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How does weather and daylight hours affect my solar system?

Before getting a solar system installed, a common question homeowners ask us is “how will the weather and hours of sunlight per day affect my ability to create electricity?”

They, like the vast majority of people, understand the bones of how solar energy works but want to learn more to ensure they’re fully prepared.

If you’re like so many other homeowners eyeing the savings that come with a solar system, we’re happy to help provide the answers you need, starting with the difference between direct and diffused sunlight.

What is Direct and Diffused Sunlight?

Direct and diffused sunlight are two ways your solar panels collect and generate electricity. Direct sunlight is when the sun is directly hitting the solar panel, such as on a bright sunny day.

This is often when your system will be operating at peak efficiency, especially when you’re in an area like a suburb where there is a low chance of obstruction from tall buildings.

But what if you’re in an area with tall buildings?

That is where diffused sunlight comes in, wherein the sunlight collected comes from indirect sources that bounce the light to the solar panel.

An example would be a solar panel on the roof of a downtown business that has light reflected from large glass skyscrapers to the panel. Diffused sunlight is a good source of energy for your system, but does not generate the same amount of energy as direct sunlight.

How Do Rainy and Cloudy Days Affect Energy Production?

When clouds take over the sky, your system will continue to produce energy, albeit a significantly lower amount compared to full sun conditions. This is because the sunlight is diffused by the clouds blocking access to the sun, which takes it longer to reach your panel, weakening its strength.

Can I Produce Energy at Night?

Despite how bright the moon can get on clear nights, there is no direct or diffused sunlight being pushed to the solar panels, and therefore, energy generation cannot occur.

This is why a continued connection to the electrical grid is an important part of solar system installation, and can actually come to benefit the homeowner through net-metering.

Interested in learning more?

Ready to start on the road to a greener and richer future? Fill out the form below with any questions you may have and our team will get back to you – we’re only a click away.