Can I Still use Solar Power if I Live in a Cold or Cloudy Place?

ATTRIBUTION: BY PARVATHISRI (OWN WORK) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (HTTP://CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG/LICENSES/BY-SA/3.0)], VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

ATTRIBUTION: BY PARVATHISRI (OWN WORK) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (HTTP://CREATIVECOMMONS.ORG/LICENSES/BY-SA/3.0)], VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

It’s no secret that solar power relies on the sun to generate power and electricity. Now that winter is approaching in Queensland, and especially colder cities like Brisbane, we may be expecting cloudier and colder weather. Naturally, most people think that solar power is only useful in places that are sunny or in areas that have a hot climate. But this isn’t true at all, and it would be a mistake to pass on solar power just because you don’t live in a desert or a city known for plenty of sunshine. In fact, solar power still works in cloudy and cold areas, and probably much better than you think.

So the short answer is yes - you can still use solar power even if you live in a cloudy or cold place like Brisbane. Here’s why.

CAN SOLAR PANELS GENERATE SOLAR POWER DURING CLOUDY DAYS?

First, solar panels can still generate power during cloudy days. As long as there’s daylight available, solar panels will do their work. Yes, your output during cloudy days will be lower than on sunnier days. But it’s still not as bad or as low as most people think. On average, solar panels can generate power at 10-25% of their capacity, depending on how cloudy the day is. While this may not be enough to become your main power source, it’s still significant enough not to ignore or use.

Furthermore, cloudy days don’t last forever. Sunny days will come around no matter how long a cloudy spell may be. What’s most important is how much sunlight you’re getting throughout the year. As long as you’re getting a decent amount annually, solar power can still be a worthy investment.

Case in point: Germany. Germany gets around as much annual sunshine as Alaska in the US, and it isn’t particularly sunny or tropical by any means. But it has one of the highest number of solar panels installed in any country, and it’s consistently among the top generators of solar power in the world.

Another myth that most people believe is that solar panels aren’t suitable for cold areas and cities. However, it’s important to remember that solar panels rely on light and not heat. So as long as you’re getting daylight and it’s reaching your solar panels, you’ll still be able to generate power with them - no matter how cold it is.

THE VERDICT: CAN SOLAR POWER WORK DURING COOLER, CLOUDIER SEASONS IN CITIES SUCH AS BRISBANE?

Also, as ironic as it sounds, solar panels are actually more efficient and perform better during colder conditions rather than when it’s really hot. Solar panels, after all, have electronic parts and mechanisms. And by its nature, electronics perform better when they’re not overheated.

So even if you live in an area such as Brisbane or anywhere in Queensland that’s affected by the winter weather that’s normally cold or cloudy during certain seasons, solar power may still be a good and practical option for you.

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