How well does 12v solar panel work on cloudy days
Are you considering solar power for your home, RV or boat? If so, you might be wondering if your 12v solar panel is working on a cloudy day. After all, there’s nothing more frustrating than spending thousands of dollars on an epic solar installation only to have your precious energy system hampered by the weather.
Well, you’ve come to the right place. This article answers the age-old question every renewable energy enthusiast is asking: How well does 12v solar panel work on cloudy days?
Does 12v solar panel work on cloudy days
IYou’ll be happy to know that 12v solar penal work on cloudy days, just not as well. This is because photovoltaic cells can still generate electricity from direct and indirect sunlight. While they work best in direct sunlight, they can use reflected or scattered light to create a valuable flow of energy.
12v solar penal only use specific frequencies of light to work, which means a lot of the spectrum goes unused. Fortunately, clouds tend to scatter all wavelengths uniformly, so damage to solar panel output is primarily due to cloud thickness.
How efficient is 12v solar panel on cloudy days
OK, we’ve covered the good news; but how well do 12v solar penal work on cloudy days? Unfortunately, when the weather is a little gloomy, you’ll experience a pretty significant reduction in energy. Specifically, you may only get 10-25% of the charge on cloudy days compared to days in direct sunlight. This varies greatly depending on the thickness of the cloud. With a light cloud, you might get around 20%. But in the event of a large thunderstorm, you will hardly see any electricity.
An interesting phenomenon that can actually increase the output of 12v solar penal on partly cloudy days is called cloud lensing. Due to the abundance of fluffy, broken clouds, they can actually bend light at their edges and generate peaks in electricity production as the cloud passes by. This is often taken into account for larger solar systems, as the cloud lens may create an overpressure condition in very cold breaking cloud conditions.
Not all 12v solar panel is the same
Another factor to consider in solar panel performance on cloudy days is their type. There are three types of 12v solar penal : monocrystalline, polycrystalline and thin film. Each has its pros and cons, depending on your budget, panel location, and surroundings.
Monocrystalline and polycrystalline 12v solar penal are made of silicon wafers; these are the cells that convert sunlight into electricity. However, the main difference between the two is how the cells are made. Monocrystalline cells have a monolithic silicon crystal, making them efficient and high performance.
Polycrystalline cells, on the other hand, mold multiple silicon crystals into a single wafer. It makes polycrystalline cells more affordable than monocrystalline cells, but at the expense of performance.
Thin-film 12v solar penal are a little different. They can be made from a variety of materials, but the most common is cadmium telluride (CdTe). This makes them very thin and flexible, ideal for areas with little space or load-bearing capacity. However, they lack energy performance compared to monocrystalline 12v solar penal .
How does 12v solar panel work
So, we now know what 12v solar penal are made of, but how do they convert sunlight into energy? To put it bluntly: Photovoltaic cells (whether silicon, cadmium telluride, or other materials) make up the cells of a solar panel. This means they cause light particles to separate electrons from atoms, creating an electric current.
To convert this flow into usable energy, the battery has a “sandwich” of photovoltaic cells — one positively charged and one negatively charged. When sunlight hits the solar panel, it creates an electric field between the two layers. This pushes the electrons towards the conductive metal plate and then towards the wires connecting the battery.
What are the benefits of 12v solar panel
If you’ve already invested in 12v solar penal , you probably already know the many benefits. Number one – they can take you off the grid. You can travel almost anywhere by boat or RV and power almost any electrical device.
Plus, if you’re in a residence, your energy costs will be significantly lower, allowing you to save on monthly electricity bills over the life of your system. They are also suitable for backup power situations. Finally, you can rest easy at night knowing that you are less dependent on fossil fuels.
However, the strength of the sun and the number of sunny days are not equal everywhere. Power generation and ROI vary depending on where the 12v solar penal are located.
How much energy your solar system can produce depends on location and weather
Sunlight does not hit all places on Earth equally, and this intensity varies throughout the year. While we all know that every day is not sunny, we may forget that when we calculate how much solar energy we need. You might be surprised to see the need for a supermassive solar system after taking into account the year-round solar angles and the average number of cloudy days in a given region.
Thankfully, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is here to help with their PV (photovoltaic) watt calculator. Just enter the address where you plan to build, and from there you can enter various solar array sizes to see how much energy you will generate. Alternatively, you can skip to the Results tab to see a graph of solar radiation (in kWh/m²/day) for each month of the year.
Does 12v solar panel work in the rain
Believe it or not, 12v solar penal sometimes work better on rainy days than cloudy days. Why? Rain does an excellent job of removing dirt, dust, and grime from panels, as does snow on 12v solar penal . Not only does it increase the energy they produce in less-than-ideal weather, but it also prepares them to make up for lost energy the next sunny day.
Does 12v solar panel work at night
As you might have guessed, 12v solar penal don’t work at night. This is because photovoltaic cells can only generate energy from sunlight. So when there is no sunlight (or very little), your 12v solar penal can’t produce energy. It’s that simple.
If you’re really curious and check the solar system’s voltages on a bright moonlit night, you might find that they do produce measurable voltages. This doesn’t mean you can generate electricity from the moon, but because the light isn’t strong enough to turn the panel into a lunar probe.
Make 12v solar panel work for you: storing power on cloudy days
It’s no surprise that 12v solar penal don’t work all the time. After all, the sun doesn’t shine 24/7. Thankfully, there are ways to store this energy for a rainy day (literally and figuratively).
To get the most out of your solar system, invest in some quality deep cycle lithium solar cells to keep your energy system running smoothly. That is, while your home circuit draws power directly from your battery, your panel will keep the battery fully charged during the day. Once the sun goes down, you’ll experience uninterrupted power as long as your electricity consumption doesn’t exceed your stored energy.
Is it worth using 12v solar panel on cloudy days
So, are 12v solar penal worth the investment, even if they don’t work optimally on cloudy days? We think so! Harnessing solar energy is all about giving and taking.
Sunny days make up for cloudy days by storing excess energy in the battery pack, and rainy days can even clean the panel for you. So unless you live near the Arctic Circle where it’s dark for months at a time, we’d say 12v solar penal are definitely worth it.