How Solar Panels Work on Cloudy Days

Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels may generate electricity from both direct and indirect sunlight. This implies they can continue to work even if the cloud is unavailable. Solar panels, on the other hand, are most efficient and productive when exposed to direct sunlight on bright days.

Solar panels will continue to perform even if light is reflected or partially obscured by clouds, but their energy production capacity will be reduced. On days when there is a lot of cloud cover, solar panels will yield 10 to 25% of their regular power production.

Rain is normally associated with clouds, and here’s something you might not know: rain actually aids the efficiency of solar panels. Rain wipes away any debris or dust that has accumulated on your panels, allowing them to absorb sunlight more efficiently.

We wanted to dive deep on this topic, and give you the most info that we possibly could. To help answer your questions, we’ve listed some of our most frequently asked questions about solar panels and their production on days without the sun.


FAQ: Do Solar Panels Work on Cloudy Days?

How efficient are solar panels on cloudy days?

On overcast days, you may anticipate your solar panels to perform at 10 to 25% efficiency, depending on the panels.

How do solar panels work when there is no sun?

Solar panels will not operate if there is no sunshine (for example, at night). This is due to the fact that the photovoltaic effect, which is the mechanism by which solar panels turn sunlight into electricity, requires some light to convert.

However, solar panels may work with indirect light, which means they can work even if the sun is blocked by clouds. You also may be able to use solar electricity that has been saved in a solar battery system.

Do solar panels work on snowy days?

On snowy days, solar panels will not perform at their greatest efficiency because of cloud cover and less sunshine. The snow, on the other hand, is typically not an issue, especially since a sprinkling of snow is readily blown away by the wind.

Snow will only obstruct your solar panels if the snowfall is so heavy that the panels are totally covered, or if the weight of the snow threatens the structural integrity of your solar panels.

Will my solar panels generate electricity during cloudy, rainy or snowy days?

Even if the effectiveness of your solar panels is reduced on cloudy days, you’ll still be able to generate some power. Rainy days can actually assist in the cleaning of solar panels, making them more efficient. Snowy days are only an issue if the snow is so deep that the panels are completely immersed, with no exposed parts to the sun.

Is Residential Solar Right for You?

There are many ways to store your energy for periods when your panels aren’t producing electricity.  Now that you know solar panels can operate even when the sun isn’t directly shining, you may be more interested in building your own system

If you have been seriously considering solar panels on your home, you can get started with a free, no-obligation quote from us at Solar Sam. We assess your energy needs and see if your home is a good fit! Get in contact with us today.