There must be sunlight in order for solar panels to produce energy. It sounds pretty logical, right? Many are under the misconception that if they live somewhere that is often cloudy/rainy/snowy, as it is here in New York, solar panels would not benefit them. Fortunately, that is definitely not the case! Solar panels can still benefit you, even in often-cloudy areas.

At Hytech Solar, we are passionate about alternative energy and we know solar panels. Whether you’re looking for solar panels for your home or to power your business, here’s what you need to know:

dreamstime_xxl_24422473 Weather’s Effects

The first thing to note about solar panels is how they’re made, and more specifically, how they were designed. The solar cells, the component that converts solar radiation into usable power, are buffered and protected by layers of encapsulant and glass, which are wrapped in a frame and sealed in. The engineers who designed solar panels knew they would be exposed constantly to the elements.

Their focus was on creating a usable system that converts solar energy to power, and part of that usability is user-friendliness. A home solar power system that had to be removed or covered during every bout of inclement weather would make people a great deal less likely to purchase or use it, so solar panels are designed to withstand nearly any weather, up to and including hail and heavy windstorms.

When The Sun Don’t Shine

So, what does all that mean for energy production on a snowy New York day? Odds are pretty good your home solar panels will survive as long as you perform routine checks for leaks, cracks, or other damage. But that doesn’t mean the weather will always help you get the most of your solar power system. So, what happens at night or on cloudy days?

Despite what it may seem like, your solar panels can generate energy on a cloudy day. They won’t generate as much as on a brightly sunny day, but there is still enough solar radiation getting through the clouds for your solar panels to convert some energy. The same goes for nights on which the moon shines brightly; the moon can reflect enough solar radiation to generate a bit of energy.

dreamstime_xxl_52734504Like The Bank

As we said previously, the designers took real-life environments into account when designing the solar power system. This means they were aware of low-sunshine days just as much as they were harsher weather effects. Many solar power systems will not only power your home on sunny days, they will also store up energy in a battery bank to use at night or on cloudy days.

The more common option, however, works a bit like making deposits and withdrawals at the bank. Your home solar panels are connected to a metering system that is part of your local utility system. On sunny days, your solar panels “deposit” energy into that metering system and on cloudy days and at night, it will “withdraw” any necessary energy to power your home. The difference is usually tallied once a month or so, and any excess energy can potentially be sold to your utility company.

If you’re ready to get solar panels for your New York home, call Hytech Solar! We’ll start the process with a free professional consultation to ensure our solar power system will work for your needs! Get started today!