Lightforce solar articles

Does solar work on cloudy days?

by: Lightforce Solar
5 May 2023
Curious about how solar panels perform on cloudy, rainy, or cold days? Read on to discover how weather affects solar panel efficiency and whether they can still produce electricity in less-than-ideal conditions. continue reading below...

A solar system is made up of Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels which sit on your roof and use both direct and indirect sunlight to generate electrical power. They’re still productive even when there is cloud coverage or a bit of rain. Much like the way humans can still get sunburned on cloudy days, which indicates that clouds can still get penetrated by the immense amount of solar radiation from the sun. Solar panels are most efficient and productive when they are soaking up direct sunlight on sunny days which we thankfully have lots of in Aotearoa.

How much is the capacity of solar panels reduced on cloudy days?

While solar panels still work even when the light is obstructed by clouds, their energy production capacity will be somewhat diminished. Solar panels generate 10 to 25% of their normal power output on average on days with heavy cloud coverage overhead.

Do solar panels work on rainy days? 

While this may sound surprising, rain can actually help solar panels work more effectively. That’s because rain washes away any dirt or dust that has gathered on your panels which means that they can more efficiently absorb sunlight and power your home. So once the clouds pass, you’re good to go.

Does solar work in cold climates?

Cold weather can actually enhance solar panel efficiency. When the temperature drops, solar panels are able to generate more electricity due to a phenomenon called the photovoltaic effect. In this effect, lower temperatures help to increase the electrical conductivity of solar panels, which in turn allows them to generate more electricity.

So, if you’re considering installing solar panels in a cold climate, wet, or even cloudy climate, you can rest assured that they’ll still perform exceptionally well.

Interested in solar for your home or business?

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