Yes – solar panels do work in winter. Contrary to popular belief, solar panels can still work under daylight, even if it's not hot. Of course, they won’t generate as much electricity as they would during the summer months, as the days are shorter, but they will still generate electricity during those daylight hours.
Once you know how solar panels work, it’s easy to understand why solar panels work in the winter. Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells, which are units usually made out of silicon. These cells contain electrons that create energy when light hits them. The cell can then convert this energy into usable electric current and into your system to be used around the home.
Although it might seem strange, solar PV cells can actually work better when it’s cold. Too much heat around the cell can cause it to be inefficient, due to the difference in energy between the energy from the sunlight and the electrons in the solar cell. During cold weather, the difference between them is higher, so more
The higher the energy difference between the two sets of energy sources, the more power that the cell can produce when it’s struck by light. Of course, the downside is that there are fewer daylight hours in the winter, so you’ll still see a drop in energy production – but at least you know that your solar panels are still working efficiently. The other thing to bear in mind is that obstructions like snow and lots of cloud cover will impact the amount of electricity your solar panels will produce. Luckily the UK doesn’t get too much heavy snow, so any snow that does settle on the panels will melt quickly. As for cloud cover, even on exceptionally cloudy days your panels will still generate some electricity – just not as much as they would on a clear day.