How To Get Solar Power On Cloudy Days

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Some people think that solar panels don’t work at all in cloudy weather. This isn’t entirely true. Panels do continue to charge batteries, even when there are clouds in the sky.

That said, you can expect the efficiency of your panels to be reduced, especially if the cloud cover is heavy.  This can be a bummer if you’re relying on solar power for all of your electricity needs. It will be an even bigger issue if the clouds decide to stick around for awhile.

The good news is there are ways to increase the efficiency of your solar system. Using the following tips will help make your solar panels as efficient as possible.

Invest in monocrystalline panels

Monocrystalline solar panels are more expensive than other types. That said, they are also more efficient.  This means you can cover the same amount of space in monocrystalline panels and get more power out of the deal!

Keep The Panels Clean

Clean your panels regularly, especially if you spend time in dusty environments. We’re betting you’ll see a big difference in their performance.

Don't park in the shade

Yes, clouds are a form of shade, but the sun's rays can penetrate them. You don’t want to add more obstacles than necessary. For this reason, it’s important that you avoid parking in the shade if you have roof-mounted panels.

Consider a portable panel

If you must park in the shade, you might consider carrying a portable panel to place away from the shade. This will be able to grab whatever sunlight is available in those cloudy conditions, even if your rig is under a tree.

Head to a higher elevation

Did you know solar panels are more efficient at higher altitudes? This is because the atmospheric barrier is less the higher you go. The increased solar radiation exposure tends to lead to an increase in generated voltage output. This, in turn, leads to higher efficiency.

Have a good battery bank

Having a large bank of LiFePO4 batteries will help you get through the cloudy days without running out of the electricity you stored on the sunnier days.  

Use a generator

Unfortunately, not everyone has the room or budget for an enormous battery bank. In this case, we recommend investing in a generator like the Jackery or CarGenerator.  

Head to a campground

Of course, you can always head to a nearby campground to plug into shore power and recharge your batteries. You can easily find campgrounds that fit your budget and needs on RV LIFE Campgrounds.