The solar power industry is emerging and becoming one of the most in-demand in recent years. But as solar panels rely on the sun, some people are worried they cannot produce as much power, especially on cloudy and rainy days. Not only that. Those living in low light areas are also concerned about a solar panel’s efficiency. The good thing is, manufacturers have developed the best low light solar panels.
These solar panels work even when buildings, trees, or other structures cast shadows on them. They can handle this condition better than those not designed and manufactured for it. So, if you’re interested in installing low light solar panels, here’s what you need to know. They are available in different specifications, sizes, and capacities.
Worry not, as we researched for you! Check out the following for the top products on the market and the things to check when comparing your options.
|Top 1||Top 2||Top 3|
|Preview||Renogy Solar Panel||ECO-WORTHY Solar Panel||WEIZE Solar Panel|
|Weight||14.1 pounds||13 pounds||11.9 pounds|
|Max Power||100W||100W||2 x 100W|
- Top-Rated Low Light Solar Panel Reviews
- 1. Renogy Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- 2. ECO-WORTHY Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- 3. WEIZE Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- 4. RICH SOLAR Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- 5. XINPUGUANG Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- 6. Renogy Extremely Flexible Solar Panel
- 7. SunPower Flexible Solar Panel
- 8. Renogy Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- What Is A Low Light Solar Panel And Who Is This For
- How Does It Work
- Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using A Low Light Solar Panel
- How We Picked And Tested
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top-Rated Low Light Solar Panel Reviews
1. Renogy Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- Compact model, measuring 42.2 x 19.6 x 1.38 and weighing 14.3 pounds.
- High-efficiency unit with a maximum power output of 100 watts.
- Durable construction featuring a robust aluminum body.
- Easy to install with mounting holes pre-drilled into its back.
- Quality control issues emerge sometimes.
Renogy solar panels are always the right choice as they consistently provide reliable and robust performance. With a reputation like that, the company has a wide range of products. One well-loved unit is the solar panel that features a compact design.
Like all Renogy products, this solar panel features a robust aluminum body and high-quality, anti-reflective tempered glass. Renogy has even subjected the product to rigorous standard tests. This unit can withstand harsh weather conditions like 2,400 Pascal strong winds and 5,400 Pascal snow loads.
The solar panel unit is also immune from harsh temperatures due to its 0-3% positive output tolerance. Instead of shying away from extreme temperatures, this feature enables the device even to perform better. You also wouldn’t have to worry about the device overheating since its solar modules are tested to prevent that.
One thing I like about the Renogy panel is its efficiency. While it may be labeled as compact, its size does not affect its efficiency.
This solar panel’s multi-layer design features an advanced encapsulation material that only enhances its solar cells’ capacity and lifespan. Paired along with its bypass diodes, the unit provides reliable performance even in low-light conditions and has a maximum power output of 100 watts.
This energy is enough to power up several 12V devices and appliances. With its cables and MC4 connectors, you can even connect and combine several units of these solar panels to create a bigger unit that generates more power.
Another thing I like about this product is its ease in installation. This solar panel already has mounting holes drilled into its back for faster installation. You have the choice to either mount the panel or ground it.
This ease in installation can also be attributed to its size and weight. Measuring 42.2 x 19.6 x 1.38 and weighing 14.3 pounds, this solar panel is Renogy’s shorter and more compact model. With this, it’s easy to transport and store. As it is lightweight, it’s easier to install than the other versions.
2. ECO-WORTHY Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- Measures 39.8 x 20.1 x 1.4 inches; allowing wide use for more value for money
- Efficient unit to generate more power, up to 500wh of energy daily
- Simple and sleek design with black solar cells and a white frame
- Easy to install with pre-drilled holes and the necessary tools
- Durable with tempered glass and aluminum frame for heavy-duty use
- Weighs 18.96 pounds so moving it around may be a bit difficult.
The ECO-WORTHY solar panel is also another outstanding product. The solar panel comes with reflective, low-iron, and heavy-duty tempered glass, encased in a 35mm-width aluminum alloy frame. With this, the unit is quite durable.
It is perfectly weather-ready as it can withstand up to 2,400 Pascal of winds and 5,400 Pascal of snow loads. It is also waterproof with the rating of IP65, and is resistant to rust, dust, corrosion, and other elements. This is ideal as solar panels are often subjected to these conditions and situations.
Moreover, the solar panel boasts a simple design. With black solar cells and a white frame, the product is unassuming and can easily blend.
What I like the most about the ECO-WORTHY monocrystalline panel is its efficiency. Measuring 39.8 x 20.1 x 1.4 inches, the solar panel is wide enough to generate 500wh of energy daily, depending on the weather.
Its bypass diode also ensures a consistent, powerful performance as it enables the solar panel to generate the same amount of power despite being in the shade. It’s one of the top-quality solar panels in shade.
This monocrystalline solar panel is also user-friendly since it comes with features that enable it to connect with devices easily. For one, it’s a 12V module, which makes it suitable to power up numerous devices and applies in various situations. With this, many users tend to use the solar panel as a component of their solar system set-up. Others also use them in households or RVs and the like.
Aside from that, the panel’s MC4 connectors and 35-inch cables make it easy to connect and pair up with gadgets. Some users have even used the wires to connect several units to create a bigger that generates more power.
Another thing I like about this product is that it’s easy to install. It already comes with pre-drilled holes and the necessary tools and equipment for installation. As such, you have the choice of either mounting it on a flat surface or grounding it. For best results, make sure to angle it correctly to get most of the sun’s glare.
Nevertheless, it is an efficient unit and easy to install. This product is also durable and offers a wide range of applications.
3. WEIZE Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- Simple and unassuming design with black grid line surface and white back.
- Compatible with numerous products thanks to a cable and MC4 connectors
- Boasts 21% energy efficiency
- Comes with pre-drilled holes for simple installation.
- Heavy-duty construction with tempered glass and an aluminum frame.
- Weighs 15.8 pounds
The WEIZE monocrystalline panel is also the right choice as it offers consistent and reliable performance.
Sporting high-quality, low-iron tempered glass and a heavy-duty aluminum frame, this solar panel is built to last. The whole system itself has a waterproof rating of IP65, and the unit is tested and can withstand harsh weather such strong winds, hailstorms, heavy snowfalls, and elements like rust and dust.
This is ideal since solar panels are usually situated outdoors and are often subjected to harsh weather conditions and situations.
Moreover, this solar panel comes in a sleek and straightforward design. It has the standard black gridline surface of monocrystalline panels and is backed with a white TPT sheet. This makes the product unassuming, allowing it to just blend in into the background.
One thing I like about the WEIZE solar panel is its efficiency. With a dimension of 29.6 x 26.3 x 1.4 inches, the solar panel has a wide panel that enables it to absorb a decent amount of sunlight. In fact, due to its multi-layer construction and high-efficiency solar cells, the product boasts a 21% energy efficiency.
As such, it provides a maximum power output of 100W. However, its power enables it to generate 300Wh- 600Wh per day in sunny conditions quickly.
Another thing I like about this solar panel is that it’s relatively easy to install. Armed with pre-drilled holes, this solar panel unit easily attaches to standard pole mounts, tilt mounts, Z-brackets, etc. and can be installed anywhere in seconds.
Not to mention, it also comes with a drainage hole that enhances the product’s durability. Considering its length and size, the product is also relatively thin, enhancing aesthetics and making it easier to transport.
This solar panel is also user-friendly and can be compatible with a lot of products. For one, the power the panel provides is sufficient to charge most 12V devices. It also has a cable and MC4 connectors to connect the devices and sometimes even connect several units to create a bigger solar panel to generate more power.
But then, you might want to consider it on your list for a simplistic and easy to install panel with a high energy efficiency rating. It is also relatively easier to install for its pre-drilled holes.
4. RICH SOLAR Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- Can offer up to 200 watts of power in ideal conditions.
- Comes with 14 pre-drilled holes for easier installation.
- Sleek and simple design with typical black surface and white TPT back sheet
- Durable construction with an aluminum frame and tempered glass
- Excellent low-light performance thanks to its built-in diodes
- Weighs 26.5 pounds, so it’s a bit bulky.
RICH SOLAR is also a reasonably popular name in the solar industry, given its long service. This company is quite known for manufacturing and offering solar products wholesale.
The RICH SOLAR panel is built to last and withstand many elements. With an anodized aluminum frame and anti-reflective, tempered glass, this unit is certified to withstand various weather conditions such as strong winds, hailstorms, and heavy snowfalls.
This durability is also found in its wires and junction, which has an IP67 and IP65 waterproof rating, respectively.
Moreover, this monocrystalline solar features a simple and unassuming design. With the typical black surface and white TPT back sheet, the product easily blends in the surface. There are also different models you can choose from. They are ranging from a 160w model to a 200w model.
What I like the most about the RICH SOLAR monocrystalline solar panel is its performance. Measuring 58.7 x 26.8 x 1.4 inches, the solar panel has a wide enough surface that enables it to generate a decent amount of power. The solar panel can generate up to 200 watts in ideal conditions.
Not to mention, this performance is further enhanced due to its 0-5W positive power output tolerance. This means that the device can perform better in high temperatures.
This does not, however, mean that the panel is useless during overcast days. The solar panel’s built-in diodes enable it to reduce any power drops while it charges under the shade. With this, you won’t have to worry about the problem of solar panels shade as the product can still give an excellent performance.
Another thing I like about the solar panel is that it’s easy to install. Its 14 pre-drilled mounting holes facilitate the installation process and are compatible with numerous ground mounts, pole mounts, tilt mounts, and Z-brackets. With this, you can practically install the unit anywhere without much hassle.
This monocrystalline solar panel is also user-friendly and compatible with various devices. For one, its power is enough to charge and power up most 12V devices. Moreover, it comes with three cables with connectors, allowing it to connect easily.
5. XINPUGUANG Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- Weighs 4.4 pounds
- Provides 19.6% energy efficiency thanks to its multi-layer design.
- Comes in different versions, ranging from 200w to 1,000w.
- 3mm thickness, making transporting and installing it a breeze.
- 30-40-degree curve, allowing quick adaptation to unconventional locations.
- May have shorter lifespan than bulkier models
With its features, the XINPUGUANG solar panel provides a decent performance that can sufficiently power up small devices.
The XINPUGUANG solar panel comes in a range of options. The user can choose from models that differ in terms of watts, ranging from 200w to 1,000w. With this, users can easily select units that can most suit their needs.
Made of high-quality aluminum coupled with anti-reflective tempered glass, this solar panel is built to last. This unit is usually used as a marine solar panel, attesting to its durability. As such, the unit can easily withstand various weather conditions like strong winds, snow loads, harsh temperatures, and multiple elements like rust and dust.
One thing I like about the XINPUGUANG panel is its adjustability and portability. Being a flexible solar panel, this unit can quickly adapt and accommodate itself into unconventional locations and surfaces as the unit can comfortably curve up to 30 degrees to 40 degrees.
Aside from this, this feature makes it easy to install the unit. It even comes with a stainless ring for your convenience. Users can also mount the solar panel or ground it, depending on their preferences.
The solar panel also comes in a sleek and elegant design. Having a thickness of only 3mm and weighing just 4.4 pounds, this flexible solar panel is the lightest and thinnest in the solar market. With this, it’s easy to transport the unit, and its simple design makes it unassuming and easy on the eyes.
Another thing I like about this monocrystalline flexible solar panel is its efficiency. Its multi-layer design contains advanced encapsulation material, which increases the solar cell’s efficiency. It has 19.6% energy efficiency and can generate a maximum power output of 100 watts. With this, the unit provides reliable performance.
Not to mention, the bypass diode enables it to perform even in low-light conditions.
The solar panel is also user-friendly as it comes with the necessary wires and cables. With this, you can easily connect the panel to an existing solar system and various 12V devices.
6. Renogy Extremely Flexible Solar Panel
- Curves up to 248 degrees, allowing easy installation in curved surfaces.
- Heavy-duty construction as it’s made from polymer materials.
- Weighs just 6.2 pounds
- High-efficiency rate as it can supply a maximum of 18.9 volts.
- Easy installation process with six mounting holes and motel grommets.
- Quite expensive
Flexible solar panels give you an advantage when it comes to installation. If you are interested in one, the Renogy extremely flexible unit is the right choice and is considered the company’s more popular models.
What I like most about the Renogy extremely flexible solar panel are its portability and adjustability. Named as one of the most flexible solar panels in the solar panel market, the Renogy solar panel can bend up to 248 degrees. With this, the unit can easily be installed in unconventional and curved surfaces.
To facilitate the installation process, the Renogy solar panel comes with six mounting holes with motel grommets for your convenience. However, the company and many users recommend using silicone adhesives as they provide more stability.
The Renogy solar panel also boasts a slim and sleek design. Weighing at just 6.2 pounds, the unit is arguably one of the thinnest and lightest in the market. With this, it’s easy to transport and store. Moreover, the thin design enables it to blend unassumingly into the surface.
Despite its measurements, however, the Renogy solar panel is a surprisingly durable and rugged unit. Made from polymer materials, the product doesn’t have the fragility of glass. Aside from that, this solar panel has undergone and been subjected to rigorous tests. It has an IP68 waterproof rating and can withstand 2,400 Pascal winds and 5,400 Pascal of snow loads.
Another thing I love about this flexible solar panel is its efficiency. Measuring 49 x 21.3 x 0.08 inches, the solar panel comes in a thin laminated design, and dotted solar cells are arranged in a way that enables them to absorb the most amount of sunlight. With this, the Renogy extremely flexible solar panel can supply a maximum of 18.9 volts.
The Renogy flexible solar panel is also user-friendly. Its cables and MC4 connectors enable it to connect and power up most 12V devices easily. One can even use this to connect several units to generate more power in a shorter amount of time.
Overall, I love how it is designed and constructed. It is also lightweight and can be curved for up to 248 degrees. It also has a high-efficiency rate and offers ease of installation.
7. SunPower Flexible Solar Panel
- Curves up to 30 degrees so accommodating itself in odd angles is easy
- Offers 25% energy efficiency
- Features efficient patented Maxeon cells
- Comes in polymer construction to ensure more durability
- Heavy-duty performance and easy maintenance
- Can be a bit expensive
With all its features and power, the SunPower flexible solar panel is also one of the best low light solar panels you can find in the market.
The Sunpower solar panel is built to last. Unlike other solar panels, this product is made from polymer materials that are more durable than the plastic frames seen in most panels. Not to mention, the panel is also made from high-quality tempered glass.
With this, the solar panel can handle most weather conditions. This is ideal, considering solar panels are usually installed outside and are often subjected to these elements.
One thing I like about this product is its portability and user-friendliness. Being a flexible solar panel, the unit can easily accommodate itself in odd angles and curves. The product can curve up to 30 degrees.
Moreover, because of its polymer body, this flexible solar panel is also one of the lightest models in the market. Weighing only 4.4 pounds, it’s easy to transport and move around. It’s also quite thin that enables it to blend into the surface quickly.
Because of this, the product is easy to install. The solar panel also comes with pre-holed drills in its back and tools and equipment to facilitate the installation process.
Another thing I like about the SunPower flexible solar panel is its power. Measuring 45.9 x 21.9 x 0.1 inches, the product has a wide enough surface to generate a fair amount of energy. At most, the solar panel can provide up to 110 watts of power in ideal conditions.
The model is also useful even in overcast days. Due to their patented Maxeon cells, the monocrystalline solar cells boast a 25% energy efficiency, one of the highest in the industry.
While other solar panels tend to overheat when exposed to high temperatures, you won’t have that problem using the SunPower solar panel. With a power coefficient of -0.30% to -0.35% per 1 degree Celsius, this unit performs better under the sun’s scorching heat.
8. Renogy Monocrystalline Solar Panel
- Powerful unit with 36 solar cells to supply your power needs
- Lightweight and durable aluminum frame
- Considered as the top-rated solar panel for shaded areas in many reviews
- Has simple and modern design
- Heavy-duty and high-performance
- No integrated mounting equipment
With a corrosion-resistant aluminum body and heavy-duty tempered glass, the Renogy solar panel is built to last. The device has an IP65 waterproof rating and can withstand up to 2,400 Pascal winds and 5,400 Pascal of snow pressure.
Moreover, you won’t have to worry about tolerance level because it has a positive output tolerance level of 0-3%. Aside from its durability, this solar panel comes in a no-nonsense and straightforward design.
The black glass interface is backed by a white TPT sheet and encased in a grey frame. This unit also comes with different options that you can choose from to meet your needs. You can select the 100W black frame, the 160W compact design, the 175w and 200w units, or the Eclipse model.
What I like the most about this product is its efficiency. The panel’s cell matrix is expertly made with multi-layered laminated sheets encased in thick, durable glass. It also contains a bypass diode, which guarantees a consistent amount of power generated. With this, you won’t have to worry about solar panel shade as the diode will reduce power drops even in this situation.
Along with this, the monocrystalline panel’s power capacity is even higher than 100 watts due to the product’s positive tolerance level. Many users have claimed to even generate 105-110 watts in perfect weather conditions.
You also won’t have to worry about the device overheating. Because of its glass and solar cell distribution, this unit can spread heat across the entire panel. Another thing I like about this unit is its user-friendliness and compatibility. With 36 solar cells, the Renogy solar panel can sufficiently power up any 12V device for 3-5 hours. One can easily connect multiple panels together due to its MC4 connector.
I also like the portability and flexibility of this unit. For one, despite its sturdiness, the monocrystalline panel surprisingly weighs only 3.5 pounds. This is because of its lightweight aluminum frame and glass. With this, the solar panel is easy to handle and carry around.
Moreover, the Renogy solar panel also comes with its pre-drilled holes for easy installation. Mounting is also easy as the product comes with its brackets; however, many users have even opted to ground the device
What Is A Low Light Solar Panel And Who Is This For
Having a solar power system is advantageous because it can provide you with electricity using just the sun’s energy. But that is also precisely one of its apparent limitations – solar panels work well only with direct sunlight.
The whole point of installing a solar panel system is to have it exposed to direct sunlight to generate electricity.
One of the factors you need to consider and significantly affects your solar panel’s performance is the shade and sunlight your panels receive. Conventional solar panels rely much on sunlight and might not work well in areas that receive little to no sunlight throughout the year.
Fortunately, with the advancement of technology, low light solar panels are now made available. A low light solar panel, as it is called, is viable and efficient even in areas with low sunlight. It can efficiently generate power even on a shady or cloudy day.
Suppose you live in a region with less sunlight availability but would like to have your solar power system for that off-the-grid power source. In that case, a low light solar panel is your perfect option. You are sure to have your much-needed power supply available even with scarce sunlight.
A low light solar panel can be installed wherever you want. You never have to worry about the shade or the weather. This is an excellent system for your RV, boat, or car for that backup power you need.
How Does It Work
Solar power systems have become more mainstream today. You can see a lot of different brands coming out with their models of low light solar panels. They have become popular among homeowners because they serve as a convenient source of power with low maintenance costs. And you only need sunlight to make it work. But how exactly do low light solar panels work?
Solar panels are installed in an area where they can receive sunlight. The panels then absorb and transform solar energy into electricity through the photovoltaic effect. Solar panels have silicon photovoltaic cells responsible for converting the radiation from the sun into electric power.
When the solar radiation is absorbed and interacts with the photovoltaic cells, the electrons begin to move, thereby creating an electric current. The generated power is a direct current.
Before it can be used to power up your devices or appliance, it is first converted into alternating current using the inverted technology in the solar panel system.
Most low light solar panels you can see in the market today feature monocrystalline solar panels. This solar panel technology is known for its high efficiency and power capacity, even under dim light conditions.
Another critical feature that significantly affects the efficiency of low light solar panels is the bypass diodes.
These bypass diodes help reduce power drop due to shading or low light conditions. Solar technology is still developing, but the low light solar panel is an excellent innovation from the standard solar panels.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using A Low Light Solar Panel
- Works well under poor light conditions
One of the apparent benefits of using a low light solar panel, especially compared to the conventional ones, is that it works even in areas that receive less sunlight throughout the year.
Although solar panels are made to be completely reliant on sunlight, the low light solar panel can generate enough power even on a cloudy day.
You can install your low light solar panels anywhere you like without having to worry about the shading or the poor weather condition. As much as these panels are durable, it is also highly efficient even in harsh weather conditions.
- Renewable Energy Source
Using low light solar panels is one way of helping the environment. You are reducing your carbon footprint by using a renewable energy source. What makes it even better is that your power source is available throughout the year. Even in the seasons where you get less sunlight, you can still trust your low light solar panel to work.
With solar panels, you never have to be bothered anymore by any occasion of a power outage. You always have power on the go in case there is a power interruption.
- Reduces electricity costs
Sometimes you might think that your electricity bill is relatively high and burdensome. One way of cutting down that part of your expenses is by using a solar panel system. It is a convenient off-the-grid power source. With just the energy from the sun, you can power up your appliances and charge your devices. This effectively helps you save money from your electricity bills.
- Low maintenance
Solar panels, in general, can last for many years with little to no care required. They are highly durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions. There is no need for frequent replacements. You just must install properly and keep them clean.
- High initial costs
The price of a solar panel system can be expensive. You must consider that you also need to pay for the batteries, wiring, and other essential parts aside from the solar panels. But with the influx of solar technology in the market, you can find a cheaper option that fits your budget.
- Needs a suitable space for installation
You need to find a space with enough sunlight where you can install your low light solar panel. The more solar panels that you want to install, the bigger the area that you need.
How We Picked And Tested
Solar panels are a significant investment and can offer clean energy. It can help in conserving nature and reducing emissions. These solar panels also lower your electric bills, provide backup power supply, and release no harmful contaminants in the environment.
But before buying a solar panel, you must first do your research and find out which type or brand of solar panels most trusted answers your needs. There are a few things you need to keep in mind before taking your pick among the wide range of choices.
Type of solar panel
Monocrystalline solar panel specifications are preferred because of their high efficiency and relatively smaller size than the other solar panels.
But if we are talking about efficiency, the top-tier out there is the amorphous solar panel low light. However, this type requires a larger surface area. You can also choose thin film solar panels, but compared to the other two, this has lower efficiency and is less popular.
The size of the solar panel is also an important consideration. You must consider first if you have enough space to install your panels. If you want to install a large-scale solar power system, bear in mind that you need more space to put your solar panels. But for small applications, you can always find smaller and lightweight solar panels.
As a consumer, you will want a product that you can utilize for a long time. You need not only an efficient solar panel but also a sturdy, well-protected, and durable one. You can also easily find solar panels for hot climates that are scratch proof and corrosion-resistant.
Solar Panel Certifications
A high-quality solar panel is the one that meets the strict quality and safety standards for certification. Please check for the product’s credentials that you want to buy so you can assess the quality and efficiency of your solar panel. If you want a trusted brand, you can check out Sunpower solar panels.
You can read reviews from other customers to give you an idea of a particular brand’s service. Reliable and friendly customer service can be your lifesaver if you have problems or issues with your product.
As it is, the price is usually the deciding factor for many to choose to buy a particular product. The prices of solar panels vary from different brands. But generally, a higher quality solar panel costs more than low-quality ones.
Nevertheless, you don’t always have to choose the most expensive option to have a reliable and efficient solar panel. Compare the prices, and you can always find an option that fits with your budget.
In choosing, just remember to check the various factors we mentioned in this list, and we can assure you that you will find a reliable, long-lasting, and top-rated product that answers your needs.
When choosing the right solar panel for shady areas, you must also consider installation. It should not be hard to set up. Most manufacturers include a user manual that you can follow closely in setting up the panels.
There you know what to look into when choosing the right low light solar panel for your needs and requirements. Get started comparing your options using the reviews earlier for guidance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a solar panel that works at night?
The whole point of a solar panel is it absorbs solar energy and converts it into electricity. Following that logic, solar panels are useless at night when there is no sunlight.
Even with our advanced technologies, there is yet to be invented a solar panel that works at night. But with further research and developments, a solar panel that works at night is not far from becoming a fully functional reality.
Studies have been done on this matter, and a recent paper co-authored by Jeremy Munday, a professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UC Davis, has cracked the code.
A new solar cell design capable of generating 50 watts of power per square meter is on the works. This power output is equivalent to a quarter of a conventional solar panel generated during the day.
This new thermoradiative cell works in reverse to a typical solar cell that absorbs light from the sun. The new cell radiates infrared light towards the cooler outer space that then generates electricity. Prototypes of these new cells are still being developed. But just imagine a solar panel that works throughout the day. It is a step closer to overcoming one of the main limitations of solar panels.
Do solar panels work in the shade?
A common misconception about solar panels is that it doesn’t work in the shade. However, although shading does affect its efficiency, solar panels still do work in the shade.
There are various sources of shade to solar panels. It can be due to cloudy weather, the trees near the solar panels, or the nearby roofs or buildings. These can affect the amount of power your solar panels can provide. But how exactly do these affect the performance of your solar panels?
As mentioned, solar panels have solar cells absorbing the sunlight that hits on the panels. But in the shade, these standard solar cells will not work effectively and cannot generate sufficient power. The power loss depends on the amount of shade that hits your solar panels. If half of the solar panel is in the shade, then the panel’s efficiency will be reduced to half.
Not only the efficiency but also the lifespan of your solar panel will be affected. When part of the solar panels cannot work due to the shade, the other parts will have to double its capacity to compensate for the power loss. This might result in overheating and permanent damage to your solar panels. That is why, for shady areas, low light solar panels are highly recommended.
Are polycrystalline solar panels better in low light?
No, polycrystalline solar panels are not better in low light than monocrystalline photovoltaic cell panels. On the contrary, this type of solar panel is less efficient in converting solar energy into electricity, no matter the weather.
To be specific, in optimal conditions, polycrystalline cells’ efficiency is 13-16%, whereas monocrystalline is at least 20%.
In general, solar panel efficiency on cloudy days will decrease by 10-25% of its average power input. For example, a 100 watt solar panel output will be down to 75 to 90 watts. However, as monocrystalline cells are more efficient than polycrystalline, they can still perform better than their counterparts.
Hence, the top-rated solar panels for cloudy days should have monocrystalline cells.
What is the minimum light for a solar panel?
Manufacturers test their solar panels under three test conditions: 25℃ photovoltaic cell temperature, 1000 watts per square meter solar irradiance, and 1.5 air mass. Hence, determining the minimum light requirements for a solar panel in real-world settings can be tricky because the parameters are never constant.
In theory, solar panels need a minimum of four hours of direct sunlight daily. Sunlight can produce at least 6,000 lumens on a bright and sunny day. However, placing the solar panels in a shaded area may receive only around 1,000 lumens. In cloudy weather, the sun’s luminous intensity will reduce to about 100 to 3,000 lumens.
So, four hours of sunlight exposure on an overcast day may not always be enough. While solar panels don’t need direct sunlight and can convert energy from artificial lighting, it can be counter-productive to charge the solar cells using electricity.
How long do low-light solar panels last?
Solar panels that work on cloudy days should last as long as other photovoltaic cell systems for sunny weather. They can stay operational for at least a quarter of a century, with a half-percent average annual degradation.
For instance, a 100-watt solar panel will only produce 99.5 watts in its second year, 99 watts in the third year, and so on. You can deduct 0.5% each year from the solar panel’s power output to determine how long the solar panel will last.
Solar panel type can also impact its longevity. Monocrystalline solar panels last longer than polycrystalline and thin-film versions because they have more robust construction and greater efficiency, regardless of weather conditions.
How to use & install?
Installing a solar panel can be tricky, especially if you have zero knowledge of wirings and electronics. Add also the fact that some products do not come with a clear and simple instruction manual. But here is a general guide on how to use and install your solar panels.
- Plan out the area where you want to install your solar panels
First things first, you must think of where you want to put your solar panels. It can be anywhere you want if it gets enough sunlight and away from any shade sources to work correctly.
You need to measure the solar panels’ dimension itself to find a space that you can fit them.
Plan on mounting it on the roofs or other elevated areas. You also must make sure that the structure can support the solar panels’ weight to avoid any accidents.
- Install the physical supports and solar panels
After determining the exact area where you want to install your solar panels, it is time to put on the supports. There are brackets for sloped roofs and mount rails on flat surfaces. Make sure that it is tight and secure. After making sure that it is secured, you can mount the solar panels on the supports. Position it in an angle that gets maximum sunlight exposure.
- Connect the wires and electricals components
Make sure that the wires are correctly well insulated to avoid unwanted accidents. The top-tier solar panels for shaded areas include the necessary cables and connections that you need for your solar panel. Make sure that connections between the different components are correctly connected.
That is what you need to do to install your solar panel. You can now do your test run and see if your solar panels work.
The best low light solar panels work even when structures, buildings, or trees cast partial shadows on them. Their efficiency and power will not drop, but instead, keep on working as they should. They are designed to handle a drop in the sunlight they receive and work even in the shade.
To find the right solar panels for shady areas, compare their features, weigh your options, and determine your needs. Which among them can offer just the sufficient power amount for your requirements? How easy or difficult is the installation? What about maintenance? Nevertheless, know the basics to set your expectations and avoid any surprises. Refer to the above buying guide for help today!
Hi, I am Eddie, Cleanenergysummit’s content editor. It’s so much joy to work alongside Justin, as the idea of providing knowledge about using clean energy excites us.
I’ve been working to address any concerns or questions you may have as you transition to using solar electricity to power your home. Tune in to hear our advice and suggestions on anything clean energy. Welcome!