Weather on Solar Panels
What Are the Effects of Weather on Solar Panels Efficiency? September 19, 2022 | Green Living, Solar, Solar Panels

Solar panels produce energy through the intake of sunlight. As the sun shines on the panels, the sunlight is absorbed by the PV cells in the panel, which turn the light into energy which is then converted to electricity. Since the absorption of sunlight is the main energy source for this renewable option, what happens when the sun isn’t shining? Does the panel still generate electricity? Expert Solar is a solar panel installation company in Norfolk, VA, that offers residential and commercial solar panel installation. We have worked with several clients and helped them understand the many benefits of solar energy and how it works in various weather conditions. This blog is a guide for individuals who are looking for some insight and information before making a decision on converting to solar panels.

Effects of Weather on Solar Panels Efficiency

Weather patterns, the time of the year, and sunlight production all play a role in the efficiency of your solar panels. For example, while cool sunny days are optimal for solar panel efficiency, these conditions don’t occur until later in the fall when the days are shorter. As such, the solar panels may be efficient, but the total sunlight exposure may be low—thus leading to an overall lower energy production than a hot, cloudy day in the summer. To understand how these elements all work together, let’s discuss how each weather factor affects solar panel efficiency.


Rain is a common weather event that many people may be concerned about regarding their solar panels; however, you need not worry. The electrical components of a solar panel are protected from the outside elements. The rain itself will not change the efficiency, but the cloud cover/fog can.


Any weather events that block the sun’s rays from reaching the solar panel will reduce the panel’s efficiency. However, your solar panels still produce energy when it is cloudy or foggy, it is just less efficient than when the skies are clear. Instead of producing at 100% efficiency, it can bring it down to about 70% efficiency.

Dust Storm

In the midwest states, dust storms can cause solar panels to become less efficient. In general, this is because the dirt can stick to the solar panel and block the sun’s rays from reaching the internal components. Rinsing the solar panels or waiting for some rain will wash away the dirt and return the panels back to their normal efficiency.

High Winds

In addition to dust, many midwest and coastal states worry about high winds affecting their solar panels. The effect of high winds on solar panels largely depends on how well they were installed and the quality of the panel itself. In most cases, solar panels can withstand winds up to 90mph without losing efficiency. Unless the panels are pulled off of their stands, high winds will not affect them.


Solar panels contain electrical components that are susceptible to lightning surges. However, how this affects your solar panels depends on the installation company and the protection level you choose. The installation company should ensure that your solar panels are properly grounded so that any electrical surges will not damage the panels.


Snow is similar to dust when it comes to affecting solar panel efficiency. If snow accumulates on the panel and blocks the sun’s rays, then it can decrease the efficiency. However, unlike dust, snow tends to slide off of solar panels as it accumulates since they are set up at an angle. If snow is not falling off, simply brush it off with a broom to keep the panels clear.


A typical hail storm should not damage your solar panels. In fact, most solar panels are built to withstand hail speeds of up to 50mph. However, intense hail storms can damage solar panels. In this case, your solar panel warranty or home owner’s insurance should cover the cost of replacing the panel.


Surprisingly, the best temperature for maximum performance of a solar panel is colder weather. Depending on the solar panel you choose, the base degree with vary; however, most solar panels’ base efficiency starts at 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Generally, most solar panels will become 1% less efficient with each degree above 77 degrees and 1% more efficient with each degree above 77. While other factors can influence efficiency, this statement remains true if the only factor that changes is the temperature.

The Best Weather for Maximum Solar Panel Efficiency

The best weather for maximum solar panel efficiency is a cool, sunny day. In some locations, these conditions are a regular occurrence, while in others, these conditions are few and far between. In Hampton Roads, cool sunny days frequently occur in the fall and winter. While these are the ideal conditions for solar panels, they still produce energy and efficiently convert it in other weather conditions.

Commercial/Residential Solar Panel Installation in Norfolk, VA

Are you interested in converting to solar panels? Expert Solar offers residential and commercial solar panel installation in Virginia Beach, VA, and the surrounding areas. Our technicians safely and efficiently install solar panels in a location that is best suited for optimal efficiency. Contact us today at (757) 988-7777 or go online to see how you can save big on your energy bill.


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Looking for solar installation services in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk? Give us a call at 757-988-7777 today! Our experienced team is ready to help you with the Federal Tax Credit and guide you through our low-interest financing option.

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