When the sky grows dark and the clouds gather, you may be wondering how much energy your solar power system can really produce. While photovoltaic solar systems do require sunlight to work efficiently, it is important to know that, yes, they do still work in cloudy weather. At Bob Heinmiller Solar in Orlando, Florida, we understand how to help you make the most of your solar panels. Here is how solar panels can work for your home, even on a cloudy day.
Do Clouds Really Affect Solar Energy?
If you’ve ever gotten a sunburn on a cloudy day, then you already know that solar radiation still penetrates through clouds. New York, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, and other major cities all experience inclement weather at one time or another, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t benefit from solar energy and save on the costs of electricity due to their investment. In fact, Portland is one of the cloudiest cities in the U.S. and one of the leading cities in producing solar power.
Surprisingly, it is still possible to produce as much energy on a cloudy day as a sunny one. This is due to a phenomenon known as the “edge of cloud” effect. This occurs when the sun passes over the edge of a cloud. This magnifies the sunlight and causes your photovoltaic system to boost output temporarily.
Contrary to popular belief, solar panels don’t require “hot” weather to create electricity, they just need a bit of sun. Based on the quality of your solar panels and the cloud cover, efficiency may only drop 10 to 25 percent on a cloudy day. However, keep in mind that on especially sunny days, the system can produce more electricity than you need, which means you can use it at a later date.
Using Excess Power
Photovoltaic solar systems work by transforming sunlight into power that households use to run home appliances and more. A process called net metering actually allows you to store excess energy in the electric grid in exchange for future credit. Then, on cloudy days or at night, you will be able to use these credits and pull energy from the grid. Thanks to solar panels and net metering, homeowners get credit for the energy produced, saving them hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the year.
Finding an Expert Installer
There are many advances to owning solar panels, especially in the sunny state of Florida. Save money on electricity costs, increase the value of your property, and reduce your dependence on other power sources. While clouding or shading can decrease the amount of energy your system produces, solar systems are specifically engineered to prevent these barriers from stopping energy production completely. Expert solar panel installers in Orlando should know how to design your solar panel system so shading won’t be an issue. Reach out to a member of our team at Bob Heinmiller Solar to learn more about which panels are best for your area and how to get started installing a photovoltaic solar system. We offer solar water heaters, solar pool pumps, solar attic fans, and more.