As winter approaches, we’ve started receiving a lot more questions about solar energy systems for the home – especially during cloudier days of the year.

Living in San Diego, we have it pretty good.  Year round sunshine and relatively few overcast days make our County ideally suited for solar energy.

But – we still have rain from time to time (despite any number of songs claiming Southern California receives zero precipitation).

So what effect do clouds have on residential solar energy installations?

Let’s review.

How Clouds Influence Solar PV Output

Obviously, the best solar output happens on sunny days.  When you have unfiltered sunshine hitting your solar panels, you’re able to generate more clean electricity.  Period.

But even on cloudy days, your panels are still hard at work.

Need proof?

Consider the following.

1.  Clouds & Sunburn?
Clouds filter out a lot of sunshine.  But they never filter out 100% of the rays – especially UV rays.

If you’ve ever been to the beach on an overcast day (and gotten sunburned), you understand this concept already.  The overall temperature might dip every time the sun goes behind a cloud.  But your skin is still constantly getting bombarded with UV rays.

Well, your solar panels operate roughly the same way.  The power output suffers a little bit, but your solar installation still generates clean, free electricity.  This is true even when it’s raining cats and dogs.

2.  Look at the Top Solar Hotspots
When you think of Germany or Ontario, sunshine isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.  And yet, they’re 2 of the biggest solar markets in the world.  Germany is even more active than sunny Spain (another major solar hotspot).

If Germany and Ontario can make solar work (despite their relatively cloudy climates), then certainly, San Diego installations can thrive.

So Are San Diego Solar Systems for the Home Worth it?

The easy answer is yes.  We have relatively few cloudy days.  And even when it is overcast, your panels are still working.

This means that every now and then, the total performance of your system will suffer a little bit.  You’re still generating power – just not 100%.

And when the clouds part or the rain stops, your solar panels kick it up a notch.

In other words – solar panels are totally worth it.

They’re worth it in cloudy regions like Ontario and Germany.  And they’re really worth it in sunnier regions like San Diego and Spain.

For more information on how clouds affect solar output, contact us today for a free consultation.