What Happens to Solar Panels on a Cloudy Day?

Dark skies

Solar energy is a great alternative for those who live beyond the power lines or choose to produce their electricity. But what happens when there is no sun? Do solar panels still work? Learn more about how solar panels work during cloudy weather below.

How do Solar Panels Create Electricity?

A simple explanation is that the sun’s light shines on the solar panels and the panels collect and convert the sunlight into electricity. Solar panels themselves are made up of a group of photovoltaic cells that collect the sun’s energy. The wiring in your home runs off of AC (or alternating current). The panels push energy through the inverter and convert the current from DC (direct current) to AC to match your home’s electrical system. It is then able to be used to run your appliances and lighting fixtures. Any excess energy that is generated is stored in battery banks to be used during times when there is no sun, like at night or on days where there is limited sunlight.

Do Solar Panels Work When it’s Cloudy?

Solar panels still work even in cloudy weather just not as efficiently. They work at 10% – 25% less capacity. Additionally, because they are not dependent on heat from the sun only the rays, they will continue to work even when it is cold and cloudy, as long as the sun is out it is still producing energy.

Luckily, in Fresno, there are about 271 sunny days every year, so this shouldn’t be too much of a concern.

What About Rain and Tall Trees?

Rain and the occasional periods of snow (in the higher elevations) help to keep the panels free of dust and dirt that might block their ability to collect energy. If you have trees near your solar panels that block some of the light, it would be a good idea to trim them back or remove them if necessary.

Why Choose Energy Concepts?

Energy Concepts has 25 years of experience installing solar energy systems in Southern California. They offer a lifetime warranty and no-money-down financing for qualified buyers. Call us today to find out how we can help you save money on your solar installation and future electricity bills.

Energy Concepts can handle all of your solar needs. If you’re interested in solar, give us a call at (559) 485-2504 or fill out an online contact form!