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Solar power works in extreme cold

A Solar field during the winter months

Solar power works in cold climates, last week many false claims where made about solar not working in extreme cold conditions like the ones observed during the polar vortex. Solar panels work by having a layer of silicon cells, when these cells are hit by light, electrons begin to move, thus causing a flow of electric current. Solar panels create electricity by using the sun's radiation which comes in the form of light, solar panels do not use the sun's heat.

The solar panels will continue to work as long as the sun's light is hitting them, no matter the cold. It has actually been proven that solar panels are more efficient in cooler temperatures. The optimal conditions for solar panels is that where it is cool and sunny, furthermore lab tests have even proven that temperatures above 77°F causes solar panels to become less efficient!

Solar power is so reliable in cold weather that they are used in McMurdo station. This station is the primary hub for U.S scientific operations, it is located in Antarctica. Where temperatures can be as low as -129.28°F (coldest recorded temperature) To further prove solars reliability in extreme cold The International Space Station is also powered by solar.

However having solar in the winter does come with certain drawbacks. Factors such as shorter days, snow cover, clouds and lower angles of the sun can all cause solar panels to reduce how much sunlight they can harvest. But these factors also affect other markets that are reliant on the sun, such as farming. If you wish to read the original article head over to


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