Do solar devices work at night and on cloudy days?

Due the growing concern about environmental problems, ever more people switch to alternative sources of energy that would no less or no harm to our planet. That is why the popularity of solar devices of all kinds (starting from gadgets to home energy systems) has been on the rise during recent years. However, since the technology is not widely spread yet, there are still a lot of questions about solar devices that remain unanswered for many. That is why, if you have ever asked yourself whether solar items can work at night or on cloudy days, you are not the only one. In this blog, we will try to make things clear.

As it is clear from the name, solar devices require sunlight to be able to generate electricity, which means that they cannot produce anything in the dark. However, the confusion arises from the concept of solar storage, which presupposes that accumulated energy can be used at night. For example, in the solar energy system, net metering and solar-plus-storage technology are used. They feed energy back to the grid when there is excess of power. Through connection to a battery or the electric grid, they allow solar panels  to access electricity overnight when active production is impossible. The same principle can be used for large-sized solar devices.

As far as cloudy days are concerned, the simplest answer is that solar items continue working – however, it is hardly a surprise that they cannot maintain the same performance level as they do on sunny days. Depending on the item, it will typically produce 10-30% of their normal output. However, clouds can also result in better performance because they can reflect or sometimes even magnify sunlight, which results in additional power output.

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