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Do Solar Panels Still Work When It’s Raining?

How Rain Effects Solar Electricity Production

Contrary to popular belief, when it’s raining, solar power systems still generate electricity. Panels operate most efficiently in full sun, but they don’t stop producing electricity when it is raining or cloudy.  The fact is, visible light still gets through rain and clouds. We can all see that the sky isn’t completely dark when it rains. Infrared light gets through cloud and rain even more easily.  Almost everyone has gotten a sunburn on a cloudy day before. In fact, sunburns can be more severe on cloudy days. This provides more evidence that solar panels work even when it’s cloudy.The best evidence that solar still works on rainy days came from one of our Facebook fans recently. He let us know how much power his system was producing during cloudy, rainy weather. “Rain coming and very overcast. Solar system still generating almost 2kw! We generated 86% of our needed electricity yesterday. Thanks Solar Energy World!” – Mark L. via Facebook

If solar only worked in sunny areas, places like Germany wouldn’t be producing 20-30% of all its energy daily from solar power. New Jersey and Massachusetts aren’t nearly as sunny as California or Arizona yet New Jersey now ranks 3rd in the country for solar capacity and Massachusetts ranks 4th. 

Clouds don’t stop the solar UV rays from getting through and power production from photo-voltaic solar panels actually works most efficiently in colder temperatures. (Optimum temperature for power production is around 43 degrees Fahrenheit.)

Solar installation companies still need to make sure they are following best practices when quoting potential return on investment to customers.  At Solar Energy World we know that energy output goes down when the sun is not shining brightly so when we provide homeowners with a detailed cost/benefit analysis we take rainy days into account based on the region’s historical data.  This way a homeowner will know what to expect and will have realistic expectations of the savings and/or profits their home solar system will generate.

If you are thinking about going solar yourself, please fill out the form on this page for a free solar evaluation, or click on the limited time special offer message shown on this page.