A concern for many homeowners who are thinking of investing in solar is how well they work in cloudy or overcast weather. If you’re thinking of investing your money in a solar system, you’ll want to reap the benefits as many days of the year as possible.

Do Solar Panels Work on Cloudy Days?

Yes. Your solar panels will work on cloudy days. Because solar panels are designed to take in the sun’s light and convert it to energy, they’ll still work when it’s overcast and cloudy. Generally, they will still work about 10-25% on a cloudy day. How effective they are will depend on how much light they’re exposed to. Less input = decreased efficiency. More input = more efficiency.

Here are some helpful tips to maximize your solar panels: 

  • Consider giving your foliage a trim if your home or property is shaded by trees, large shrubbery or a carport. this will affect how much light your panels receive throughout the year. 
  • Knowing the sun's path over your home will help greatly in the position and angling of your solar panels during installation to maximize the sunlight. 
  • You'll get bonus points for looking up your area's weather patterns that can predict how much sunny days you might get in the future. Here's a link to show you how. https://www.weather.gov/lox/observations_historical
  • Your solar panels's wattage output will also accurately help to see how much energy you'll get over a lifetime. 


As mentioned in a previous blog post, solar panels work even without direct sunlight. They can be used with direct or indirect sunlight though maximum output requires full sun.

Solar Panels in Changing Weather

Solar panels can still work well in weather conditions such as fog, sleet, or snow. Learn how effective your investment will be in varying weather conditions and how to maximize the sun’s output.

 Are there benefits for solar panels when it’s raining?

Yes! Rain serves as an all-natural cleaning system for your solar panels. Although they’re waterproof and require little maintenance, solar panels should be cleaned once or twice a year which can be taken care of naturally when it rains.

 Solar panels in Fog

Like cloud cover or low light conditions, fog will affect your solar panel’s output to around 50% efficiency. Fog usually dissipates leaving your panels free of any temporary obstruction going to its optimum output. The moisture left on the panels’ surface will also function as a cleaning agent as it dries.

 Solar Panels in Sleet and Snow

Remember that solar panels need sunlight to produce energy and the surface needs to at least be partially visible to the sun’s rays. Solar panels completely covered in snow will not produce electricity. It’s recommended that you allow the snow to melt by itself, cleaning your panels in the process. After a heavy snowstorm, don’t attempt to clean your solar system. Save yourself from a potential injury and rest easy knowing that melting snow can be good for your solar panels, leaving them clean and continuing to work.

 Optimize your Solar Usage with Battery Storage Solutions

Maximize your solar panels by adding solar batteries to extend the life of captured energy from the sun. Some benefits include:

  • Energy independence and self-sufficiency is one of the biggest benefits of owning a solar system.
  • Captured, converted, and stored renewable energy will empower you and your family to use what’s freely available.
  • Reducing energy and tax credits will also add to financial benefits for you and your family’s future.
  • Reduced energy consumption = reduced energy bills. Meaning more money in your pocket leaving you feeling more secure for any of life’s mishaps and emergencies.


Things to Consider with Battery Storage:

  • Assess the amount of energy you currently consume. Consider the right sized panels with the right type of batteries. Your solar expert can assist you with sizing to maximize your solar system.
  • Your utility company will have their own peak times of use but consider what times you and your family consume the most energy. Depending on where you live, you can get the most out of your energy consumption.
  • Your batteries will need regular maintenance so monitor your energy consumption and keep your battery software up to date.


Solar panels can produce useful energy throughout the year and through all seasons. Though they require little maintenance, their surface area still needs to be clean and visible for them to work at their best. Solar panels are designed to capture light and convert it into electricity. Regardless of the weather, solar panels will draw in what light is available. Though efficiency may be reduced, energy will still be generated. The use of solar batteries can optimize the panels, storing energy that can be used in power outages.


Interested in driving your dollar to its highest efficiency? Stretch your dollar to its max and be more self-sufficient while helping reduce your climate footprint.


Call La Rocque Better Roofs for all your Solar Solutions!

(833) LBR-4YOU

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