There comes a time when following the crowd is a good thing, despite what your mother always told you.
We’re talking specifically about the value of renewable energy and taking the step into solar for your home.
Some people are skeptical of the magic behind changing sunlight into electricity and have countless questions. Do solar panels work on cloudy days? Is solar energy an option for me in my variable climate? What about when it rains?
If you’ve been thinking about lowering your energy bills and making use of this incredible natural resource, then we’ve got your questions covered.
Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic cells, so named because they convert sunlight into electricity. Light from the sun agitates the electrons within the silicon in the photovoltaic cells which generate an electric current. This energy is harnessed and sent to the distribution board in your home to feed your electrical needs.
That’s a pretty simplified explanation of a very smart energy solution. However, it has taken decades for solar panels to be a viable, reliable energy source for the average homeowner.
The efficacy of solar panels on a cloudy day is the question on top of the solar panel FAQs.
The answer is a resounding yes, and here’s why. The photovoltaic cells in solar panels require light from the sun, not heat.
Do you ever wonder how you can still get a sunburn on a cloudy day? This is because even with 100% cloud cover, the sun’s rays still make it through to the earth’s surface. In fact, up to 80% of the UV rays from the sun can pass through clouds which are then utilized by the waiting solar panels.
The reduced light, however, will impact the energy output of the solar panels.
In the same way that the solar panels will continue to produce electricity even in cloudy conditions, a rainy day will see a similar result.
Some people have expressed concern about the mixing of electricity and water, but there’s no need to fret; solar panels are completely waterproof. A good rain shower is actually a good thing for the panels as it serves to slough away dirt and dust, making them more efficient.
Obviously, direct sunlight will give the best energy output. Nevertheless, areas with a less than ideal climate, short winter days, or even those prone to snowy weather can still benefit from solar energy.
You’ve probably worked this one out for yourself. No, solar panels need light to operate so they won’t work at night.
The great news is that those brains mentioned earlier who have been championing solar energy have a ready solution. Rechargeable solar batteries are available to store energy during those bright sunny days. When night falls or cloudy days turn into cloudy weeks, these trusty batteries will keep the lights on.
Many of the solar challenges of yesteryear have been solved by evolving technology. This has made solar energy the preferred solution for those seeking renewable energy sources. Of course, the added benefit of reducing your steadily increasing energy bills cannot be ignored.
If you’ve been considering solar but one of your nagging questions was “Do solar panels work on cloudy days?” then we’re sure your next Google search will be, “solar providers near me.”
Read more insights on adding value to your property in our ever-popular Home category.