It’s winter – do solar panels work on cloudy days?

School & Education / Sustainability by Tom Edwards

Solar panels on cloudy and rainy days

For those of us living in the southern part of Australia, winter often means a lot of cloudy days.  But let’s face it; there are clouds, and then there are serious clouds!

Solar panels still work on cloudy days but with reduced output

Solar panels do still work on cloudy days, but the production of energy is generally lower than during a bright sunny day.  It’s estimated that solar panels only produce as low as 15 – 25% of their potential electricity output during those dark and dreary, cloudy days.


However, at times you will get cloudy days that are still bright with good light penetration.  Cloud cover with good light penetration can have a similar power output to a regular sunny day.

Energy production from solar panels

There are a number of factors that determine energy production from your solar panels.  In reality, it’s a mix bag of the following!

  • Solar panel type
  • Light penetration
  • Density of cloud cover
  • Angle of the sun

Contrary to popular belief, solar panels don’t actually like really hot days. When the solar panels themselves get too hot, it can reduce their efficiency and power output.

The ideal environment for solar panels is cooler weather with the full sun high in the sky. This will ensure maximum energy output. When the sun is highest in the sky it has less atmosphere to travel through so more light reaches the panels.  This is usually any time between 10am – 2pm. However, solar panels can also work well up to around 4pm.

Why UNIfied?

At UNIfied, we are here to ensure your renewable energy transition is as efficient and seamless as possible. We are here to help you pay less for your electricity bills.

Contact UNIfied today or call 1300 817 847 to achieve greater savings in these precarious times, and start your journey of clean energy living!

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