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What happens to solar PV generation when its cloudy?

In the northern hemisphere, solar panels should face south to generate maximum energy and work best with clear skies. However, PV panels do not necessarily need direct sunlight to work. Even if the sky is covered with dark clouds, they will still generate energy, as they use more than just visible light.

The sun emits radiation of different wavelengths, some of which are invisible to the human eye.

This invisible radiation penetrates the cloud and directly enters the PV panel. As long as it is daytime, solar panels will continue to generate energy.

However, if there is anything between the sun and your panels, it could be another matter. Solar panels in shade or with other obstructions experience a loss in performance. That is why a study of your property to assess any shading issues is key to understand the possible energy generation at your property.

This can’t be done properly, remotely. It can get quite technical and its why a technical survey is needed before accurate generation statistics can be produced.

Which is why, one of our expert technicians will come out to confirm all of our design plans, ahead of your installation day.

The design and construction of PV panels have been greatly improved in the past few years, making them more tolerant of their environment. Now, even if the sky is covered with clouds, solar panels can maintain between 75%-95% of their maximum power output.

So the answer is yes!

Solar PV can generate good amounts of power under cloudy skies.

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