Crisp evenings, pumpkin spice lattes, sweaters, boots, and scenic vistas. Fall brings many eagerly awaited perks. However, due to Earth’s rotation, America, and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, is tilting away from the sun during autumn. In fact, the autumnal equinox is marked by the North Pole being as far from the sun as it will be all year.
Because of this, light waves in the fall are more indirect. Indirect light and greater distance from the sun spurs drops in temperature and less solar energy production. This compounded by shortened daylight hours also caused by Earth’s tilt. Because of this, solar panel owners will see a drop in production during fall, but there are things one can do to better utilize September sun.
Change Tilt of Solar Panels
As the angle of sunlight changes, the angle of solar panels need to change for optimum production. While summer and winter shifts are customary, an autumnal shift could be helpful as well. Be sure to discuss how panels should be tilted in the winter versus the summer with a professional.
Solar panels can operate with a little grime, so there is no need to clean them often, but a cleaning during autumn could help boost production a little. Unless the array is really dirty, a garden hose should do the job. Otherwise, a spray bottle of warm soapy water and a soft cloth will do. Just clean the surface, not the wiring underneath.
Be sure not to clean at noon on a sunny day. Solar panels get hot, so the morning or evening is better for cleaning. For roof arrays, owners may want to consider professional solar panel cleaning companies. Regardless, always consult with the solar panel manufacturer. They may have advice.
There is no way to get summer-time production during the fall, but what cannot be generated may be conserved. Take advantage of balmy temperatures by opting for a blanket instead of turning on the heat or opening windows instead of turning on the air conditioning. In general, be aware of lights on in rooms not being used and vampire technology that uses energy even when it is turned off like a TV or computer.
Enjoy colorful hikes and scarves guilt-free. Solar panels will generate energy as long as the sun shines, and a few steps can optimize that production.