Weather Patterns and Solar

Find out what happens to solar on your school in the rain, on cloudy days, and in a blackout.

  • How do clouds affect solar performance? Some argue solar panels don’t produce electricity on cloudy days, but this claim is false. Solar radiation still penetrates clouds and solar panels can still produce electricity on cloudy days. Depending on the cloud cover and the quality of the solar panels, efficiency can drop anywhere from 10-25 percent of the energy output seen on a sunny day. By working with a local installer with expertise in your community’s weather, installation rules, and regulations, you can reduce shading and maximize the production efficiency of your school's installation. READ MORE →
  • Can solar panels overheat? Solar doesn’t need hot weather to generate electricity, just sunshine! Solar panels actually work best in places that are sunny and cold. When panels get above about 77 degrees Fahrenheit, they tend to work less efficiently.
  • How do severe weather events impact solar? In general, solar panels are extremely durable. Most manufacturers test their panels to confirm that they can withstand high winds and heavy snow loads, and many solar panels are specifically tested to ensure that they can withstand falling hail. Rain actually helps to keep your panels operating efficiently by washing away any dust or dirt. Additionally, solar energy systems don’t usually have moving parts, and they require little to no maintenance.
  • Will the school have power during a blackout? Yes! If the solar system is connected to the grid, as they usually are, the panels will be shut down in the event of a blackout to prevent utility workers from shocks spurred by the panels. However, if the solar system is connected to an inverter with a battery system, this can serve as a backup power source to keep the school powered with electricity during blackout events.

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