The Earth, as I’m sure you know, is on a tilt. As a result, throughout the year, parts of the Earth are closer to the sun than others resulting in a difference in weather patterns depending on where in the world you are. This is where the seasons come from! In the Northern Hemisphere the months of December, January and February, also known as winter, are characterised by cold, rainy weather. While the months of June, July and August, known as summer, mostly experience hotter, dryer weather.
So how does changing weather affect your home’s renewable energy generation? Which is better, summer or winter? Let’s find out!
Generally home renewable energy setups consist of either photovoltaics or wind turbines. Photovoltaics obviously produce more power with higher exposure to sunlight. The stronger photons of sunlight, the more power you get!
As a result, with the sunnier, less overcast summer months, photovoltaics will generate more over the summer months!
But what about wind turbines? It’s less cut and dry than photovoltaics with a lot more complex factors affecting wind frequency and strength. With so many factors such as changing air density over the year or proximity to the sea or mountains, the system is characterised as a ‘chaotic’ system. So, the best way to determine the answer is to tackle the problem experimentally!
Luckily this research has already been conducted by the Luléa University of Technology looking into the changes in power production of a turbine over the different seasons. The result, this interesting graph:
Gantasala, Sudhakar & Luneno, Jean-Claude & Aidanpää, Jan-Olov. (2016). Influence of Icing on the Modal Behavior of Wind Turbine Blades. Energies. 9. 862. 10.3390/en9110862.