Do Solar Panels Work In Rainy Season? (Yes, But …)

Given that weather conditions play a significant role, you may wonder if solar panels work in the rain. Even though solar power is limited on cloudy and rainy days, sunlight is still available. Because sun rays may penetrate through rain and clouds, solar energy can be produced in the rain.

Whether cloudy, sunny, or heavy rain, adverse weather conditions do not prohibit a solar panel from working. Instead, the rain helps clean away dirt or dust, keeping your solar panel naturally clean. And while rain causes up to 75% less power production, it can still charge the batteries.

Key takeaways of solar panels in the rainy season:

  • Heavy rain
  • Angle of panels
  • Without direct sunlight
  • Solar design

Some places have more sunny than cloudy days, thus generating more power; however, we found answers to questions relating to solar panels in areas with little or no direct sunshine and will answer some below.

Will A Solar Panel Work When It Rains?

Most sunlight gets reflected into space when it rains, but solar panels will continue to work even if the sun’s rays are diverted or blocked by clouds. Photovoltaic panels may generate power from either direct or indirect sunlight, while direct sunlight is more efficient.

Rain aids in the proper operation of your solar panels by washing away any dust or grime. Therefore, when the rain is over, you have a clean solar panel that can perform better. However, the protective glass could get damaged by heavy rain and hailstorms.

Preventing such harm with a few simple procedures will only help prolong the life and efficiency of your solar system.

Adding Protective Covers

We need to remember that a cover, in general, would block out the majority of sunlight, therefore, making the solar panel’s productivity less efficient. But, aside from this, it still protects the solar panels from getting damaged by heavy hail.

See also: How Does Weather Affect Solar Panels? Unveiling The Truth

Solar Panel Array Reorientation

Placing your panels at a certain angle would allow excess water to slide off when heavy rain occurs. While doing this, it keeps your panels clean and safe. Adding automation to the structure to turn the panels away from hail is possible but can be somewhat pricey.

Automatic Solar Panel Protection

If cost is not of utmost concern, then automatic cleaning robots can be an option to make sure your solar panels stay clean from any dirt or leaves that may stick after heavy rain in the monsoon season.

Hire A Professional To Do An Inspection  

Getting a solar professional to your home for inspection twice a year is crucial, especially during the rainy seasons, as it will give you some peace of mind that the solar panels are safe and checked. In addition, expert advice will help with preventing future problems.

Are There Solar Panels Specifically For Heavy Rain Areas?

Not yet, but soon Hybrid Triboelectric Nanogenerators solar panel technology could become a reality. The concept was produced by Soochow University in China using a unique hybrid form of solar panel. It will be a better option for installing solar panels in areas with a lot of rain.

These Hybrid solar panels generate electricity through sunlight and even rain. Therefore, it is best to install them on top of a rooftop where sunlight can get absorbed, and while heavy rain occurs, it still produces power by the force of the rain falling onto the panels.

Rainy days have around 90 percent less sunlight for solar panels to absorb to generate electricity, but this is not a problem in the Hybrid solar panel’s case. The Hybrid solar panel produces the same amount of sunny or rainy electricity.

Standard solar panels are still fighting to overcome weather-related solar restrictions. Luckily, the new triboelectric nanogenerator solar panels technology can do precisely that. So next, transforming rain into electricity is just another step closer to a future where evening rains can also generate power.

Do Solar Panels Work Without Direct Sunlight?

Yes, a solar panel does not require direct sunshine to function. Because the protons in natural daylight enable solar panels to generate energy, direct sunlight is not necessarily required for a solar panel’s complete functionality. Indirect sunlight will be less efficient, but the solar panel will still work.

As a result, solar panels can operate in various weather situations, including rain, overcast weather, and even the winter. Furthermore, photovoltaic panels may be used in direct or indirect sunlight, making it comforting to know that solar panels can be used in overcast or damp conditions.

The Effect Of Water On Solar Panels

Solar panels generate energy using light; therefore, the more light or sunshine, the more power generated. Water does not affect the amount of light that reaches the panels; hence it has no bearing on power production. Water does not accumulate on solar panels very long in any case.

However, remember that too much dirt might prevent photovoltaic cells from absorbing enough light to generate electricity. Keeping your panels free of dust and grime will improve the light absorbed. Rain helps keep the panels free from dust; otherwise, you will need to clean them.

Pools of Rain on a Solar Panel
Pools of Rain on a Solar Panel

Do Solar Panels Work In The Winter?

Solar panels continue to generate electricity during the winter months, so you will not be left without power. Also, keep in mind that there are fewer sunlight hours and less power generated. However, the solar panel will continue to work, and the system will not completely halt.

A Solar panel’s PV cells absorb more light around noon or even simply when it is a bright sunny day out, meaning more power to be produced. Knowing that the winter months make less efficient energy, we always advise scaling your system for the winter months.

So although a gloomy winter afternoon means less sunlight, it still gives off enough light to generate electricity for your solar system and battery bank.

Snow And The Effect It Has On A Solar Panel

Snowfall can put a strain on the structural support system of a PV. The majority of solar panels nowadays, for example, include frames to induce localized stresses at the mounting locations. As a result, scientists and researchers constantly seek solutions to reduce snow’s harmful effects.

Because snowfall reduces the amount of light absorbed by a solar panel, it may be swiftly rectified by adequately installing the solar panel to allow snow to slide off. The remaining heat will melt the snow, so there is no need to worry about it.

It’s interesting to note that there’s no noticeable difference in snowfall between framed and unframed solar panels. But on the other hand, it may assist keep a PV module clean as it melts away. Like a car’s windshield, snow melts away and removes any dirt, just like your solar panel.


Photo of author
Elliot has 20+ years of experience in renewable technology, from conservation to efficient living. His passion is to help others achieve independent off-grid living.

SolVoltaics is an affiliate and an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases - at no extra cost to you.