Does Solar Power Require Direct Sunlight to Be Worth the Investment?

Like many, you maybe asking yourself, ‘do solar panels require direct sunlight?’ Solar panels convert UV rays from the sun to convert them into electricity to be used within your business or at home – therefore you may automatically presume that you need direct sunlight to gain any form of benefit from them.

That may be the general understanding among many people, but the truth is much different. Solar power works on cloudy and rainy days also, as any visible light will stimulate the panels, including reflected light.


Let’s discuss photons, which is a word you will know but may not know exactly how they work. Photons is a technology within solar panels that transforms the light into electricity, and these can be stimulated by any amount of light that hits the panels even on overcast and cloudy days.

Solar panels are going to work much better on days when they are super sunny, which is where the photons move more with the increase in heat, UV and light. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that they would generate more electricity as a result.

In short, commercial solar panels do not have to have direct sunlight to be worth the investment. If you have enough sunlight to see a solar panel on your roof, then you have light to generate electricity with it. It is that simple.


Positioning your system to get the maximum amount of electricity will be something your supplier and installer will consult with you on.

With the UK in the northern hemisphere, the best solar panel positioning would be towards the south to face the sun for the maximum possible amount of time. This direction would allow the panels to soak up the sun’s rays all day long to convert them into energy.

That does not mean that those without a south-facing roof are excluded from benefiting from commercial solar. You could still opt for west or east facing (or combining both) and still have them generate enough electricity to be worthwhile. With north facing being the least effective due to lower amounts of sunlight in that direction, you still have two other directions to make it a sound investment into your business.


Still asking yourself ‘do solar panels require direct sunlight?’
Whilst the clouds can block the sun’s brightest rays, solar radiation still penetrates the clouds and provides for your system.

What is important to remember is that solar panels are powered by turning daylight into energy, not sunlight. Yes, clouds will prevent your system from generating the maximum amount of energy, but it will still be enough to do the job at hand.

In the UK, daily sunshine is not always on the cards, but it still provides plenty of daylight all year round – and that makes commercial solar a solid investment for business and home.

For more information on renewable energy and solar panel cost, contact the team at Positive Energy Solutions today.

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