Understanding The Effectiveness Of Solar Power In Heavy Rain

A solar panel harnessing solar power under a cloudy sky.

If you’ve ever inquired about solar panels you’ll have been asked whether your house is south-facing. This is to ensure the panels will get the maximum amount of sun. In turn, the highest level of sunlight will help to ensure enough power is generated to run your home.

Of course, the natural conclusion of this, for many people, is that solar panels don’t work well in heavy rain. However, heavy rain isn’t necessarily an issue and can actually be beneficial to your solar panels!

The key, if you have a solar energy system, is to ensure that any damage is repaired promptly by a reputable solar panel repairs firm.

How Solar Panels Work

Solar panels are designed to collect sunlight. In fact, the rays of light consist of protons, these knock electrons in the panels free from their atoms, this process creates a small flow of electricity. 

The panel is made up of many photovoltaic cells, each one has a top and bottom layer. The top layer has an abundance of phosphorous while the bottom layer is dosed with boron. In effect, the top layer has a negative charge and the bottom a positive. When the sunlight hits the electrons in those layers the electric force created is literally pushed out of the cell by the electrical field operating between the two opposing layers. 

Yes, solar panels work best in clear sunshine. However, it’s not the sunshine that creates the electricity, it’s the rays of light that come from the sun. 

That’s why solar panels still work on cloudy and even days of heavy rain. Regardless of what the weather is doing, the sun is always there, even if it’s not visible. 

The result is the rays of light will still hit the solar panels and create electricity.

It should be noted that heavy rain and cloud cover will diffuse the light rays. This makes them less concentrated and less effective when they hit the solar panel. In heavy rain, the electricity produced can be just 25% of that in direct sunshine.

Additional Thoughts Worth Considering

Before you assume that solar panels are not an option you’ll need to consider how much heavy rain you actually experience. Light rain and light cloud cover barely make a difference to the energy produced by solar panels. 

In short, a heavy downpour will reduce the production capability of your solar panels. But, this will only last for as long as the heavy rain lasts. 

It’s also important to remember that heavy rain is effective at cleaning your solar panels, making it a useful ally.

Providing the number of days of heavy rain and cloud cover is relatively low, you can still fit solar panels and survive with basic electrical needs or by switching back to the grid. Don’t forget, although solar panels are relatively expensive to install, they last for many years and will generate electricity for free. Even the few days of heavy rain and clouds can’t detract from that benefit.

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