How Cloudy Skies Affect Solar Power in Oregon

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How Cloudy Skies Affect Solar Power in Oregon

When you consider the perfect spot for a solar power system, you likely picture an area where sunny skies are the norm. But in Oregon, we see lots of cloudy days – and since solar panels need sunlight to produce energy, you may think homes in the Beaver State aren’t suited for photovoltaic installation.

Fortunately, that isn’t the case — you don’t have to live in the sunshine belt to reap the benefits of solar power. Oregon may be high on the list of cloudiest states, but a rooftop PV system can certainly provide you with a reliable source of electricity. And, you’ll still see major savings, despite the cloudy skies. Here’s everything you need to know.

Solar Panels Don’t Stop Working in Cloudy Weather

A rooftop PV system won’t stop generating power when clouds cover the sky. Solar panels are designed to harness any available light – not just direct sunlight – and the modules convert it all into electricity.

That said, cloudy skies can reduce the energy output of a photovoltaic system. As such, there may be instances when your solar panels are unable to produce enough power to meet your household needs. This isn’t a problem, though, as you can opt for a grid-tied photovoltaic installation, ensuring that your Oregon home can get electricity from the utility grid whenever necessary.

Some Clouds Actually Increase Solar Power Production

It may sound implausible, but sometimes, cloudy weather can actually boost the energy production of a solar power system instead of causing a drop in electricity output.

Cumulus clouds – the white, fluffy ones that resemble pieces of cotton – reflect light back to earth. Photovoltaic professionals refer to this phenomenon as the edge-of-cloud effect, and these fair-weather clouds provide solar panels with concentrated sunlight. As such, the weather condition helps balance out any energy losses resulting from gray, overcast days.

Cloudy Days Won’t Have Much of an Impact on Your Savings

Sure, sunny skies are optimal for solar power production – but if you choose the right professional photovoltaic contractor, Oregon’s cloudy weather will have a minimal effect in terms of your overall savings.

With Nationwide Solar, the configuration of your rooftop PV system will be based in part on insolation, or incoming solar radiation. This measurement shows the amount of sunlight that will hit your home over the course of a year. By calculating the insolation rating of your rooftop, our professional team can design a photovoltaic array that meets your household needs, given the available sunlight.

In addition, at Nationwide Solar, we make it our mission to help our customers maximize their savings with solar power. You can count on us to explain the financial incentive programs for Oregon homeowners, and we’ll provide the information you need to qualify for any available solar tax credits and rebates.

We look forward to helping you save money with solar power in Oregon. For a free, no-obligation consultation and project estimate, contact Nationwide Solar today!

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