How Does Snow Affect Solar Panels?

We’re often asked about how snow affects solar panels, and with snow falling across the province today, we thought it would be a great time to share some info!

When we calculate the the expected production of our systems, our analysis takes into account the local weather (sun, clouds, fog, snow, etc.), based on 30+ years of weather data. The shorter days usually mean less overall production than in the summer, but solar panels produce very well in the winter, as (like most electronics) they function better when they are cold than when they are hot.

When they are covered in snow, panels will still absorb some sunlight through the snow as long as it isn’t too deep, and this helps to heat the panels up and encourages the snow to slide off. If your panels aren’t too inaccessible, you can always use a snow rake to help remove the snow. But, safety first! Losing a day or two of generation this time of year isn’t really a big deal – so don’t worry too much about it and definitely don’t put yourself in harm’s way!

If your panels are completely covered and you can’t reach them to brush them off, here’s something you can try: bounce a tennis ball off of them. This will create divots in the snow that will let some sunlight through and start the snow-shedding process.

Nova Scotia is a great place to generate solar energy – latitudinally speaking, we are on par with the south of France and much further south than Germany, where solar makes up a significant portion of their energy mix. And now, with the SolarHomes rebate of $1/watt, solar makes great economic sense in addition to being the right thing to do for the planet.

Questions? Get in touch! Just email

Amanda Brulé

Amanda is VP Sales & Residential Projects at SKYLIT.