You probably already know that solar energy systems depend on sunlight to gather energy and generate electricity.
So, if you’re interested in producing your own energy, it’s only natural to wonder how weather affects solar panels.
For the most part, the weather isn’t a significant concern if you have good-quality solar panels. However, weather conditions do affect them, although maybe not in the way that you think.
Here’s what to expect from your solar energy system in various weather situations.
Do Solar Panels Work in Bad Weather?
Solar panels will continue to work even when it’s raining. However, they might not produce as much energy as during sunny days because of cloud cover.
Nevertheless, rainstorms come with a benefit. They can help clean off dust, dirt, and pollen from your panels. But when these or other debris form a layer on the panels, they block the light and lower your solar system’s production.
But how does weather affect solar panels during a hail or snowstorm?
A light dusting of snow may also clean your panels in the same way that rain does. Production will be minimally impacted as long as there is only a thin cover and sunlight still penetrates. Bear in mind that snow often melts fast, especially following a storm.
Most quality solar panels stand up well to the average hailstorm, so it’s very rare for hail to damage them. In fact, panels can act as protective shields for your roof.
Durability of Solar Panels
Top-rated solar panels are durable and stand up well to inclement weather, including heavy rain, snow, or hail.
So long as your panels don’t get covered, you can expect satisfactory energy output. Just remember to choose a reputable company to install your panels properly.
How Much Does a Cloudy Day Affect Solar Panels?
Anything that hinders sun rays from reaching your panels can reduce solar energy production. This means that when there are clouds, your panels won’t operate at full capacity because of reduced light levels.
Your power output will vary, depending on cloud cover density. Production might decline by 10% to 25% on partially cloudy days and even more on overcast days.
Even so, there’s no need to worry about running out of electricity. You can draw power from the grid if your energy consumption exceeds production.
Interestingly, cumulus cloud edges can sometimes magnify and intensify the sunbeam hitting your panels. This results in a brief boost in production.
Solar installers will take cloudy weather into account when calculating energy production and giving you a quote.
Does Temperature Affect Solar Panel Efficiency?
Now that you know more about how weather affects solar panels, you might be curious about the relationship between temperature and solar panel efficiency.
Contrary to what many believe, panels don’t necessarily function best when it’s hot.
Keep in mind that sunlight influences solar production most and not heat. Similar to other electronic devices, solar panels are less efficient when the temperature rises.
For solar panels, the best weather is one that’s cold yet sunny. As it happens, many states that experience plenty of cold days are actually where solar panel installation is most common.
However, even though panel efficiency increases in cold weather, don’t expect a higher production in the winter than in the summer. The temperature may be colder during the winter months, but there are fewer clouds in the summer, and the sun is out more often.
Getting the Most Out of Solar Panels
The best way to increase solar panel efficiency is to keep your panels clean. While the rain can do a good job of washing them, you should have them cleaned if there have been long periods without precipitation.
Additionally, the weather won’t be much of a problem if your panels are properly installed. Make sure the solar company you choose is familiar with climate conditions in your area and offers solutions that best suit your needs.
Of course, getting high-quality solar panels should be a given if you want to be ready when bad weather rolls in.
Want to learn more about how weather affects solar panels? For more information, contact us today or check out the rest of our website for more information.