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How Effective Are Solar Panels On Cloudy Days?

There are differing opinions as to the effectiveness of solar panels on cloudy days and that may not come as a surprise to many of you. Let us have a look at this in a little more detail.

Even on a cloudy day solar panels should be capable of generating electricity

At the outset, we should perhaps clear up the opinion of some people that, when there is no sunshine, solar panels do not generate any energy. This is just not the case. You do not need sunshine for solar panels to play their part in producing electricity. With diffuse light conditions, a solar panel system should still be capable of generating electricity although it will not be as effective as on a bright summer’s day.

On a day when it is extremely overcast with low, thick cloud cover making it appear quite dark your solar panels should still be generating electricity. In fact, you may find that they are producing as much as a tenth of the electricity that they would do on a bright sunny day. When there is only a light covering of clouds you may see your solar panel system performing at anything up to half of its normal capability and we are sure you will agree that is a commendable achievement.

It is worth noting that Germany, that is hardly renowned for a significant number of bright sunny days, as at the end of the third quarter of 2013, was the world leader for the number of solar panel installations. That surely must provide some reassurance to anyone considering whether it is worth installing solar panels on the roof of their home.

Surely around half a million homeowners here in the UK that have gone to the expense of having solar panels fitted to their rooftops cannot have got this wrong?

As always, we welcome your comments on the above subject.

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