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What Do Cold and Cloudy Days Mean for Solar Efficiency?

It is the common belief that solar energy can only be generated in hot and sunny locations. While the sun is clearly an imperative variable of the solar efficiency equation, you may be surprised to learn Sun Bandit® works even better on cold days because of inherent PV module efficiencies.

Cold Days

The speed at which electricity flows through PV modules is affected by the surrounding temperature. The higher the temperature, the slower the electrons travel through the circuit. In contrast, as the temperature falls, the electrons encounter less resistance, thus the speed at which they travel increases. The faster the electrons move through the PV modules, the more energy is produced, making colder temperatures more ideal for solar efficiency.

Cloudy Days

Don’t fear, cloudy days don’t necessarily spell disaster for solar efficiency. While energy production levels will vary based on the degree of cloud cover, you can expect your solar panel efficiency to drop up to 40%. But anyone who has gotten a sunburn on a cloudy day knows that UV rays can sneak through the clouds. Likewise, on cloudy days, your solar panels are still absorbing light to generate electricity

In fact, Germany, a leading installer of solar, only receives about as much sunshine as the state of Alaska, but Germans have successfully installed about 25 gigawatts of solar power[i]– half of the entire world’s supply.

In cold weather, traditional solar thermal hot water production is drastically reduced. However, because Sun Bandit uses PV modules as the primary source of energy, it works well throughout the year. Sun Bandit just needs the sun to rise for it to work. When not enough sunlight is available, the grid tied elements of your Sun Bandit electric or natural gas tank serves as a backup to provide hot water. You can depend on Sun Bandit for FREE hot water production on even cold, cloudy days when your customers will want it the most!


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