Will my solar panel still work in winter?
Monday, 23 October 2017 | Admin
We quite often get asked if our range of solar panels will work in winter; the answer is yes but given that days are shorter and darker, the panels will only provide about a 10th of what they will produce in the summer months. There are a lot of factors that will also effect this, including the positioning of your solar panel, the geographical location and shading to name a few.
As a rough guide and not including any external factors, a 100w solar panel will produce up to 5 amps per hour on an ideal bright sunny summers day and if you were to charge a 100 mAh battery, it would take around 20 to 25 hours of bright sun to fully charge the battery. On an cloudy or overcast day, the same solar panel panel may only produce around 10-20% of its optimum output, so it is worth remembering this as we head into winter.
During the summer months a 100W panel can produce over a 24 hour period, 600-700Wh but during the winter months, over a 24 hour period, the same panel may only produce 80Wh. Again a 150W panel over a 24 hour period during the summer months can produce 900-1050Wh, over a 24 hour period during the winter months the same panel may produce 120Wh.
The bigger the battery, the more usable storage you will have; but if you are looking to expand your battery capacity, it may be worth remembering that you may also need to increase your solar panel system, otherwise it will take a lot longer to fully charge. To sustain the life of your leisure battery, you would ideally keep it from dropping below 50%; with this in mind, when you purchase a 100Ah battery, you have 50% usable storage.