Inversion – our bleak winter enemy. Inversion is a terrible climate condition in which the normal atmospheric conditions are reversed or “inverted.” Normally cooler air sits above warmer air, but sometimes the warm air sits on top of a layer of thick, dense, cold air, trapping it with clouds and pressure. This layer of cold air keeps the temperature very low, but it also traps lots of pollutants and gross air circulating along the earth’s surface in the inverted area.
Inversions are hazardous for a variety of reasons. The cold air means that roads tend to be icier than normal, and snow and ice can stick around for much longer than anticipated. Another big problem is that the air quality deteriorates rapidly under conditions of inversion. Pollution, allergens, and general uncleanliness plague the air. This is a huge problem for anyone with a compromised respiratory symptom – such as the old, the sick, asthmatics, and small children.
One of the most universal complaints of inversion, however, is how it blocks the sun when we need it most. Winter can be bleak and dark on it’s own, but often inversion creates cloud cover that would otherwise not exist. Often above the inversion you can get to clear air and bright skies. Below it you have darkness and seasonal affective disorder. And if you have solar panels you may be even more concerned about the lack of sunlight.
We have good news for you. Inversion, grimy and gross as it is, won’t dramatically effect your solar panels. We’ve heard the concern time and time again from customers who are interested in solar energy but are worried that Utah winters will mean their solar panels are ineffective. Worry no more!
For one, Utah thankfully experiences inversion only periodically, so it’s not a consistent issue that will ruin your entire winter. Secondly, the sun’s rays ARE coming through, even if you can’t see or feel them. Solar panels convert UV rays from the sun into energy that can be used in your home or business. While the sun hitting your skin on a hot day is an example of UV rays, it doesn’t mean that all UV rays are bright, hot, and visible. UV rays are streaming through the clouds and inversion, sight unseen. Your solar panels are still effectively absorbing and converting this energy into power for your home or business. You may see a slight decrease during periods of extreme darkness or inversion, but overall they will still work.
Don’t let fear of inversion keep you from making the switch to green, clean, renewable energy for your Utah home or business through solar energy. Call Mountain States Solar & Roofing today!