Do Solar Panels Need Direct Sunlight?

While direct sunlight is great for helping solar panels capture the most beneficial stuff, they don’t necessarily require it. Shade could be an issue. Tall buildings, tall trees, and inclement weather can all block the sun’s path. There’s good news!

Solar panels capture sunlight in the same way as solar cells. However, this can be done both directly and indirectly. Photons from indirect sunlight, scattered sunlight, and direct sunlight can still be absorbed by solar panels. Indirect sunlight can be used to produce electricity when direct sunlight is not available. This could raise questions about efficiency. Let’s get to those.

Does Shade Affect Solar Panel Efficiency?

Shade can block sunlight from reaching solar panels, which could lead to a decrease in efficiency. Solar panels can absorb at most 1 kW of sunlight per square meter. This is in ideal conditions. Solar panels need at least four hours of peak sunlight to work well. Learn more about peak sunlight hours here.

Shade can block the solar cells from producing their full potential. This is the problem with shade. Rooftop solar panels are great because even if some of the solar cells are covered, the remaining solar panel will still function. But more on this later.

How Does the Weather Affect Solar Panel Efficiency?

Your solar panels could be affected by rain, snow, and clouds. This could result in a decrease in their solar power production.

It all comes down to the brand. A trusted brand will make solar panels that can withstand adverse weather conditions. The weather can affect solar panel efficiency because it blocks direct sunlight.

So, Do Solar Panels Need Direct Sunlight?

Let’s not forget that solar panels require as much sunlight as possible. Solar panels are still an option for homeowners who live in areas with less sunshine.

It is best to meet with a solar energy specialist and discuss your options. This consultation will help you determine if your home is suitable for solar.

This post was written by Daniel Massaad, owner and expert solar technician at Energy Solutions Direct! ESD is the top choice for solar companies in Colorado! Our licensed and certified contractors are masters of their craft; with years of experience servicing the great Tampa Bay area and beyond, the choice is simple. ESD excels at offering you the best in solar value!

Luke Reed