Does solar work when it’s cloudy outside?
Solar panels do work when it is overcast but it isn’t as efficient. It only produces 10% to 25% of what it does when it is in direct sunlight. The heavier the clouds the less power your solar panels will produce, so if it’s really cloudy you can expect about 10% of the normal output and if it is light clouds or foggy it’ll be closer to 25% of the normal output.
Solar works best in hot sunny weather, right?
Solar panels do best in direct sunlight but not necessarily in hot sunny weather. Too much heat can reduce solar output by 10% to 25%, solar panels power output starts to break down when the panels go over 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
So if you live in places like Nevada where you have a lot of hot sunny days, your solar system may not work as well as if you live on the west coast. The marine layer that is experienced on the coast of California, Oregon and Washington helps to keep the solar panels cooler and therefore the output doesn’t degrade as it does in really hot sunny areas.
You can save money with solar, wherever you live.
Whether your house will do well with solar isn’t dependent on where you live, the position of your house can also be a factor and where and how you install the panels will also affect the efficiency and output. You should check with your local utilities to see what credits and rebates they may offer if you were to install a solar system in you home.
Solar for Every Application.
There is a solar product for just about everything. Solar has come so far and is becoming more and more advanced. There are portable solar packs that are great for hiking and tent camping, portable kits designed for RV’s, solar kits for homes and tiny houses, there are even solar powered generators. There is more information on DIY solar here and portable solar options here.
Batteries for solar systems.
I bought a solar kit for our RV which has 4 AGM batteries and it works very well to keep the batteries charged. I have done some research and learned that solar works better with Flooded (Traditional) batteries or AGM (Absorbent Glass Material) batteries than it does with Gel batteries. The type and number of batteries you will need will depend on the size of the solar system you will be using and if using solar for an RV, tiny home or house, and you may also need a converter.
Research is probably the most important thing to do when considering a solar system. There is a wealth of information on the internet and your local power company is also a good resource for information.