Good Question: How Well Do Solar Panels Work In Snow?

LINK TO PARKS PLACE ON WCCO.COM. THE PLYMOUTH HOME IS ACCEPTING NEW RESIDENCE. SEVERAL INCHES OF SNOW COULD FALL BEFORE THE WEEK IS OVER. EVEN WITH OUR SNOWY DARK WINTERS, MINNESOTA RANKS 11th IN THE COUNTRY FOR SOLAR POWER. THESE VIEWERS ASKED SOMETHING MANY PROSPECTIVE CUSTOMERS WANT TO KNOW: HOW WELL DO SOLAR PANELS WORK IN SNOW? GOOD QUESTION. HERE IS HEATHER BROWN. Reporter: HOW LONG DOES THE SNOW STAY UP THERE.? TYPICALLY, A COUPLE OF DAYS. WITHIN TWO DAYS IT IS GONE Reporter: ON THE DAY WE VISITED THE MARTIN HOME, IT WAS 19 AND SUNNY WITH CLOUDS.

YOU COULD SEE A LITTLE SNOW ON THE ROOF. MORE ON THEIR NEIGHBOR'S. NOT STUCK ON THE PANELS. IT COMES UP QUICKLY Reporter: IF IT IS A LIGHT DUSTING? IT DOES NOT DAY. PRACTICE DATA PANELS PRODUCE 60% OF WHAT THEY COULD BRING IN ON A TYPICAL JUNE DAY. THE SYSTEM WILL PRODUCE ALMOST EVERY DAY. THAT IS REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE CONDITIONS ARE Reporter: ERIC IS WITH IPS OLAR. WYNTER IS THE LEAST PERFORMING SEASON, THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. WE HAVE SHORTER DAYS Reporter: ERIC IS WITH IPS SOLAR. THOSE THINGS WORK AGAINST PRODUCING SOLAR ENERGY. WE ARE PRODUCING IN JANUARY, ABOUT HALF OF THE ENERGY THAT WE WOULD SEE IN JUNE Reporter: WHAT WORKS FOR PRODUCING IT ARE COLDER OVERTURES, UNLIKE THE SOUTH. OUR PANELS REALLY OVERHEAT. IT DOES NOT QUITE MAKE UP FOR SHORTER DAYS. IT IS AN ADDED BENEFIT TO PERFORMANCE IN THE WINTER Reporter: THE TWIN CITIES IS EQUIVALENT TO HOUSTON OR TALLAHASSEE WHEN IT COMES TO AVAILABLE SUNLIGHT. THAT IS LESS THAN PHOENIX OR DENVER.

BUT MORE THAN GERMANY, ONE OF THE WORLD'S SOLAR LEADERS. YOU DON'T HAVE TO LIVE IN THE SUNNY SOUTH RUSS. Reporter: LET'S GO TO THE SNOW. THAT WAS THE ORIGINAL QUESTION. THE PANELS STILL PRODUCE A LITTLE IN LIGHT SNOW. IN HEAVY STUFF, CANNOT PRODUCE AT ALL. THAT SNOW DOES NOT USUALLY STICK AROUND. THIS IS PINE RIVER MARCUS HIGH SCHOOL. SOLAR PANELS ARE NOT HEATED. AFTER THE RADIANT HEAT CATCHES A CORNER, THE REST COMES DOWN QUICKLY. THEY CAN CLEAN THEM OFF THERE., CAREFULLY. IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED ON THE ROOF AT THE MARTIN HOME.

IN THE END, LOOKING AT THE FULL YEAR, IT PAYS OFF Reporter: REMY MARTIN SAYS 2 MULTI-GEO THEY DON'T MAKE ENOUGH ENERGY TO POWER THE ENTIRE HOME. IN THE SUMMER THEY MAKE MORE THAN THEY NEED. IS IT WORTH IT? ABSOLUTELY Reporter: IN EDEN PRAIRIE, HEATHER BROWN, WCCO 4 NEWS. RIGHT NOW, THE AVERAGE PAYBACK TIME FOR INSTALLING RESIDENTIAL SOLAR PANELS IN MINNESOTA IS 8 YEARS. IF YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW WELL.

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