When it comes to renewable energy, solar panels are definitely a hot topic. Solar is an efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly way to generate electricity from the sun. It’s no secret that solar panels work best in sunny, bright conditions but one of the most common questions people have is whether solar panels work in rainy weather, or if they will be damaged. Well, let’s find out!
Yes, solar panels work on rainy days, but with less efficiency and power. On rainy days, you can get up to 25% of its total power delivery capacity. The photovoltaic panels can absorb some light even when it’s dim outside. But you can increase the efficiency by optimizing factors like the placement of panels, improvising power consumption, pulling off the grid, etc.
Still not satisfied with the performance of your solar panels? You can replace them with the latest models of monocrystalline solar panels that can capture more light.
An Overview Of Solar Panel
A solar panel receives and captures sunlight to produce electricity from it. That’s why the panels should be facing the most exposed areas of the sun.
Under the board, micro-converters are installed. They convert the light into AC/DC through an AC/DC optimizer. A battery or capacitor stores the energy and supplies it according to demand.
The best temperature range for solar panels is 25 degrees to 30 degrees. But what happens on rainy days or in winter when sunlight is close to none sometimes? Let’s find out!
Does A Solar Panel Work in The Rain?
Yes, a solar panel can produce and provide energy even on rainy days. The amount of output wattage depends on the practical irradiance level, which means the amount of sunlight.
Modern photovoltaic cells are capable of receiving sunlight even with the lowest radiation. However, the output watts on rainy days will be a lot slower than on sunny days because of the intensity of light.
Even with the higher optimization, you can get only 25% of the panel’s capacity. This is not a lot, but enough to run a house for a certain period of time. Low temperatures are also responsible for such a decreased amount.
Mechanism Of Solar Panels on Rainy Days
The production of electricity through solar panels gets slower on rainy days. First of all, you have to know about the photovoltaic cell that is responsible for such power conversions.
A photovoltaic cell can receive light as radiation, and a micro-converter is used to convert the photons into energy. So, if the cell or panel receives less light, the power production will be lower in percentage.
Another crucial factor is infrared light. Modern photovoltaic cells are made of polycrystalline materials that can capture IR rays. These longer waves can easily penetrate the clouds and enter the panels.
And lastly, direct sunlight is not always an obvious option. Solar panels can also harness the reflected light that bounces off various surfaces. So, you can get some power or electricity on rainy or cloudy days from solar panels.
Efficiency Of Solar Panels in Rain
On typical summer days, you can get a decent amount of power output from the panel capacity. But rainy days are different. Production can be reduced by a certain percentage, such as 15%. So, what’s the efficiency of solar panels in rain?
As mentioned earlier, efficiency can be increased up to 25%, but that won’t always be the case. Strong winds come with the rain and bring dust particles, though they clean out most of the dust. Therefore, the efficiency can be lowered by about 15%.
Suppose you have a solar panel that has a power of 1 kW. So, it can produce 1.25 kWh of electricity during rain rather than 5 kWh of electricity like on summer days. The number will vary in cloudy or rainy weather.
However, the difference in power production is pretty high. You can increase the efficiency with some new hybrid panels and proper power utilization.
Can Rain Damage a Solar Panel?
Well, it depends on the rain conditions given rain is not predictable at all. For example, when rain falls in the form of lightweight mist, it won’t damage the panels at all. Moreover, it will wash away the dust particles.
When the rainfall is a heavy downpour, it can cause potential damage to the panels. Heavier raindrops are always dangerous to solar panels.
Rain for extended periods is also harmful to solar panels. That’s because it can break apart modules of the panels and even rip off the wire connection.
Even heavy winds with rain are dangerous. Hail can easily crack the glass surfaces of the panels and break apart the modules.
How Long Can a Solar Panel Stay Waterproof?
You can’t say whether a solar panel is waterproof or not until you know its building compositions. Typically, a solar panel can withstand a little harsh rain when it’s made of water damage-resistant materials.
The outer layer of the panels is typically covered with thin polymer-based glass. So, rain with some turbulent winds can’t easily damage the cells. The metal frame with high-quality adhesives acts as a waterproof seal for the panel as well.
Therefore, if you install durable solar panels on your roof, you won’t have to worry about heavy rain or brutal winds. It would be wise to avail guarantees or warranties from the manufacturer, just in case.
Effect Of Edge Cloud
Even though it’s not raining, the sky is cloudy. Your panels will function more effectively than in rainy situations.
That’s because the edge clouds can amplify the light waves or reflect them. In this way, the input rays over the panels are way better than in everyday situations. You will notice a sudden increment in energy production if you have a solar controller.
Though the edge cloud is primarily seen in blue skies, you will also notice it on rainy days. In that case, you need to maintain a proper angle to the sun’s rays to get the maximum light.
How To Use Solar Panels Properly On Rainy Days
As the effectiveness of solar panels stays in a lower range during rain, you need to get a higher percentage of power output. For maximum output watts, you need to know how to use your solar panels on rainy days.
Get Powerful Batteries
Solar panels store electricity in some capacitors. But what if it’s been raining for a week, and your panels are all maxed out? So, for backup, you need to keep some solar batteries.
The solar batteries have enough stored power to provide a backup power supply for your home. But the lifespan of these batteries is a bit low. And it may not function properly if it’s been charged or discharged for a long time.
Pull Off the Grid
Most people forget to cut the grid from the main line of their homes while the panels are underperforming. You need to ensure that you have pulled off the grid. Otherwise, the grids will take away the extra energy coming from the solar panel, and they will shut off pretty quickly.
Don’t Install in Shady Areas
You should have already learned the importance of the amount of radiation and IR rays falling over the panels. When installing the panels in shady areas, you will get less than 20% energy even if the sky’s edge is cloudy. While installing the solar panels, it would be wise to avoid the shaded areas.
Construction is one of the most prominent factors in energy production from a solar panel. Typical solar panels use polycrystalline panels. But the monocrystalline panels are more efficient comparatively.
In the same situation, polycrystalline panels can provide 15% efficiency, and monocrystalline panels can provide 20% efficiency. Because of their purity, electrons can move more freely and produce energy.
Reduce Power Consumption
As the power production through solar panels gets lower on rainy days, you have to adjust your power consumption accordingly. After all, deficiency and demand are the ultimate keys behind every process.
Advanced Solar Panels To Use In Rain
According to new research, a futuristic solar panel can produce electricity by using the potential energy of raindrops.
In the new hybrid panels, two transparent polymer layers are placed over the layer of a photovoltaic cell. When a raindrop falls and rolls off over the transparent layers, the cell catches the static electricity charge created by the friction.
This hybrid device can generate electricity even though it’s night or the cloud is too dark to pass the sunlight. It won’t even need the sun for power generation on rainy days!
Solar panels are excellent devices that capture sunlight and produce electricity. But do solar panels work in rain? Hopefully, the points made here are enough to clarify. The solar panels do work on rainy days, but the efficiency is not satisfying at all. You will only get 10 to 25% of the actual power output.
To utilize the maximum energy, you should navigate the panels or use other alternatives. They can easily provide higher efficiency. You can also keep solar batteries as a backup option. Get some advanced solar panels today!