Have you ever driven past a home that had solar panels mounted on the roof and wondered how they get electricity on a cloudy day? Critics of solar energy claim that if it is overcast for a few days then you’ll be left in the dark. The truth is that a solar power system produces electricity every day…even the cloudy ones.
Don’t Solar Panels Need…the Sun?
It is very true that solar panels need the sun in order to produce energy. That’s why there is no output at night. However, the panels create electricity from the sun’s energy. It is all around us even if the sun is not visible. Ask anyone if they have ever gotten a sunburn on a cloudy day and you’ll hear a few of them say “yes”. The amount of energy that the panels can collect is much higher if they are bathed in direct sunlight. That is why we mount them on your roof in a position that will give them the greatest exposure. However, even on a cloudy, rainy day, there is still enough solar energy to produce electricity.
You will notice, however, that your system’s output is dramatically lessened on the days that there is no sun. Most of the time you will only get between 10 and 25% of what you normally see. That might be enough if you take a few steps toward conserving it. But if not, that is where your energy surplus comes in.
How Your Power Bill is Impacted by Cloudy Days
On all of those bright, sunny days when your system put out more power than your family could use, the extra was fed into the grid and you were credited for it by the power company. That is how you’re able to use electricity at night and still keep your overall power consumption at net-zero for the year. Those same credits will help you on cloudy days. And you don’t have to worry about using your credits up. It would have to be cloudy for a very long time for you to see a noticeable change in charges.
At Aurora Energy, we think about these kinds of things all the time. If you have any questions about how solar power works then just give us a call. We’ll be happy to answer them for you. You can also learn a lot more about our business by visiting our Facebook page.
When you’re ready to take the dive into converting your home to solar we’ll send one of our friendly consultants to meet with you. We’re just waiting for you, and so are all of your savings!