Choosing solar panels for your DIY installation can be tricky particularly if you are looking for the best solar panels for cloudy weather.
Clouds impact the amount of energy that a solar panel receives from the sun and the amount of electricity that can be produced.
The higher the amount of sun, the greater the amount of power produced by the solar panel. But, no matter how thick the cloud or rain, the panels will always produce electricity, regardless of the amount of light. There will always be enough sunlight in the atmosphere for the panels to function.
A solar panel array will always provide electrical energy, even when the weather is cloudy, as long as there is daylight.
The best ways to deal with the lower power output that will be caused by cloudy conditions is to ensure that your solar panels face as south as possible, that they are inclined to face the sun, maximising performance, and, to install more panels.
There is also the possibility of boosting the amount of light that the panels receive.
How Can You Boost Solar Panels?
You may have seen this type of solution in use by people sunbathing…you know..sun reflectors.
The output from solar panels on cloudy days can be upped by using mirrors or other reflectors to focus light onto them. This type of technique is used at the PS10 Thermal Solar Power Station in Spain.
This system uses mirrors to aim solar energy at a tower which is ultimately used to generate electricity.
You get an idea in this video – mirrors are used to focus solar energy onto a receiver to enhance performance.
We can boost the performance of our photovoltaic panels by aiming mirrors at them – okay so we won’t have the amount of mirrors that they have in the video, but, just one mirror will make a difference.
Some solar users have installed mirrors and other reflective panels on either side of their solar panels and are reporting improved results – just by adding mirrors to either side of the panel.
Just two mirrors can make a difference.
Cloudy Countries use Solar Power to great effect
Many cloudy countries use solar power widely and, in some cases, they generate more solar and renewable energy than other sources.
Germany and the UK are very cloudy countries, cloud is more common than direct sunlight but both countries have significant solar provision. Homes and businesses are stacked with solar panels and many wide, open areas are being turned into solar farms.
On the other hand really sunny countries such as Spain are really poor at using solar energy.
The UK, a very cloudy and wet place, is frequently generating more power from renewables (including solar) than it’s traditional sources of coal and gas fired power stations.
If you are living in an area that gets lots of rain and cloud then you might wonder if solar power is worth it, or you might wonder if there are best solar panels for cloudy weather and you may even doubt whether to bother at all.
If we take the examples of the UK and Germany it is interesting to note that both get less sunshine than Alaska, but they still manage to generate massive amounts of power through solar.
If it works in these European countries then it will work in cloudy areas everywhere else!
If we also think about the size of our solar panels, and their locations, then, just like people in the UK and Germany, we can get good results in cloudy areas.
Cloudy areas are a good match for Solar and the choice of solar panel is not particularly important.
The answer to the question of which are the best solar panels for cloudy weather is simply that they all are.
I use both Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline solar panels – and I have a lot of cloud and get good, consistent results.
One panel that I do recommend is the HQST 100w Monocrystalline Panel that you can get on Amazon
So my view is that any solar panel will work when it is cloudy.
Put your focus on size and affordability – trust me the panel will work.