Do Solar Panels Work on Cloudy Days?
It’s pretty logical to assume solar panels won’t work on cloudy days. One would naturally think you need direct sunlight for a solar panel to function. However, this article will prove that assumption wrong and tell you the impact of cloud cover on solar energy production.
Do Solar Panels Work on Cloudy Days?
Solar panels can produce electricity on cloudy days and with even the most indirect sunlight. Solar panels are designed in such a way as to take advantage of even the tiniest speck of the sun that hits them. This also includes cloudy days when there isn’t much sunlight reaching them.
You can still get sunburned if you stand outside under clouds for a long time. This is because sunlight can still reach the ground, even with clouds covering the sky. The sun might not be visible to you, but this doesn’t mean sunlight won’t reach your solar panels.
Efficiency Of Solar Panels On Cloudy Days
Although they won’t be as effective as on days when there’s plenty of sunlight, solar panels do surprisingly well on cloudy days with little sunlight. The Environmental and Energy Study Institute has calculated that solar cells can still give 80% of their maximum output potential, even on days with few clouds or overcast weather.
It’s okay if you live in a cloudy area. You don’t need to relocate just to get the benefits of solar power. Many cloudy cities in the United States, like Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, and Boston, have the highest rates of solar panel adoption.
Many homeowners in these cloudy areas realise after installing solar panels that solar power will still reduce their dependence on fossil fuels for electricity generation to lower their electric bills. They install more solar panels to compensate for the cloud cover to meet their needs and save money on electricity bills.
Solar Panels Producing Insufficient Electricity
Climate is an unpredictable force of nature, so you should be prepared for every possibility when installing solar panels. You should have a solar power system plan design that focuses on your electricity needs rather than fretting about the inefficiency of the solar panels that are going to be installed.
It’s not wrong to worry about the performance of your solar panels, and you would want your solar panels to get as much sun as possible so that more electricity is produced. Still, you can get larger energy output by angling your solar panel in the right way so that they receive the maximum amount of peak sun hours.
This is why you should buy a solar panel with the following things in mind:
- Net metering.
- Battery storage.
- Future electricity requirements.
- Present electricity consumption.
- Roof orientation and shape.
- Peak sun hours.
It’s possible that your solar panels might not meet your home’s electricity needs on cloudy days. To counter this, your home will get electricity from the utility grid to keep the appliances and lights on.
What you should plan before installing solar panels on your roof is how many of them you’ll need to meet your requirement, also factoring in the cloud cover. You can take the help of a licensed solar installer. After reviewing all the factors, they will create the most suitable solar power system for your home.
Frequent Days Of Bad Weather
Live in an area with an occasional bad weather system. There will be times when your solar panels won’t be generating much electricity for days since an extensive storm system can cover a large region and can have overcast weather for days on end. This doesn’t help your solar power generation as electricity production will be low.
However, all is not lost since you still would have two options to get electricity on days with bad weather:
Usually, the grid supplies electricity to homes with no solar panels. Once you have solar panels, your reliance on the grid is minimal or zero in many cases. However, an area plagued with bad weather will need electricity from the grid since the panels won’t generate enough electricity.
You can use batteries to help you in times of need. On days of excess electricity generation, your home will divert that extra power to a solar battery. That electricity will charge this battery, and this extra power can be used on days with bad weather.
With these two options, you can rely on other means of electricity on days with unfavourable weather when solar panels can’t generate much electricity. Still, there are myths about solar panels about their inability to generate electricity on cloudy days. With this article, we’ve done our best to clear that up.
You shouldn’t be scared by cloud cover; if you want to go completely solar, this shouldn’t affect you. However, production will be low. You can increase that by contacting an experienced solar company specialising in designing solar power systems capable of maximising the amount of electricity your home can create from the available sunlight.