Contrary to this intuition, solar panels perform best in cool environments. You’ll get the maximum yield from your PV system when direct sunlight is hitting your array, but solar panels continue to generate electricity with ambient sunlight on cloudy days.
Tip: monocrystalline solar panels are known to be more efficient in low-light conditions than polycrystalline solar panels.
Rain can also rinse off “soiling,” or the dirt and dust that builds up on solar panels, making them operate more efficiently.
Some areas also have rewarding “net metering” policies that credit you for the the energy your PV system generates on those clear days. It’s fed into the electricity grid and later used to offset your energy consumption (kWh) on cloudy days or at night when you’re drawing from the utility grid. To learn more about grid-tied PV systems, read Grid-Tied and Off-Grid Solar 101.
With the installed price of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems declining, investing in clean energy is more cost-effective than ever. Solar is even saving homeowners money in cloudier cities like Seattle and Portland.
Solar is steadily appearing on more rooftops throughout the country- which U.S. cities have you noticed more PV systems being installed?