Question #7: Are Solar Panels Viable in Cold Climates? Will They Still Work When It's Cloudy/Rainy/Snowy?

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Written by Sarah Hancock | Last Updated November 1st, 2019
Sarah Hancock is passionate about green living and sustainability. She frequently writes about renewable energy and manages the Solar blog at BestCompany.com.

This is the seventh question in a twelve-question series. Please click here to read the introduction, as well as access the other questions in the series. Or, download the printable ebook to view the entire series.

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"Yes. Sun exposure is important, so the payback is not as quick, but many cold climate areas have successful solar programs. Very little and this depends on the inverter. Micro inverters tend to work better. A while ago, thin film technology was picking up speed (solyndra) and they worked in cloudy conditions however the price of Crystalline panels came down and they are more efficient." -Teris Pantazes

"Yes. We are in cold, cloudy Massachusetts. What I don't understand is why the entire Southwest hasn't switched over. If we can make it work, it would be so easy for them!" -Shel Horowitz

"Yes - the panels will work in all temperatures - just at a lower efficiency. The panels use daylight to generate, so they will generate some energy but not a huge amount." -Mark Stevenson

"Yes, it works in all climates provided there's adequate space and minimal or no shading" -Geoff Mirkin

"Absolutely. Like any electrical device, solar panels actually perform better under cooler temperatures. Cool, sunny locations can create some of the most efficient output of solar panels. But, solar needs the sun to shine, for the most part. While there is still a measurable output, even under partly cloudy conditions, solar is typically not as effective on rainy days, and snow covered panels will not produce much either." -Greg Reed

"Yes. Yes, but not as effectively as on a bright sunny day." -Julio Daniel Hernandez

"Yes, viability of solar panels is reliant on availability of sun hours. Temperature is not a major factor, however solar panels work better in cooler climates than hotter ones. Panel efficiency actually decreases as temperatures raise too much. Panels will still work in cloudy weather, but not as well as when the sun is directly shining on them." -Matt Stoutenburg

Click here to go on to Question #8: Will Solar Panels Still Generage Power During Grid Blackouts?

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