04 Mar

Do Solar Panels Work On Cloudy Days or at Night?

Do Solar Panels Work On Cloudy Days or at Night

Sun is a significant source of renewable free energy for earth. The demand for electric power is increasing, and it is now the engineer’s responsibility to make it available as per the requirement. Most of the powers generating plants are using non-renewable sources as their primary source. But these resources are depleting drastically and may become extinct within no time.

The best alternative is choosing renewable sources like solar energy, tidal energy, wind energy, etc. as the primary source for power generation. These sources provide better power compared to non-renewable sources, which is currently being used. Out of these sources, Solar Energy is the best for any country.

The basic working principle of a solar panel is the direct conversion of light energy into electrical energy through the photovoltaic effect. A solar cell is a sandwich of n & p-type silicon. When the sunlight shines on the battery, photons bombard the upper surface of the solar cell and photons carry their energy through the cell and give up their strength to electrons in p-type.

Particles in lower p-type utilize this energy, to jump into the upper n-type layer and escape out into the circuit. Flowing around the course, these electrons energize the load attached. Therefore, we conclude here that working on a solar module is entirely dependent on solar radiation. Hence solar modules work only in the presence of solar radiation that is during the daytime.

During dark days, just as clouds do not block all the sunlight, and they also can’t stop all the sun’s photons hitting the solar panels, the panels work on generating electricity even when it’s cloudy. But they do affect the efficiency of solar panels.

Less solar radiation results in lesser energy/electricity generation. Depending on how the sky is, a cloudy day can reduce the effectiveness of solar panel from 25% to 10% of the average efficiency. Though this is a significant drop in productivity, the good news is that solar panels can operate even on cloudy days. House owners living in darker areas and with higher than average energy costs can get the benefit from investing in solar PV systems. But the main thing is their operations should be larger than that of a similar house in the sunnier part.

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