Do Solar Panels Work on Cloudy Days?
One of the most common concerns we tend to hear about solar panels is how effective they will be on cloudy days.
It makes sense — solar panels work by harnessing the power of sunlight, right? So what happens when that sunlight isn’t quite as plentiful as normal? The good news is that for most people — especially people in Mackay and other parts of Queensland — this isn’t a huge concern.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how cloudy weather conditions affect your solar panels and explore some of the other factors that might impact them, like different seasons and daylight hours.
How Does Cloudy Weather Affect Your Solar Panels?
The good news is that modern solar panels won’t just stop working when the sun dips behind a cloud, even for several hours. This is because solar panels work by absorbing the light energy produced by the sun. In the same way that we aren’t plunged into total darkness on cloudy days, your solar panels still receive a good amount of light energy.
Sunny, clear conditions are of course optimal. But provided your solar system is well-designed and properly installed, cloudy days shouldn’t cause a major problem. In fact, one advantage of cloudy days is that they often bring rain, which can wash away the light-obstructing dirt and debris on your panels.
If you’re a resident of Mackay, you have even less to worry about. Mackay receives, on average, 127 sunny days a year, and just 95 cloudy days. This makes it the perfect environment for solar energy.
Will My Solar Panels Work In Winter?
Now we know that cloudy days aren’t the end of the world for solar panels because the sun’s light still reaches earth. But what about the short, dark days of winter? During this time of year, we really are plunged into darkness for a longer stretch of time each day. How does this impact your solar panels?
It’s true that solar panels do produce less energy in winter, simply because there are fewer hours of sunlight for them to absorb. However, this is once again dependent on location — winter days in Mackay are not as brutally short as in many parts of the world, which means your solar panels won’t be quite as severely impacted.
How To Maximise The Performance of Your Panels In Winter
That said, there are steps you can take to maximise the impact of your panels during short winter days. One of the best solutions here is to invest in solar batteries — allowing you to store any unused energy during the daylight hours so your home still has an adequate supply of energy during the longer nights.
Here are some other ways to optimise the performance of your solar panels in winter:
- Keep your panels as clean as possible — dirt and debris like dust and fallen leaves will block the sunlight and impair the ability of your panels to absorb light energy. Installing critter guards can help keep small animals away from your panels.
- Make sure your panels are at the right angle for the season. During the winter, the optimum angle for your panels changes due to the position of the earth.
- Make sure your batteries are properly insulated from lower temperatures
Work with SnapSolar
At SnapSolar, we work with households and businesses in the Queensland area to help you through the often daunting process of choosing the right solar panels and installing them on your property.
Our team of experts can help answer any questions you might have about how solar panels work, how different weather conditions impact their performance, and anything else. Contact us to learn more and get started.
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