If you believe that solar panels work the best only in the summer season then you are certainly mistaken because photovoltaics are made in such a way that they will work in all types of weather.
But most people think twice before installing solar energy systems during the rainy season as they think that rain will have a negative impact on solar panels.
However, the energy output from the panels won’t be as effective as it would be on a clear day.
As part of this blog post, we’ll look in detail at how solar panels perform during rainy days and how we can boost their overall power generation.
- Do solar panels work in Rainy Weather?
- 9 Tips to Boost PV Output during Rainy Weather
- 1. Place your Panels under Clear Sky
- 2. Use an Alternate Power Source
- 3. Get a better Battery Backup System
- 4. Reduce the Number of Devices
- 5. Install a Solar Concentrator
- 6. Perform Regular Maintenance
- 7. Take the Help of High-Efficient Technology
- 8. Set Up your Panels to Track the Sun
- 9. Use High-Efficiency Solar Modules
Do solar panels work in Rainy Weather?
If you want a simple answer then, yes solar panels do work on rainy days, although they are not fully efficient.
So if you are going to rely on solar energy alone to run most of the home appliances then it is important for you to understand how efficient they can be on rainy and cloudy days.
During the rainy season, we get to see cloudy weather and in this weather, there is a very limited amount of sunlight during the day.
Numerous tests show that they can generate 20 to 40% of the normal power they should on normal days. The below stats from ResearchGate will give you a brief idea of power generation during sunny, cloudy & rainy days.
It would be right to say that solar panels do not work at their top potential during rain. However, if you look at it from a different angle, rain is not all bad.
The rain and wind work as a natural cleaner for your panels that makes your panels extra effective just after the rain.
The amount of sunlight is not the only deciding factor for the installation of solar panels, the cost efficiency and saving on electricity bills are two other factors that will help you decide on the installation of solar panels in your house.
If you compare it with other countries which get very less sunlight they have high utility rates. The main reason behind it is in terms of huge savings on electricity bills and their quick return on investment.
Related Post: How do solar panels work?
San Francesco: In Best Cities to use Solar Panels
Let’s take an example of a city that doesn’t get sunlight for most of the year, like San Francesco which is very well known for its foggy weather throughout the year.
Yet they are ranking among the top cities to use solar panels and I hope the reason is quite clear by now. This is a great example that shows that the amount of sun time doesn’t matter in determining the efficiency of a solar energy system.
The basic thing you need to understand is that even after rain, solar panels can operate on very little sunlight that is being reflected through the cloud.
However, there are certain measures that you can take during the rainy season to enhance the overall power generation of your solar panels. Let’s have a look at them.
9 Tips to Boost PV Output during Rainy Weather
Below is the list of the 9 best ways by which you can improve your solar panel output during rainy weather.
1. Place your Panels under Clear Sky
If your panels are guarded by trees or by any other obstacles, sunlight won’t reach the panels properly.
It is important that nothing is guarding the path of sun rays to your panels because you already know that you are not going to get enough sun time during a rainy day, so you must utilize the limited amount of sunlight to its full potential.
Proper placement will ensure that your solar panels can absorb the most amount of energy. And for proper placements of the panels, you should hire professionals.
A professional solar installer will take utmost care in installing the panels properly. They will take into notice whether the panels are covered by shades or getting blocked by any obstacles.
Related Post: Best Angles & Directions for Solar Panels
2. Use an Alternate Power Source
You should not rely only on the solar power system to power your house all the time. Having a grid line system will ensure that it makes up for the power deficiency during rain.
You should not worry about the increase in the electricity bill of the grid line system because rain won’t last long and after rain, on a clear sky the solar power system will compensate for that.
If you rely only on solar power to run your devices then you will have a hard time at night. Having an alternate power source will ensure that it can run when the output from the solar power is not enough.
3. Get a better Battery Backup System
Instead of using solar power directly from solar panels, you should have a battery backup where you can store energy.
Using a battery backup system will help you all the time, not only on rainy days.
Batteries will be charged when the sun is out before or after the rain, and you can use them later when the sun isn’t out.
I know installing a solar panel system is a costly process but having batteries to store absorbed energy will be a good addition to your overall solar power system.
Related Post: How is Solar Energy Stored: Solar Energy Storage Methods
4. Reduce the Number of Devices
Instead of adding a number of panels on the roof or getting more batteries, you can just reduce the number of devices that are connected to the solar power system.
Using fewer devices or low-power devices will consume less power so the amount of energy that is generated will be enough to run the device.
But if you connect more devices then the limited power generated on a rainy day won’t be able to run the devices for long. Moreover, running high electric consumption devices simultaneously is not a good idea when you are not running on full power.
So you must plan accordingly and prioritize only the important devices.
Consequently, you can use the energy stored in the batteries for longer if you run only the devices that are of the utmost importance.
5. Install a Solar Concentrator
As the name suggests a solar power concentrator helps to concentrate the solar light and in return maximize the power.
Chemical reaction to convert sunlight into electricity is not so efficient during rain so instead of relying on PV Panels alone, you can get a solar power concentrator.
The best part about solar power concentrators is they have the power to harness the raw thermal energy directly from the sun.
If you don’t want to invest in high-end devices then you can take the help of mirrors and place them accordingly which will work as a solar power concentrator.
6. Perform Regular Maintenance
Water in the rainy season works as a natural cleaner but in due time due to wear and tear it gets out of shape. It is recommended that you should do maintenance at least twice a year to keep the panels in their best condition.
Dirt and dust reduce the output level by 5 to 10% and if not taken care of then they may further increase by 20%.
So you need to do regular maintenance to keep it in shape. You can do it yourself, or you can hire a professional who can do it for you.
7. Take the Help of High-Efficient Technology
To know the optimum level of output you must monitor it properly.
If you do not monitor the output regularly you won’t get to know when the efficiency is dropping.
So in order to monitor the output level, you are going to need energy management software that will check for abnormal drops in the performance of solar panels.
Moreover, you can get yourself some tools like a solar optimizer, solar tracking device, or solar charge controller that will help you further improve your efficiency.
8. Set Up your Panels to Track the Sun
Speaking of technologies and devices Solar Tracker is a must, especially on cloudy days when the sun is covered by clouds.
With the help of a solar tracker, your panels will trail the sun as it shines throughout the sky. Tracking helps in more time sun time and increases the production of electricity.
There are two different models of solar tracking devices: a single-axis model and a double-axis model. The single-axis model is cheaper and less efficient, however, the dual-axis is quite costly, but it is more accurate.
Therefore, if you need better output from your solar panel then you will have to incur costs in this type of device.
9. Use High-Efficiency Solar Modules
Using highly efficient solar modules can also be a great way to boost overall energy production, even during the rainy season.
If you compare the three types of solar modules: poly vs mono vs CVP during the rainy season, then for sure the overall production of concentrated PV cells will be the highest.
You should always go for the latest solar panel technology in the market to boost your overall efficiency & power generation in any season.
There you have it, a clear answer that solar panels do work on rainy days, and with the help of some preparations you can boost the output of the solar panels.
If you already have a solar power system installed then you can take the help of the tips that are mentioned in this article to improve the overall power generation.
But if you are still thinking about whether you should install a solar power system during the rainy season then there is no need to worry about it anymore.
Because now you know how helpful the rainy season can be for the overall performance of your solar panels.