Will solar panels work on cloudy, rainy, or snowy days

December 2, 2019 | 3min read

On cloudy or rainy days, solar panels’ performance will be diminished. But they will not stop working entirely. When it snows, solar panels will not work until the snow is cleared from them. Even then, if it’s cloudy, their performance will be reduced. One way to compensate for reduced production is to monitor your system’s output and try to reduce your usage to stay within it.

How much power do solar panels produce on a cloudy day

Solar panels can produce about 10-25% of their normal output on a cloudy day. Obviously, the cloudier it is, the less power your solar panels will produce. The best way to know how much the clouds affect your system’s performance is to monitor your system on sunny days to get familiar with how much power your system produces on sunny days. Then it’s easy to compare your system’s output to its normal output to see how much its performance has been affected.

Keep in mind that your system’s performance will vary by season too. So it’s a good idea to regularly monitor your system’s performance to see how the change of seasons affects its performance as well.

Rain affects how your solar panels work

Just like on cloudy days, your system will still produce some power on rainy days. Obviously, the heavier the cloud cover, the more your system’s performance will be affected. 

The good news about rain is that it can boost your system’s performance by washing the dust off the panels. Dust can reduce your system’s performance by 12 – 17% according to a study performed at MIT. You don’t have to wait for it to rain either. It’s a good idea to maximize your system’s performance by occasionally hosing or sweeping the dust off of them.

How snow affects your solar system’s performance

Amazingly enough, even when covered in snow a solar system can still produce power! Scattered light filters through snow and reaches solar panels even when the snow cover is fairly heavy. Power production is reduced, but the system can still produce power.

The good news: Solar panels work better when they are cold rather than hot. Plus, snow will clean your panels of dust just like rain. Lastly, the slant of your roof and the slick surface of the panels combine to help snow slide off your panels readily. Light snow often has little or no impact on system performance because it often slides right off.

Freedom Forever can design the right system for you, regardless of your weather

Our independent authorized dealers are experts on solar energy production in your area. They can help you choose a solar system that will fit your energy needs, regardless of your local weather. Freedom Forever can then build a system that meets your needs and works in your weather. Rain or shine, we’ve got your solar needs covered.

Ready to go solar rain or shine? Call us at 800-685-1850 or click below to get started.