Solar Panels & Battery Storage Through the Seasons

When homeowners are deciding whether to purchase or finance a home solar system (with or without solar storage), they often wonder what effect the weather will have on their investment. There are many factors to consider when making your decision to go solar, and sometimes it can be dependent on the climate you live in. One thing is guaranteed: your solar system equipment is manufactured and built to last.  

Most solar panels can withstand up to 140 mph winds and hail as big as ping pong balls up to 70 mph. The solar industry has conducted rigorous equipment testing over the last several years to develop standards for durability in multiple climates. To support this research, your home solar system comes with both a performance and equipment warranty that an Energy Consultant can review more in detail.  

When Do my Solar Panels Perform the Best?

It is a common assumption that solar panels perform the best during the summer months, but the facts are a bit more complicated than that. The days are longer this time of year, which means we get more hours of sun. Longer days do not physically affect system performance, but it increases your solar electricity production due to more sunlight exposure.

Solar panels perform more efficiently in cool, sunny climates. Lower temperatures actually increase your panel voltage, and you will always have the ability to turn sunlight into electricity when the weather is favorable. Your system will not produce solar electricity at night or when it’s cloudy, and overall production decreases when the days are shorter. Production may decrease even more due to heavy snow or ice in the winter months, which is why longer, sunny summer days are so important for the efficacy of your solar system production.  

Any Tips or Facts I Need to Know About my Solar Panels in Icy or Snowy Conditions?

solar panels in winter, solar panels with snow

There are a few things to keep in mind during winter months in climates that are subject to ice and snow. First, it is a common misconception that solar panels heat up snow and speed up the melting process. Due to the smooth glass surfaces, however, homes with solar panels tend to shed snow faster than homes without them. With your safety and the protection of your equipment in mind, we recommend you let the snow melt and shed naturally.  

Additionally, freezing conditions could affect your system’s production ― even if the sun is shining. Ice can reduce and potentially block UV rays, which can result in a production decrease. We recommend that customers do not attempt to melt the ice and instead, let it happen naturally.  

Are My Solar Panels Affected by Heat?
As mentioned, your system has higher production in the summer months due to longer days. This has nothing to do with temperature. Your panels do not require heat to function – in fact, they are about 10-25% less efficient on 90-degree days or higher.  

Solar panels are more efficient in colder weather months, which helps offset any negative affect that heat may have on them. Sigora Solar’s installation methods also help mitigate negative outcomes related to high temperatures to ensure your system is always producing.  

I Have a Tesla Powerwall. How Does the Weather Affect Battery Storage Performance?

Tesla Powerwalls are built for both indoor and outdoor installation, and they have the ability to withstand a wide range of extreme temperatures between -4°F and 122°F. Humidity, rain, and ice do not pose risks to your solar batteries, but it is advised by Tesla not to install them in areas that are subject to flooding, significant exposure to direct sunlight, or sustained high or low temperatures. The batteries should also be kept free of debris and snow accumulation to ensure they are performing optimally.

During cold winter months, if your firmware is current, your solar batteries will preheat in the morning and startup seamlessly. Colder temperatures may increase the warmup time of your batteries, and if they are already running, the startup process may take longer than usual.  

All in all, your battery is minimally affected by cold temperatures. During grid blackouts, we urge all Tesla Powerwall customers to limit their energy consumption to essential appliances only in order to extend the battery life. This is to ensure your battery life lasts during a major long-term power outage.  

How Do I Check my Firmware Status?

If you are a Sigora Solar customer and you want to check your firmware status or have other questions about your Powerwall, please contact Tesla Support at 877-798-3752 and select option 2, then option 5. If you own another type of battery or you want to ask questions about your Sigora solar panels, please contact Technical Support for further assistance at 

If you do not have solar yet but you are interested in seeing if your home is eligible, visit us at or give us a call at 434-465-6192.  

tesla, tesla powerwall, tesla battery, battery storage, renewable energy
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