Solar panels transform sunlight into usable electricity, so what happens when clouds come out to play and block direct sunlight from shining through?
Well, it doesn’t exactly block all sunlight, though it does make it harder for your solar panels to operate at peak efficiency. There are more than just clouds at play, though.
If your panels are damaged and you need solar repair Lake County, CA, you should take care of that first before worrying about efficiency during cloudy weather. But if your panels are in top physical form, keep reading to find out how much of an impact cloudy weather really has on your solar panels.
Efficiency Drops in Cloudy Weather
We know this isn’t really a shocker, but when clouds block out light, there’s less available sunlight for your solar panels to convert into energy.
But how much does efficiency drop? Is it something you should be worried about, or is it just a hiccup? A bump in the road?
As it turns out, your solar panels may only generate about 10% of the electricity that they normally do when it’s really cloudy out.
This depends on a lot of factors, such as your specific solar panels, their placement, and how cloudy it is. The point is: cloudy weather definitely impacts your solar panels, and it’s by a lot more than most people think.
How Cloudy is “Cloudy Weather”?
Do a few clouds make a difference, like in the image at the top of this blog post? Not really. Perfectly clear days are rare; there’s usually some presence of clouds in the sky.
But if you notice, they’re not blocking out a ton of light. When we say cloudy, we mean thick clouds that block out light and fill up more of the sky than normal. The type of sight you’d see before an impending rainstorm.
Your efficiency will change throughout the day and as clouds pass over. If it’s thick, gray clouds that show a storm is incoming, don’t count on your solar panels that day.
If it’s light clouds that are filling the sky a bit more than normal, but it’s not causing a ton of shadows on the ground, you’re still getting enough sunlight for your solar panels.
Be Sure to Have Backup Batteries
The best thing you can do is have backup batteries that store unused solar energy specifically to counteract days like these.
While it’s not completely foolproof and you can adjust your electricity use during cloudy days, backup batteries will help you keep your appliances and lights on while the clouds pass.
Prepare for Cloudy Days Ahead of Time
With your solar panels at peak efficiency, you’ll get as much as you possibly can from them during cloudy days. It won’t be perfect, but that’s why it’s good to have a battery backup.
It’s not ideal to operate your solar panels on a cloudy day, but it’s better than nothing. Keep your solar panels maintained and they’ll do the best job that they possibly can.
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