Clouds affect solar panels. As a statement, it is true. Clouds affect solar panels by blocking the sunlight. Is that a really big problem?
Cloudy weather. Harsh winters. Rain. If this sounds like an area you live in and want to install solar panels, you might be wondering “should I even bother”?
The general perception is the weather has a direct correlation on the output of your solar power system.
In other words, cities such as Columbus, Pittsburgh, New York, Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto will not benefit from solar power like Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, or any other community with long hours of sunlight.
If you believe clouds affect solar panels, that general perception is wrong. Like many who think clouds affect solar panels, you are incorrect.
Advancement in Solar Technology
When it comes to the question do clouds affect solar panels technology is pioneering a new path.
Because of the many advancements in solar technology, in addition to other considerations, solar can be effective just as well for areas that have poor weather as areas that bask in the sun.
Here are a few facts that lead us to the answer as to whether clouds affect solar panels.
Cloudy Areas Are Good Okay For Solar
Germany, considered the solar superpower of the world, is one of the cloudiest countries in Europe. Yet one year in the month of May, it covered more than 95% of its energy needs through solar power.
When you consider that Germany only gets about as much sunlight as the state of Alaska, this is an amazing testimony to the future and potential for home solar energy options.
Imagine a country with very little sunlight yet still manages to produce around 25 Gigawatts of power through solar. This is amazing when you consider how solar has evolved to where it is today. And this is just the beginning.
Yes, clouds affect solar panels but cloudy days are not as important as much as the total amount of sunlight the city, town, community, home, or building receivesper year.
2. Performance of Solar Panels in Winter
Winters, in general, are cold. There is snow and frost to contend with in addition to freezing temperatures.
When it comes to solar energy, the good news is solar energy depends on light, not heat.
This is a fact often missed when people who live in cold climates are researching the viability of solar. Specifically, it doesn’t matter how cold the weather is. What does matter is that there is sunlight. It is the sunlight that is captured by your solar panels. Sunlight brings brings life to the cells.
What is important for winter locations is to make sure your solar panels receive as much sunlight as possible.
3. How Cluds Affect Solar Panels Energy Output
A question that is regularly asked is how much energy will solar panels produce during cloudy weather? Will they capture any at all?
Current research demonstrates solar panels will capture 25%-45% of the energy they would on a sunny day.
Note I used the word ‘current’. I used it purposely because solar panel producers are developing solar panels that enhance efficiency and increased capture even during low light conditions such as cloudy days.
Clouds Affect Solar Panels Big Problem or Not So Big
Generally a summary would be opened with ‘in conclusion …’ but that would not be appropriate. Reality is solar power technology is still in its infancy. Technology is changing rapidly. New materials are being developed that might even replace the cirrent panels used.
To the question do clouds affect solar panels, the answer is yes. Yes, with a but.
Yes, in the way panels are currently manufactured clouds affect them. But even in a cloudy city a small 4kW solar energy system can cover the majority of a home’s electricity bills.
So even now, the conclusion can be inclimate weather is no reason to not go solar.