While the rain itself will have no impact on the panels, the rain clouds will likely lower your production. However, the occasional rainstorm could actually be good for your solar system’s production, because it’s a no-fuss, safe way to clean your panels. Consistent rainstorms keep a layer of dirt or dust from covering the panels and blocking the light, which could lead to a decrease in production.
Though not yet a widely viable option, scientists have been working on a new kind of solar panel that could still produce electricity when it’s raining. Termed hybrid solar panels, these solar cells collect energy from both the sun and the rain. As precipitation hits the panels, the force from the impact is converted into electricity. When it’s sunny, they act just like traditional solar panels (but are still less efficient for now).
What about when that rain freezes into snow? Unlike rain, which doesn’t accumulate on the panels and block light, snow will have an impact on production beyond cloud coverage. After all, what blocks the sun from your panels blocks the panels from making electricity. However, depending on the weather following the snowstorm and the tilt of your panel, even heavy snowfalls will melt and slide right off your panels in no time.
Even though solar energy is dependent on the sun, it is still a great option for many homes, businesses, and farms in the cloudy, rainy, or snowy areas of the country.
Curious how much electricity you could produce in your local climate? Get your free solar quote that will show your system’s payback tailored to your area’s weather.