If you're considering installing solar panels in your home, you might have one question: Will the panels still work if there's no sun? The answer is yes—but it depends on where you live. In some areas of the country, cloudy days are common, while in others, they are rare. Still, even if your area has a stretch of cloudy days or weeks in a row, solar energy can still power your home during those times.
Quick Lesson On Solar Panels
Solar panels generate electricity from sunlight. They're made up of photovoltaic cells, which convert the energy in sunlight into electricity. Photovoltaic cells are made of silicon and other materials that conduct electricity. When photons (the particles of light) enter a photovoltaic cell, they excite electrons in the cell to a higher energy level, creating a flow of electrical current within the cell.
Yes, Solar Panels Work On Cloudy Days.
Though solar panels are designed to collect energy from direct sunlight, they can still work on cloudy days. That's because solar panels absorb a wide range of light sources, including diffuse light and reflected light. Diffuse light is essentially bounced-off sunlight that isn't focused on the panel by a mirror or lens—it's simply there in the area where you installed your panels (think: indirect sunlight through clouds).
Reflected light occurs when something else reflects sunlight onto your solar panels—for instance if you put them in front of an open window facing southward.
Solar power output does depend on the weather but doesn't let a cloudy day stop you from going solar. You can still collect energy from your solar panels on cloudy days. The sun's rays do not have to be direct to create electricity; they just need to hit your system's photovoltaic cells for them to generate power.
Solar panels work well in different weather conditions and can even recharge batteries during overcast days or when there is rain or snow.
Daylight And Charging Your Panels
The amount of daylight is only about 15 hours per day, so it's common for the sun to be hidden behind clouds during certain parts of the day. Fortunately, these clouds have less of an impact on solar panels than you might think.
While it's true that sunlight is needed for solar panels to work and that cloud cover reduces the amount of time you can generate power from your system, it doesn't make as significant an impact as you might expect.
On average, cloud cover reduces the amount of daylight by around 10%. This means there are still enough sunny hours in a typical day to offset any negative impact caused by daytime cloud cover or night-time fog (fog doesn't affect energy production).
Even if your area has cloudy days, your solar system can still power your home with energy collected during the brighter days.
Solar panels can collect energy from direct sunlight and indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight is when the sun's rays directly hit the solar panel. Indirect sunlight occurs when the sun's rays shine on another object that reflects light onto the solar panel. Cloud cover affects the amount of energy a solar system collects but not its ability to produce electricity on cloudy days or overcast skies.
Smart Solar LLC is happy to help with all your Solar Panel needs when you call (818) 918-3037 today!