From time to time your solar production may appear to be less than you expect it to be, especially during the winter months. This guide will help you to understand the life cycle of solar production through all seasons and what to expect for each part of the year.
Solar averages per month
All solar systems are engineered to produce an average amount of energy over a 12 month period, and the month to month production will not look the same due to multiple factors. The production will vary based on several factors:
- Weather- cloud coverage and low sun exposure will affect solar output, especially in high rainfall areas. Please be aware that while the output may be reduced while it's cloudy or raining, your system will still be producing!
- Seasonal shading- certain trees or obstacles may shade your solar panels at different times of the year, but not at others.
- Geographic locations- certain areas near the coast will be affected by morning or afternoon marine layers.
- Heat- when temperatures go up to extreme levels the system output will go down.
Despite the changes in production on month to month basis, all of these conditions have been factored into the design of your solar system, to ensure that it will produce the amount of electricity that was outlined in your contract.
Time of year: Low versus high
What this means regarding your production is simple: your system will produce a larger amount in the spring/summer months versus the fall/winter months. Not to worry! As we showed above, all these factors are calculated by our engineers to ensure one thing: Solar production all year long!
The longer days of summer allow us to generate more solar power which can be credited and used on days that are shorter when there is less energy generated. This is done through a Net Metering Agreement with your local utility company.
Solar production: Remember the “Bell Curve”
If you find yourself with a higher than expected energy bill, remember that solar systems rely on sun exposure, so summer=more production and winter=less production. Here is an example of an actual solar system’s bell curve:
Note how the production in January is expected to only hit 200 kWh per month, while June is expected to hit over twice that at 553 kWh per month!
This system in this example is expected to produce around 4,677 kwh per year, an average of around 390 kwh per month.