Do Solar Panels Work When it is Cloudy or Raining?

Solar Trust Centre Team
Solar Trust Centre Team
April 23, 2019

One of the most common misconceptions about solar panels is that, they won’t generate energy in overcast conditions, but this is not true at all.

The solar panels work by converting energy from the sun to electricity, so the brighter the sun, the more electricity is being generated. It doesn’t have to be sunny always for solar panels to produce energy. Even when it’s cloudy or raining, solar modules still generate electricity, however there will be less output than on a bright sunny day.

What’s the time of the day and season of the year does a solar system works best?

As the sun’s brightness and angle changes throughout the day and year, so too does the amount of electricity your solar power system will generate.

The highest output from a solar system during the day is usually from 11am to 4pm. Since days are longer in summer, more energy is generated than in the short days of winter.

The graph below is an example of how the energy generation changes throughout a year. This is based on data from a real 3kW system sample in Wollongong, NSW.


Solar System Output Throughout the Year in NSW
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