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How Weather Affects Solar Panel Performance

How Weather Affects Solar Panel Performance

how weather affects solar panel energy generation

When our customers start making the switch to solar with a solar panel installation as a way to power their home or business, one of the common concerns or questions we have is how weather conditions might impact the performance of solar panels and energy generation of their solar panel system.

Whilst it’s true that solar panels are influenced by weather, advancements in technology ensure they remain a reliable source of energy throughout the year. Let’s explore how various weather conditions can affect your solar panel system.

1. Sunlight and Clear Skies

  • Optimal Performance: Solar panels perform at their best during clear, sunny days. Direct sunlight allows panels to generate maximum power, making clear skies and sunny days ideal for solar energy production.
  • Temperature Considerations: Interestingly, solar panels are more efficient at lower temperatures. Excessive heat can reduce their efficiency slightly, but modern panels are designed to mitigate these effects which is why we only use the best solar products available to us for the UK climate.

2. Cloudy and Overcast Conditions

  • Reduced Efficiency: While solar panels can still generate electricity on cloudy days, their efficiency is reduced. On average, panels produce about 10-25% of their usual output in overcast conditions.
  • Diffuse Light: Even in cloudy weather, solar panels can capture diffuse light that penetrates the clouds, ensuring they continue to generate energy, albeit at a lower rate.

3. Rainy Days

  • Energy Production: Rain significantly reduces solar energy production as it limits the amount of sunlight reaching the panels. However, rain can help clean the panels, washing away dirt and debris that might obstruct sunlight.
  • Panel Maintenance: Regular rain can be beneficial for maintaining the cleanliness of your panels, reducing the need for manual cleaning.

4. Snow and Ice

  • Snow Coverage: Snow can temporarily block sunlight if it accumulates on the panels. Most solar panels are installed at an angle, which helps snow slide off. Additionally, panels generate some heat while operating, aiding in snow melt.
  • Cold Weather Performance: Cold, sunny days can be very effective for solar panels, as they perform better in cooler temperatures. Panels can produce more electricity than on hot days.

5. Wind

  • Structural Integrity: High winds do not directly affect solar panel performance but can impact their structural integrity. Proper installation ensures that panels can withstand strong winds, so only use a fully insured, accredited solar company to carry out your solar panel installation.
  • Cooling Effect: Breezy conditions can help cool solar panels, improving their efficiency.

6. Hail and Severe Weather

  • Durability: Solar panels are built to withstand various weather conditions, including hail. Most panels undergo rigorous testing to ensure they can handle hail impacts without damage.
  • Insurance: It’s wise to check if your solar panel system is covered under your home insurance for damage from severe weather.

While weather conditions do influence solar panel performance, modern solar technology ensures that panels remain a dependable source of energy in various climates. By understanding how different weather conditions affect your system, you can better anticipate your energy production and maintain optimal performance. Regardless of the weather, investing in solar energy is a smart choice for long-term sustainability and cost savings.

For more information on optimising your solar panel system for local weather conditions, contact Brookfield Renewable Energies Ltd. Our experts are here to help you make the most of your solar investment, rain or shine!

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