How Effectively Do Solar Panels Work On A Cloudy Day?

Fickle British weather poses threat to future electricity supplies |  Financial Times

Solar panels essentially receive sunlight to convert into electricity which can be consumed. This is why they are usually installed in such a way that lets them receive maximum sunshine. However, what happens on days that are particularly cloudy? Do the solar panels still work when there is a significant cloud cover? This is a pertinent question that has a bearing on the functionality of your home or business’s solar power system. To answer it, yes, solar panels do work even when it’s cloudy. Let’s explore this further.

What effect does cloud coverage have on solar output? Factors like the quality of the solar panels and the density of the clouds determine this. Some solar panels work well in reflected light, which implies they can capture a broader spectrum of sunlight and can generate enough power even on overcast days. Usually, solar panels tend to work at 80% of maximum output when it’s cloudy. It takes extremely dense clouds that block the sun’s ray’s completely to prevent solar panels from working.

Let’s also take into account the fact that in big cities where rain and cloud prevail for much of the year, solar panel installations continue to be a rising trend. A major reason for this is the high cost of electricity in such places, and switching to solar panels can reduce electricity bills drastically. It is also an indication that solar panels can run well despite cloudy conditions.

Another factor is a phenomenon that takes place when the sun emerges from a cloud, which causes its light to become magnified due to refraction, thereby resulting in stronger solar radiation even on a cloudy day.

Besides, the main element in producing solar energy is daylight rather than sunlight. Photovoltaic (PV) panels can use either direct or indirect sunlight to capture solar energy to convert into photovoltaic energy, which subsequently gets converted into electricity. On cloudy days, the solar panels may not work at peak efficiency as on sunny days, but you can make up for the difference in solar output with storage solutions like solar net metering. With this, the required electricity can be drawn from the electrical grid even on cloudy days.

All in all, cloud cover is not a matter of concern when it comes to investing in solar energy. This is mainly because on cloudy days there is only a small dip in solar output which lasts a very brief period of time.

VEMC is a well-established solar services company that provides end-to-end project management services to its clients. We are ISO 9001:2015 certified and a pioneer in the field of electromechanical engineering products, allied equipment, and services. For inquiries, contact us at +919819907445.