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Solar Panel Performance when it’s Cloudy

Since solar panels can only produce power when there’s sunlight, the question then becomes “how will solar panels provide power when it’s cloudy?” Cloudy days aren’t an issue when you switch to solar. When we install solar on your home, you’ll always be connected to your utility grid so that you’ll never be without electricity. The best part about switching to solar is that you get to bank the additional power that your panels produce, which means you may not have to pay for the additional power from the grid.

Net metering and solar storage technology allow your solar panel system to access electricity when solar panel production is dormant, either through connection to the electric grid or to a battery. Thanks to grid connections and solar energy storage, solar panels are a sustainable round-the-clock energy solution.

Net metering is a billing agreement between solar customers and their utility company. When your solar panels produce excess power, they feed energy back to the grid. The utility then compensates you for the excess grid supply with credits that are added to your electric bill. In a sense, your system’s excess production can earn you money. Those net metering credits can then be used to draw electricity from the grid when your panels aren’t producing enough energy to power your home, like when it’s cloudy or dark outside.

Similarly, during the spring and summer months when the sun is shining and your panels are producing more electricity than you need, that extra energy goes to the grid. Then in the winter when the days are shorter, you can draw on those energy credits to help offset some of your energy needs.

Solar Panels on a Roof

However, even on cloudy days, the average solar panel can still produce 10 to 25 percent of its rated capacity depending on the density of the clouds.

Ever wonder why you still need to use sunscreen on cloudy days? Well, it’s because UV rays can still penetrate the clouds and reach the Earth’s surface. That same concept applies to solar panels.

Although 10 to 25 percent of rated capacity may not seem like enough energy to power your home or business, it’s important to consider how much sunshine you receive over an entire year rather than on any particular day.

Before we install your system, we send out a solar expert to evaluate your home. Taking into account factors such as natural obstructions and local climate conditions, our experts provide you with a detailed analysis, so that you can cut the questions out of the equation and invest in a system capable of optimizing your electrical output.

Don’t let cloudy weather rain on your parade.Contact Simply Residential today, and see how you can enjoy clean, inexpensive solar power, even when the skies are gray.