Clouds and Solar Power

6 Feb

So how do solar panels perform in cloudy weather? Well you could go outside to your meter and see if it is indeed spinning backwards, but there are a couple basic guidelines.

Overcast Days.

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels use light or “photo” to generate electricity or “volts”, so ample supplies of light are need for maximum performance. If the day is overcast, the general rule is if you can generate a shadow, solar panels can perform.

There is a perk though, if you regularly have overcast mornings, which is usually the case for beach communities, the clouds refract the sun’s light before sunrise, and you actually get a jump on production and start generating early.Cloudy day solar

Big Fluffy Clouds

Solar panels could potential perform better with big fluffy clouds, however if one of those clouds casts a shadow over a panel, the entire string of panels (which would be a portion of your system, not the entire system) would reduce to the generation of that one panel. As soon as the clouds move though, your system would pick right back up again and the shading could cool down the panels enough to up production as well.


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