How do cloudy days affect solar panels?
Although photovoltaic panel and solar energy installations are increasingly common in Spain, the truth is that there is still a great deal of ignorance about them. This means that every day we receive new questions related to solar panels, their amortization period and the performance they can offer.
In this sense, there is an aspect that worries the majority of users: the operation of the plates when they receive little sun and when they do not receive direct radiation. Something we talked about a few weeks ago when we explained to you if solar batteries work at night. And since we know that there are many doubts about this, today we are going to delve into the subject. Specifically, responding to a clear question: how do cloudy days affect solar panels?
Do solar panels work on cloudy days?
In order not to beat around the bush and cause doubts to multiply, the quick answer to this question is that yes, they do work. Although many think that when there are clouds in the sky the plates do not produce energy, the truth is that they do. It is true that clouds can limit the radiation received by solar panels. However, they do not totally prevent light from reaching our installation. This is known as diffuse radiation, which is what happens when the sun's rays pass through clouds or fog.
In this way, as long as there is light in the environment, our plates will continue to generate energy. Although it is true that the electricity produced will not be the same as if the sun hits them directly. This causes many people to resort to the installation of solar batteries, which allows them to be covered at night and also on days when the cloudiness is very high.
How cloudy days affect performance
Most likely, at this point you are wondering to what extent the performance of your installation will be affected by a cloudy day. In this sense, the truth is that everything will depend on a large number of factors: from where your installation is located and what its orientation is, to the quality of the solar panels and the amount of clouds in the sky.
As a general rule, performance will be lower during cloudy days in winter and higher when cloudiness occurs during summer. Performance may be affected if there are too many clouds between 5% and 70%
Improve the efficiency of your photovoltaic panels on cloudy days
When placing your solar panels, you should avoid installing them in places where they will receive shade, even if it is only a little. But... How to improve efficiency if there are clouds in the sky? The truth is that there is little that can be done here. Ideally, if this worries you, you should resort to installing solar batteries. In this way, the days with the highest radiation will store energy in them that you can use both during cloudy days and at night.