Do Solar Panels Work When It’s Cloudy? Everything You Need to Know

Solar Panels Ireland on Roof during a cloudy day

If you’re worried about the rising cost of energy bills and how to heat your home, solar panels have possibly popped into your mind. Thanks to the soaring cost of living, Irish households can expect to fork out more than €520 every year for their gas and electricity bills. Thankfully, solar technology offers a cost-effective solution for anyone looking to ease energy costs going into 2023 and beyond. Another question many Irish households have is whether solar panels work on cloudy days. The answer is simple: solar panels do work in cloudy conditions, and Ireland tends to have a well-suited climate for them. Over 60,000 homes in Ireland have them installed, proving that no matter how cloudy it is outside, solar panels will continue to absorb PV energy.

Many people have resisted making the switch to solar panels in Ireland. However, when faced with an unpredictable climate and cloudy conditions, solar panels can operate incredibly efficiently. Consider ditching your current energy supplier and investing in a renewable alternative. Read on for everything you need to know about solar panels and how well they perform in cloudy weather.

Do Solar Panels Work On Cloudy Days In Ireland?

Do solar panels work on cloudy days is a question we have all asked when considering installing a PV system. In short, solar panels do work on overcast days. However, the extent of cloud coverage will have an impact on how well they perform.  

No matter how cloudy it is outside, solar panels will continue to absorb photovoltaic energy, providing you with a consistent supply of electricity. Although many people assume solar cells require direct sunlight in order to function, this is not the case. In fact, solar panels rely on diffuse light, meaning cloudy weather isn’t cause for concern. 

This is great to know, but how exactly do they work?

How Do Solar Panels Work?

Each solar panel is made up of several smaller solar cells. These solar cells capture sunlight (or photovoltaic energy) during the daytime, converting it to direct current (DC). How much energy do solar panels produce? Well, a single panel should usually provide you with enough electricity to power a couple of appliances. If you’re looking for electricity to power EV chargers and heat your entire home, you’ll need to invest in a larger array.  

Wondering how it all works? When solar panels convert photovoltaic energy into direct current, this energy travels through something called the inverter. As it passes through the inverter, direct current is converted into alternating current (AC). It’s this type of energy that actually powers your appliances and keeps the lights on.

If that’s the case, how many panels would I need?

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need in Ireland?

Solar panels on a house roof during a cloudy day

You might also be asking how many solar panels do you need in Ireland or how long does a solar panel last? This ultimately depends on the building size and your everyday energy needs. Many residential and commercial property owners invest in arrays that can provide more energy than their anticipated usage. The good news is that any surplus energy isn’t wasted. Rather, it’s diverted to battery storage or redirected back into the electrical grid. If you’re looking at investing in solar panels in Cork or solar panels in Limerick, you may be concerned that the local climate will limit energy production potential. While cloudy conditions can impair the effectiveness of solar panel systems, an overcast sky by no means renders them useless.  

Will Having A Solar Battery Help?

Now we’ve answered your ‘do solar panels work on cloudy days?’ queries, we can delve into other aspects of PV panel design. If you’re looking for maximum efficiency, investing in a solar storage battery is a must. These batteries can be easily combined with your system and provide you with backup energy in the event your panels run into problems, or your energy demands spike beyond normal usage levels.  

Any solar energy that isn’t used to power your home and appliances is automatically stored in a solar battery. If your panels are struggling to capture sufficient sunlight to meet your energy needs, these reserves can be used in a pinch. Furthermore, storage batteries are a good idea if you’re thinking about installing a Zappi charger in Ireland. Rather than draw electricity from your main system, you could use your battery reserves to charge electric vehicles if you previously had an EV charger installation service at your home. 

Are Solar Panels A Good Choice for The Irish Climate?

solar panels on a roof in ireland during a dark and cloudy day

Ireland might not be the sunniest corner of the world, but its climate delivers perfect conditions for PV capture and solar energy production. In other words, if you’re wondering ‘are solar panels worth it in Ireland‘, it’s safe to say that the investment investing is definitely worth your time. The relatively mild climate also means you don’t have to worry about high temperatures affecting the performance of your solar panel system. Generally speaking, once the temperature climbs above 25 degrees Celsius, solar panels become more prone to failure. Another advantage of overcast weather and dreary days? The occasional downpour can help keep your solar panels clean, ensuring there’s no dirt or debris limiting energy capture.  

Do solar panels heat your house? Again, this all depends on the scope of your system. A solar array measuring 20 metres square can provide around 40% of the electricity demands of an average Irish home. If you’re looking to put less stress on your solar system and battery reserves, it’s worth looking into Far Infrared Heaters. Far infrared heaters are an ideal companion to solar panel systems, putting less stress on your solar battery reserves and ensuring you maintain comfortable temperatures, even on the coldest of days.  

Not Convinced Enough?

Are you still not convinced enough, even knowing how efficient are solar panels on cloudy days? Maybe some of the below reasons will give you the final push. Solar panels are easy to install, they increase the efficiency of power output levels and of course lower your energy bills.

Increased Efficiency with Easy Installation

Installing solar panels for cloudy climates isn’t as complicated as you might think. Wizer Energy can work alongside you to design a system that works best for your property, ensuring natural shading won’t limit efficiency. Furthermore, as solar cells and panels involve no mechanical parts, you can look forward to low-impact installation and minimal maintenance.  

Wondering how much do solar panels cost? The overall cost of installing a system from scratch depends on the kind of components you want to be included. Higher peak power output levels and integrated energy storage will set you back more than a basic array. Typically, the cost of installing a PV system for a standard 3-bedroom house will cost homeowners around €10,000. Thankfully, there are several ways you can lighten the financial burden. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) offers a range of solar panel grants to those looking to switch to a more sustainable form of energy.  

Combat Rising Energy Bills with Solar Panel Installation

As the cost-of-living crisis worsens, there’s never been a better time to invest in solar panel technology. Solar panels are reliable and cost-effective, with even a modest array able to save you a small fortune on your annual energy bills. Battery storage systems also allow buildings with larger arrays to store captured energy for future use or divert reserves to charging ports for electric vehicles.  

Do solar panels work when it’s cloudy? Whether you’re looking for solar panels Waterford or solar panels Dublin, the answer is a resounding yes. As solar panel technology uses diffuse light, it can perform incredibly effectively in the Irish climate. Furthermore, solar panels benefit from the milder temperatures experienced in Ireland, while occasional rain will ensure your panels remain clean of debris. If you’re looking to minimise energy expenditure further, you can also invest in far infrared heaters.  

Get in Touch With Us Today

As solar panels are easily installed and include no complex parts, there’s no need to worry about regular maintenance and upkeep. Wizer Energy can provide expert guidance on the best solution for your property, ensuring optimal sunlight capture to meet all your energy demands. Finally, solar panels are surprisingly affordable, with SEAI grants readily available to help lighten the financial burden. Get in touch with us to find out what the best solar panels for cloudy days are.

Ready to discover how Wizer Energy can help you reap the benefits of solar panels in Ireland and commercial PV systems? Get in touch online today or drop us an email at [email protected]. Alternatively, call us on (087) 753 0066 to speak to the team directly.   

Author Bio

Martin Desmond

Martin is the Managing Director of Wizer Energy, with 30 years of experience in commercial and industrial electrical work. He has won awards in the commercial wiring arena and went on to study and train as an electrical engineer, preparing a PhD study in the area of Future Smart Microgrids. Since the late 1990s, Martin has had a keen interest in green and renewable energy, now utilised by working in the solar panel industry. After a life-changing injury from a fall at a height in 2007, Martin overcame it with a voltage generator embedded within his body. Being a qualified electrician since the 90’s, an electrical engineer since 2012, and utilising electricity generated within his own body, it’s hard to get more electrically qualified!

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Wizer Energy Ltd is a reliable, industry-leading solar panel provider in Ireland with a wealth of experience. 

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