The most common reasons are due to more cloud cover, shorter days and the angle of the sun. With the Winter months in full swing in Western Cape many solar power users are wondering if their homes can still be sufficiently powered. Winter in the Southern Hemisphere means more cloud cover, shorter days, and a difference in the angle of the sun, meaning a natural reduction in sunlight production. Climate conditions do not mean that your solar panels are not effective, however, it does mean that the solar output will decrease.

Do solar panels work in Winter?

Solar panels are powered by the sun’s light and not its heat. Photovoltaic panels are optimised for efficient output at 25℃. Even though the sunlight hours are reduced in Winter compared to Summer, solar panels will still produce power.

During Winter, in the Southern Hemisphere, we are tilted away from the sun and receive fewer direct rays, whereas the sun is more directly overhead in the summer months. This means that on a rainy, gloomy day, solar panels will operate at a lower efficiency because they are less exposed to direct sunlight. A difference in winter solar output is also that the panels start producing energy later in the day and finish producing earlier.

In the Western Cape, there is a 50% potential reduction in solar output from PV panels. InPower’s solar installation specialists can ensure your panels are optimised for the best possible winter solar output in Cape Town.

How to optimise your winter solar output

Reposition the tilt Solar panels should be oriented towards the North. This ensures that the panels will receive direct sunlight during the day. The optimal tilt angle on a solar panel is between 25 and 35 degrees.

Update the technology Add an inverter to your solar energy system that supports individual optimisers on the panels. This will manage generation per panel, reducing the impact of shade.

Limit shade If your panels are installed near trees, be sure to trim any branches or leaves. Less shade will be cast on the panels during the day.

Clean panels regularly  Solar panels need to be ‘cleaned’ several times a year. Falling foliage and changes in seasons can cause dust to sit on the panels. An approved installer like InPower ensures that your panels are always maintained for optimal efficiency.

Reliable Solar Power

With South Africa firmly in the grip of Stage 8 loadshedding, there can be no doubt that alternative energy sources are necessary. As well as being  a long term, affordable solution, and one of the best alternative energy sources, they also add value to your property.

The announcement earlier this year of a tax incentive for homes with solar panel installations has also seen an increase in the import of solar panels in South Africa; R3.6 billion in Q1 of 2023.

The City of Cape Town has also encouraged the installation of Small Scale Embedded Generation (SSEG) systems, and the purchase of surplus electricity (for cash) from homes and businesses.

Eskom’s ongoing loadsheding stage changes mean that, at present,  we are heavily reliant on alternative energy sources.

InPower’s range of solar installations with backup power guarantees an uninterrupted power supply for small, medium and large homes.