Here you can learn about the latest strategies to save money using a solar roof or find out what to look for when you’re ready to get solar panels installed. Find it all here on the EMT Solar & Roofing blog with guides, updates, and insights to make going solar more simple

Do solar panels work on cloudy days?

Solar power is becoming increasingly popular, with usage increasing at an average annual growth rate of 33%. Though solar systems are not new, many people are unfamiliar with their technology. So, how do solar panels work? Is sunlight needed for them to operate? Do solar panels work when it’s cloudy? We have the answers to these questions and more.

What Are solar panels?

Solar panels are devices that collect sunlight and convert it to power energy. They are a component of a photovoltaic system that uses photovoltaic cells arranged to make a panel. Photovoltaic captures energy from the sun. The more light that hits the solar cell, the more electricity it produces.  


Solar cells in large quantities form photovoltaic (PV) panels. Similar to semiconductors, photovoltaic cells are constructed using silicon. They have a negative and positive layer, which, combined, produce an electric field (this is similar to how a battery works). 


Solar panels are made up of several silicon solar cells connected by a metal frame. A glass sheet covers these panels with wiring and circuitry placed inside and behind the silicon solar cells to collect the electrical current released from the solar cells.

how do solar panels work?

When photons collide with a solar cell, they release electrons from the atoms. Connecting wires creates an electrical circuit to a solar cell’s positive and negative surfaces. Electricity is produced when electrons move across this circuit. 


A solar panel is made up of several cells, while a solar array is made up of many panels or modules. Installing additional panels will increase the amount of energy you can produce.


Electrical energy is produced using PV solar panels as a direct current or DC electricity. Electrons move along a circuit in a single direction when DC power is present. In this illustration, a battery is used to power a light bulb. The electrons leave the battery’s negative side via the bulb and return to its positive side after power has been established.


Do solar panels work on cloudy days?

Since solar PV cells react to light, more sunshine often translates into more power. When the sun is at its highest on a sunny day, the photovoltaic systems will typically receive the maximum light.

So, do solar panels work in cloudy weather? The simple answer is yes. However, it’s important to note that on a gloomy day, high-efficiency panels will generate more electricity than conventional solar panels. As a result, they are an excellent choice if you live in a region prone to cloudy skies. 


Keep in mind a solar panel does not require direct sunlight to create power. They will, of course, produce less energy under cloudy situations, but there are other factors to consider when selecting a solar panel, such as size, design, and price.


do solar panels charge on cloudy days?

The answer to this question is not entirely straightforward. It is impossible for solar panels to charge on cloudy days as the sun can still produce some power on partly cloudy days. This is because minor amounts of light are able to reach the panels and generate some electricity.

A more accurate answer would be that a solar panel on a cloudy day will typically charge at a slower rate than it would on fully sunny days.

do solar panels work in the rain?

Once you understand the answer to “Does solar power work on cloudy days?” it’s time to explore how they work in the rain. 


When sunlight is low, so is electricity production. This is due to the fact that the energy generated by solar panels is directly proportional to the ultraviolet rays that can go through the rain and hit the photovoltaic cells. The generation of solar power on cloudy days is irregular and typically lower since the quantity of power generated is based on the density of cloud coverage. 

But how do solar panels work on rainy days? Surprisingly, rain may improve the performance of photovoltaic panels in some situations as it can wash away any dirt or dust-blocking light. As a result, it makes the solar panels work with maximum efficiency.

Does shade affect solar panels?

Shades can reduce the amount of power the system produces, but solar systems are designed to counteract these impacts and keep energy production from stopping entirely. Each solar panel in a high-quality solar system has a microinverter. Because each panel is separate from the others, just that particular panel will be impacted if there is shade for a few hours. 


Solar panels will still function in the shade, even if their output decreases due to a lack of sunshine. Typically, photovoltaic systems will produce around half as much energy in the presence of clouds and shadows as they would in the presence of direct sunlight. However, specific numbers may vary depending on the amount of shade the solar panels are facing.


Place your solar panel array in an area without routine shading. Ensure your solar panel system is set up to receive maximum sunlight. When determining if a neighboring item could cast a shadow on your roof, it is crucial to consider all hours of the day and all seasons of the year. Using a variety of mapping technologies, a solar system installation should be able to inform you if shading will be an issue.


do solar panels work at night?

Solar panels can’t work at night because there’s no sunlight. The good news is you can use net metering and a back up battery storage system when sunlight is low. It allows people to use the electric grid to save the excess energy from the photovoltaic systems, which helps keep the cost of using the grid low.


Net metering is made possible by connecting your photovoltaic installation to the electrical grid. Where it is available, net metering functions somewhat similarly to a savings account. Extra power generated by your solar panels is fed into the grid. In exchange, the electric provider reimburses you or credits your account. 


Net metering is activated when your solar panels aren’t producing electricity at night. You can draw from energy credits deposited into the electrical grid during the day. Your home may now receive and send power thanks to this bidirectional connection. ​


Back up battery storage also happens at night time. Only use a solar battery storage system connected to your solar panels, often charging and discharging in response to the periods when there is no sun, but you still need power.


Before using the grid, you will use solar battery storage to consume energy. Integrating a solar battery with your solar panels can reduce your dependency on the outdated grid and guarantee consistently decreased electricity costs. You have control over your energy budget and peace of mind with solar battery storage. In times of blackouts, homeowners will appreciate the power a battery back up can provide.


Does it need to be hot for solar panels to work?

When discussing “do solar panels work on cloudy days?” the subject of heat inevitably arises. This is because people tend to think that because solar panels need sunshine, they also need heat. However, the opposite is true. Your solar cells will operate less effectively when the ambient air temperature rises. 


In fact, hot temperatures can reduce the output efficiency of solar panels by 10%-25%. Understanding the temperature coefficient of a photovoltaic system will help homeowners who live in hot climates understand how their solar panels will react.


Although not as significant as warm air, cold ambient temperature can also impact your solar panel’s performance. If the sky is generally clear, cool ambient air can enhance output. In contrast to people who live in overcast or hot areas, individuals who live in clearly lighted, cold environments will notice that their solar panels are operating significantly better. 

Why choose high-quality solar panels?

Solar power is an excellent source of sustainable energy. By installing solar panels, you not only lessen your carbon footprint but also have a positive social and environmental impact. Due to the benefits of solar panels, we anticipate a considerable transformation in the energy industry as solar panel technology develops further. 


Of course, the fact that solar panels generate electricity at no cost is one of the biggest reasons to get PVs. Once your solar panels are installed, you won’t have any continuing expenditures for energy production. Even better, you may sell the excess electricity back to the grid or utilize it to power your house. In fact, it’s projected that households with solar panels installed have received energy credits worth an average of $20,000.


When you install high-quality solar panels, you make your life easier, save money, and positively impact the environment. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. 


work with emt solar

Now that you know the answers to pressing questions like “Do solar panels work on cloudy days?” and “Do solar panels charge on cloudy days?” turn to EMT Solar for all your solar needs. We have been designing and installing solar PV systems for both residential and commercial customers in the Northeast for over a decade. We pride ourselves on being a full-service provider of renewable energy solutions.


EMT Solar designs, installs, and services solar PV systems for homes as well as businesses. We are based in Southboro, MA, but our service area includes the entire Northeast region. We offer expert consultation and solar design services for homeowners who want to take the first step on their journey toward energy independence. In addition, we offer sales, installation, and maintenance services for businesses. 


As a green, environmentally conscious company, EMT Solar is dedicated to the delivery of quality solar power that limits negative impacts on the environment. Through our diligent approach, we are able to identify the root causes of problems quickly and efficiently, resulting in stellar customer service.


Contact EMT Solar today to learn more about the advantages of going solar!