At a glance, solar panels seem like magic. They take the energy from the sun and convert it into clean, affordable electricity used to microwave popcorn and power televisions for your next Netflix binge. But what happens when the sun goes down? Or when it’s cloudy? Let’s take a look at exactly how solar panels work for you in everyday life.

Solar on cloudy days

Clouds are nothing more than water drops or ice crystals floating in the sky. However, while some clouds resemble bunnies, others contribute to those dreary grey sky days. And when you’re using sunlight to power your home, clouds may seem like a larger concern. Thankfully, solar panels don’t need as much “sunlight” as you may think.

You can still see outside on a cloudy day, which means sunlight is getting through, it’s just not as strong. Photovoltaic (PV) panels convert sunlight into electricity even in partly cloudy weather — at about 80% of their maximum output. At Polaron we take regional weather conditions into account to give you an accurate idea of what size system you will require for your energy needs. So no need to sweat the details, we’ve got you covered.

Solar at night

You may think that solar panels don’t produce power at night. And you would be correct! But that doesn’t mean you’re relegated to candlelight. During the day, solar production will instantly offset your electricity needs, but often there will be excess power. This extra power is sent back to the grid and becomes a credit for later use.

When your solar panels don’t meet your energy needs (like at night) your energy will come from the grid. This means that if you produce more energy than you use, then your energy bill will be zilch. But if you use more than you produce, you’ll be responsible for paying the difference. This arrangement with your utility is commonly called net-metering and it’s made solar work for homeowners across Canada.

So even if the weather is dreary and cold, the light from the sun will power your home. Want to know if solar power could work for your home? We offer a free personalized solar quote with details about local incentives. Contact Polaron today to get started.