Do Solar Panels Work On Cloudy Days

Do Solar Panels Work On Cloudy Days

So you're ready to buy your solar panelsyou have budgeted everything including the installation costs and materials, you know what type best fits your roof, and even the solar battery you want to pair it with. Then suddenly you remember that summer isn't year-round, and wondered if going solar is actually worth it during the rainy season where most days are cloudy with minimal sunlight exposure. Should you still check out those fixed solar panels you've been eyeing for your roof or those flexible solar panels that would be perfect for your RV?

Contrary to popular belief, solar panels DO work on cloudy days, but with reduced efficiency. On average, your solar panels will still be able to provide around 10% to 25% of their normal capacity in a low-light setting. This is because solar panels are designed to be able to use both direct and indirect sunlight to generate power. However, this amount of power is hardly sufficient especially if you're powering more than a few devices. This is where the benefit of solar storage batteries comes in. As the name suggests, these batteries store energy generated by your solar panels and make them available upon demand. A good example of this would be the famous Tesla Powerwall Series. Most of the time, solar batteries are used for off-grid camping or as battery backup. In the event that there is little sunlight or a power outage occurs, you can use the energy stored in these batteries to power your most essential appliances. These also work great in terms of cutting down your electricity costs, since you can use them in the evening in place of your grid-tied power source.


When cloudy days are followed by rain, you might think that it's game over for your solar panels. Here's a little trivia though: Rain actually adds to your solar panels' efficiency. This is because it helps wash away dirt and dust that have accumulated on or around your panels so they can absorb sunlight more efficiently. Also, getting solar panels in a relatively cloudy area has its perks since it's most likely to be more affordable in places with less direct sunlight.

Do Solar Panels Work At Night?

Solar panels function on a cloudy day but unfortunately, not in the evening. Solar modules work because of the photovoltaic effect, where the solar cells are activated by sunlight to generate electrical current. A complete absence of the sun won't allow the photovoltaic effect to be triggered, hence no power can be generated.

Solar Panels: Hotter = More Efficient?

You might be assuming that the more scorching the heat is, the better your solar panels will work. This is not true. Extremely hot weather is not the best condition for solar panels since most of them start to degrade when the temperature of the panel exceeds 25 °C. This is actually noted on most solar panel specifications. It's also the reason why some cities are generally less sunny than others, yet solar power is more effective in their area.


Now that you know how solar panels function in non-ideal weather, the best option to go for would be to pair them with a good solar power battery. This solar panel setup will require a bit of installation, plus other solar panel accessories like a solar charge controller or inverter. If you don't have experience with fixing up solar systems, it's best to ask for help from a professional. You can also minimise effort and maybe even save more by opting for solar panel and battery packs, or solar panels kits with included accessories in the set.

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