If you are in the dark about the effect of cloudy weather on solar panels, you came to the right place!
If your solar panels are exposed to half as much sunlight, they generate half the power. They always work even in low light conditions, but they generate less electricity, and the ability of solar panels to operate efficiently in cloudy weather varies with model and type.
If an example solar panel generates 1,000 watts on a normal sunny day but there is half as much sunlight, it generates half as much power (this isn’t entirely true, but you can use this as a guideline). This means that if the total amount of sunlight available per month is half as much as average, then the solar panels would have to be twice the normal rated wattage to compensate for that, doubling the cost of the solar setup.
Effect of Snow and Winter Weather on Solar Panels
Many people want to know how exactly winter will affect their solar panels’ power output, I will try my best to provide that information. When the power output of solar panels decreases during the winter, people often blame the lack of sunlight, but there is actually still a significant amount available during the winter. Snow cover can have a far worse effect on solar panel performance than cloudy weather.
If snow (not clear ice) covers individual cells on the panel, it will likely cause a significant reduction in power output, even if it is only one cell.
Please try to keep as much snow off of them as you can. Solar panels are made of many cells connected to each other in series, so current flows from one, through the next until it reaches the last cell.
Please never rely on the voltage of a solar setup to give you an idea of how much your solar panels are affected by weather or how they are performing overall. Voltage can actually increase as temperature decreases during the winter, and current (denoted using A, or Amperes) will decrease, please check voltage and current, and always multiply them by each other. Volts * Amps = Wattage (Power).