energy, we understand the importance of dispelling myths and providing you with accurate information to help you maximize your solar investment, even during the winter months. In this section, we’ll share insights from a groundbreaking study conducted by the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), shedding light on the minimal impact of snow on solar systems and how you can optimize your system’s performance in the snowy Canadian climate.


The NAIT Study: The Truth About Snow

A comprehensive five-year study led by the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology aimed to quantify the annual impact of snow on solar panels. The results challenge common misconceptions and provide homeowners with a clearer understanding of how snow affects solar energy production.

Contrary to earlier beliefs, the study discovered that snowfall results in just a three per cent loss of solar energy production. This is a far cry from the anticipated 20 per cent loss that had been predicted due to accumulating snow. Tim Matthews, the technologist in charge of the NAIT study, expressed his surprise, saying, “Previous predictions expected as much as a 20 per cent loss in energy production due to accumulating snow.”

Furthermore, the study emphasized that the tilt of solar panels plays a more significant role in energy production than the amount of snowfall. Interestingly, the accumulation of dirt and dust on panels can impact energy production more substantially than snow. This finding underscores the importance of regular panel maintenance, regardless of the season.

A Collaborative Research Effort

The reference array snow study was initiated in 2012 through a collaboration with the City of Edmonton and the Solar Energy Society of Alberta. To measure the impact of snow on solar systems and assess how the tilt of each panel affects energy production, twelve solar modules were installed on the rooftop of the Shaw Theatre at NAIT’s campus.

These findings dispel common myths and provide valuable insights into the operation of solar systems during the winter in Canada. They also highlight the importance of proactive panel maintenance to ensure maximum energy production year-round.

For more detailed information about the NAIT Solar study, we invite you to explore the official NAIT study page. At Orizon Energy, we are dedicated to equipping Canadian homeowners with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their solar investments. Don’t let winter myths deter you. Embrace the season confidently, knowing that your solar panels can continue to thrive even in the snowy Canadian climate.

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