Do Solar Panels Work On Cloudy Days?
Most people think solar will only work for them if they live where it is sunny all the time. However, that is a common misconception.
Solar works everywhere!
The job of a solar panel is to absorb UV rays which are present even on cloudy or darker days. To put it simply, solar works whether there is rain or shine.
The real question is, how well does it work?
When there is a thick cloud cover, solar panels are not as efficient as they would be when it is sunny out.
Through various estimates taken all across the United States, solar panels are expected to produce 10 - 25% of their normal output when it is cloudy depending on the thickness of the cloud cover. So, it is true to say that solar does work when it is cloudy, just not as well.
Contrary to this, sometimes installing solar where it is cooler can be better than installing it where it is always hot.
Sunny and cool weather is the most optimal weather for solar panels to work at peak efficiency. Solar output tends to dwindle down a bit when the weather rises above 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you are considering going solar in a climate where it is cloudier, be sure not to only take sun hours into consideration.
Electricity costs are going to come into play more than efficiency.
Many of the cities where solar is most popular are more overcast. These cities include Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, etc. The reason solar is so popular in these cities is because of their high electricity rates.
Regardless of it being overcast the majority of the time, the sun still shines through and solar is able to power their homes at a cheaper cost.
Overall, if you live somewhere where the sun isn’t as prevalent you may produce less power, but solar sure does work on cloudy days! Take a look at your cities sun hours and utility rates because you can still benefit from solar and see savings.