How Much Sunlight Do Solar Panels Need?

20 Nov 2020 Licensed Electrician

One of the biggest concerns that most people have with installing solar panels on their home or property is the idea that they might not be able to get enough sunlight to power their electrical systems throughout the year. Whether your property is grid-tied or off-grid, it is important to know how much sunlight solar panels need in order to discern if they are a worthwhile investment for your home. The team at BNR Electric has a wealth of experience and knowledge about solar energy and how it can be used to power your home, and we are always happy to help clients get set up with the system that they need to get the most out of the sunlight in their area.

Learn more about off-the-grid solar panels for your home.

Sunlight Requirements for Home Solar Panels

Before getting into how much sunlight solar panels need in order to operate, it is worth noting that these systems run off of light from the sun, not heat. This means that a solar panel will typically be able to pull just as much energy from peak sun hours on a clear winter day as they will on a clear summer day. Solar panels derive electricity from the photons in all natural sunlight, meaning that they do not need direct sunlight in order to generate electricity; they can function in ambient sunlight. This means that they can operate on cloudy days and if they are not positioned directly into the sun’s rays.

Although solar panels are able to get energy from any type of sunlight, the amount of energy that can be gained will depend on the type and intensity of light. Direct sunlight has more photons than indirect sunlight, so a solar panel positioned to face directly into the sun can gain much more energy than one that is hidden, shaded, or otherwise obscured. This also means that sunny days will produce more energy than cloudy ones.

How to Get the Most Sunlight Possible for Solar Panels

Whether you live along the rainy West Coast or in the sunny interior of BC, solar panels can provide you with plenty of solar energy as long as they are positioned properly on your property. Make sure that you have an experienced solar expert come to your property to help you decide on the best place to install your solar panels in order to get the most energy possible out of your investment. Some of the things to consider when deciding on the position of your solar panels include:

  • Trees, buildings, and other obstructions to sunlight or creators of shade
  • How high the sun gets in the sky at peak hours depending on the latitude of your property
  • Where the solar panels can be out of the way of daily operations.

If you would like to learn more about how much sunlight solar panels need in order to operate, or to find out more about the services that we offer in solar energy, please contact the team at BNR Electric and we can answer any questions you might have.