Choosing to rely on solar to provide energy for your home is a significant step in the right direction. One of the things you may need to be aware of is how your solar power system produces energy. This extends to knowing the efficiency of solar panels on cloudy days. Additionally, it is good to understand how solar can be a reliable energy source even at night. Let’s get started.
How Solar Panels Work when it is Cloudy
The short answer to will solar panels work on a cloudy day is yes. However, they do not work as well as they do when the sun is shining bright. Estimates have put solar panels production on cloudy days at about 10-25% of their standard output. For this reason, you can say solar panels’ efficiency lowers when it is cloudy.
That said, you might be surprised to find that the rainy and cloudy climates are still considered to be the most popular places to install solar panels. The main reason for this is the rising cost of electricity. Besides, most cities in the US are not sunny all the time. Homeowners in these cities benefit from the reduced solar costs by reducing the electricity costs.
For example, there is a fog that covers the city for the better part of the year in San Francisco. But, it is still a top city for solar installation owing to the high electricity costs. The warm climate helps in generating consistent solar energy throughout the year. Here are important facts to remember about solar and clouds.
- Solar panels do not need hot weather to produce electricity. The most effective solar power systems are those located in sunny and cold places. As much as solar panels harness the sun’s heat, they can become inefficient if the temperatures go higher than 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Solar panels are designed to keep generating electricity when shading occurs. It is a fact that shade will decrease solar output. However, the system should not stop all production. For example, when the panels are 10% covered, only that percentage of production is hindered.
Can Solar Work at Night?
Solar panels need the sun’s energy to generate electricity. For this reason, PV modules do not work at night. That said, solar storage energy is a component that comes into play at night. It allows homes to have solar power when it’s dark.
Generally, solar panels absorb sunlight and convert it to direct current. The Solar’s inverter turns DC into alternating current (AC). The AC powers your home. The excess energy is fed into the electric grid.
Storage and Net-Metering
Net metering is when the electric company compensates you for the excess energy you supply to the grid. It is generally in the form of credits, and they are added to your electricity bill, earning you money. With net metering, you retain a connection to the grid giving you power all the time. At night, you can now drawback from the credits that you have generated.
In places where this option is not available, you can still benefit from solar at night. Here, you can invest in solar storage such as battery banks.
When the clouds block the sun, solar panel efficiency reduces. However, there is generation of electricity still. Additionally, the output is affected at night. When you switch to solar, you need to plan well to accommodate those issues. Connecting your solar to the grid and benefiting from net metering is one way to do this. If that is not an option, solar batteries will be useful.
Dynamic SLR can help you go solar and say goodbye to utility bills. We have a team of professional solar installers who have long experience working in Texas. Fill the free solar quote request form or contact us and we start the journey to a clean, renewable, and reliable energy source.