Looking to harness solar power when it is cloudy? We have got you covered! Solar technology has advanced leaps and bounds and panels have been designed for peak performance even in gloomy weather. In this blog, we’ll list the best portable solar panels for cloudy days to help you through the overcast weather patterns.
Can Solar Panels be used on Cloudy Days?
Yes, solar panels can generate electricity even on cloudy days. Here are some points you need to know:
1. Functionality: Solar panels can capture diffused sunlight on cloudy days. They function optimally in direct sunlight but remain effective even in overcast conditions.
2. Cloud Impact: Although clouds scatter sunlight, some rays still reach the solar panels, allowing them to generate electricity, though at a lower efficiency.
3. Technological Improvements: Modern solar panels are designed for enhanced low-light capture, improving performance on cloudy days. Advanced materials and designs now allow panels to operate efficiently even in suboptimal conditions.
4. External Factors: Temperature and humidity can both have an impact on efficiency. Cooler temperatures may slightly improve performance, whilst excessive heat may decrease it.
While their efficiency decreases on cloudy days, solar panels may still generate electricity, making them adaptable to different weather conditions.
Best Portable Solar Panels for Cloudy Days
On cloudy days, capturing solar energy might be difficult. However, with the right equipment, you can effectively harness solar energy even in the most overcast situations, ensuring maximum energy output and savings. Though material limitations cause most solar panels to struggle in low-light conditions, certain models perform notably better.
Here is the list of the best portable solar panels for cloudy days noted for their high performance.
1. Renogy Solar Panel
Renogy, founded in 2010, is a well-known manufacturer of high-quality solar panels known for their durability and versatility. Their panels are suitable for a wide range of applications, including rooftops, RVs, boats, and cabins.
- Made of tough polyester canvas for long-lasting use.
- Versatile to small- and large-scale applications.
- Designed for extended outdoor usage
- Great resilience against weather conditions makes part of the best solar panels for cloudy days.
- Suitable for beginners or those looking to expand their solar system.
200 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Foldable Solar Suitcase– around $469.99
2. Jackery Solar Panel
Jackery offers lightweight solar panels designed specifically for outdoor enthusiasts, providing easy setup and broad compatibility.
- Environmentally friendly and pollutant-free.
- The design is compact and collapsible.
- Simple to install with an ergonomic handle.
- Compatibility with third-party power stations.
Jackery SolarSaga 80W Solar Panel– nearly $ 249.00
Jackery SolarSaga 200W Solar Panel– approximately $ 699.00
3. BLUETTI Solar Panel
BLUETTI was founded in 2011, specializes in portable energy storage solutions, and provides solar panels that are noted for their durability and effectiveness.
- User-friendly setup and foldable design.
- Made of sturdy ETFE material with advanced laminated technology.
- Scratch-resistant and IP65 splash-resistant.
BLUETTI PV120 Solar Panel – approximately US$299.00
BLUETTI PV420 Solar Panel – approximately US$999.00
4. SunJack Solar Panel
SunJack panels cater to a variety of outdoor activities, ensuring a continuous power source during trips. Designed to capture energy effectively, even in overcast conditions, they rank among the best portable solar panels for cloudy days.
- A compact, foldable, and long-lasting design.
- Integrated magnetic closure for storage.
- Smart IC chip built-in for optimal and safe charging.
SunJack 60 Watt Foldable ETFE Monocrystalline Solar Panel Charger– nearly $ 169.95
5. ACOPOWER Solar Panel
ACOPOWER focuses on green power solutions for homes and the outdoors, including portable solar panel products and efficient solar panels optimized for outdoor applications.
- Made with high-efficiency cells, industrial-grade aluminum, and tempered glass.
- Designed for ease of use with a plug-and-play feature.
ACOPower 50W Foldable Solar Panel – approximately $ 140.80
ACOPower 240W Foldable Solar Panel with ProteusX 20A Charge Controller – around $ 658.80
6. DOKIO Portable Solar Panel Kit
The DOKIO Portable Solar Panel Kit is designed to generate power even during overcast conditions. Lightweight and portable, it’s designed specifically for outdoor activities and emergency scenarios.
- Compatibility with all 12V batteries.
- Offers protection from overcharging, overload, and short-circuiting.
- Designed for outdoor and emergency use; waterproof and versatile.
- Uses advanced monocrystalline solar cells for high conversion efficiency.
The price range of the DOKIO 110W/220W 18V Portable Foldable Solar Panel Kit comes somewhere between $129.99 and $229.00.
Also See: 22 Best Solar Products For Everyday Life
7. GROWATT Portable Solar Panel
The GROWATT Portable Solar Panel is designed for efficient energy capture, even on cloudy days. Its blend of efficiency, portability, and compatibility positions it as a top choice among the best portable solar panels for cloudy days.
- Versatile for outdoor adventures and off-grid living.
- Achieves up to 22% efficiency with advanced monocrystalline cells.
- Adjustable kickstands allow 45° to 80° angles for optimal sun capture.
- Durable one-piece design with ETFE film and an IP68 waterproof rating.
- Universal MC4 connector is compatible with GROWATT and other brands.
Growatt 100W Solar Panel – nearly $249.00
Growatt 200W Solar Panel – around $449.00
8. FATORK Portable Solar Panel Kit
The FATORK Portable Solar Panel Kit aims to capture solar power effectively, even during overcast days. It is a trusted companion for outdoor adventures, ensuring a consistent power supply in off-grid situations. It combines efficiency, versatility, and resilience, catering to various energy needs.
- Features advanced monocrystalline cells with multi-layered technology for up to 24% efficiency.
- Versatile 3-in-one output cords are compatible with numerous power stations.
- Constructed from durable ETFE material that resists scratches, heat, and chemicals.
- Splash-proof with an IP67 rating; avoid submersion and heavy rain.
- Foldable design with a handle and pocket for easy storage and mobility.
- Superior energy absorption and heat resistance.
FATORK 100W Portable Solar Panel – around $259.99
Additionally, check out the 5 Best Sunpower Solar Panels.
9. EcoFlow Solar Panels
The EcoFlow Solar Panel is designed for reliability and sustainability, making it suitable for short outdoor ventures. Its compact and durable design makes it a part of the best portable solar panels for cloudy days that cater to diverse energy needs.
- Lightweight with a foldable design, ensuring quick setup.
- Delivers dependable energy for charging devices and small appliances.
- Made from high-quality materials with an IP68 waterproof rating for durability.
- The 400W variant designed with pliable EVA layers and durable fiberglass offers a 23% efficiency rate.
- The protective case doubles as an adjustable stand for optimal sun exposure.
- The 220W bifacial solar panel model is robust and ready for any weather conditions.
EcoFlow 110W Portable Solar Panel – around $399.00
EcoFlow 400W Portable Solar Panel – approximately $1,199.00
If interested, you can take a glance at these 3 Best Solar Panel Roof Mounting Systems.
Now, it’s time to move on to the crucial step: the purchasing procedure to get the bang for your buck.
Here are some important aspects to consider:
1. Solar panel efficiency is influenced by type and light sensitivity, impacting performance in cloudy scenarios.
2. Monocrystalline panels have high efficiency, perform well in low light, and have a sleek appearance, but are more costly.
3. Polycrystalline panels are blue-colored, more affordable, but less efficient in dim light.
4. Thin Film or Amorphous panels are flexible, affordable, and capture diffuse light, though they’re the least efficient.
5. Bifacial panels capture sunlight from both front and rear, making them excellent for overcast conditions.
6. Half-cut cell design offers superior efficiency, especially beneficial for cloudy areas, while full-cut cells are the traditional, less efficient design.
7. For cloudy regions, half-cut monocrystalline panels are the best choice for energy production and savings.
8. For consistent, year-round home use, high-wattage panels are recommended. For occasional outings, prioritize portable, foldable panels that are durable with good energy output.
9. Before purchasing, it’s crucial to evaluate both your budget and requirements and explore the variety of solar panels available.
10. Optimal panels should typically convert 15-20% of sunlight to energy, even during cloudy weather.
Ultimately, cloudy days present challenges for solar energy collection. In regions where overcast days prevail, selecting the right and best portable solar panels for cloudy days becomes paramount.
The panels indicated above not only convert energy efficiently, but they are also durable and portable, making them ideal for a variety of weather conditions. While these are the market’s best selections, always examine your personal needs, budget, and chosen product features, and conduct additional research before investing.
Note: Prices and specifications are subject to change over time. Before making a purchase, you should look for ongoing discounts, special deals, or installment plans. It’s best to contact company support or a local dealer for the most up-to-date information and available discounts. While we picked out a few companies, numerous other companies on the market provide high-quality solar panels.
Also See: 9 Best Solar Shingles
What Factors Should You Consider When Purchasing Portable Solar Panels for Cloudy Days?
Solar panels, as you might think, work best in areas with plenty of bright sunlight, which means that cloudy weather can dramatically diminish energy generation. There are a few things you should consider before purchasing a solar system that will reduce your electricity costs. These will be covered in more detail below.
1. Intended Use
The voltage requirements differ significantly from each device. Avoid buying panels that are either insufficient for your needs or excessive for smaller devices. To assess the power requirements of your panel, consider the wattage of various devices you want to power at the same time.
2. Local Weather
Solar panels convert sunlight into energy, with efficiency influenced by local climate conditions. They use photovoltaic cells to produce energy, which is then converted to power household appliances. Cloudy days can decrease this efficiency. However, certain panels are optimized for ambient light, ideal for regions with frequent overcast conditions. Your local weather will guide the type of panel best suited for your needs.
3. Panel Efficient Rating
When choosing the best portable solar panels for cloudy days, one of the most important elements to consider is the efficiency rating of your panels. The efficiency rating reflects the amount of sunlight that can be converted into electricity by your panels. The higher your grade, the better your productivity in all circumstances, including cloudy days.
The average efficiency rate is approximately 17%, but panels with efficiency ratings of more than 20% are generally deemed suitable for producing electricity under cloudy conditions.
4. Degradation Rate
All solar panels are expected to degrade with time, however, the durability of a panel varies substantially between brands. Panels with a high-efficiency rating that declines slowly can produce adequate energy for your home for a longer period and are best suited for homes in cloudy locations. The average degradation rate of solar panels is around 0.5% per year, implying that after 20 years, the overall efficiency will have declined from 100% to 90%.
5. Varieties of Panel
There are numerous panel kinds available in the solar market. While we favor monocrystalline silicon cells, alternative options such as polycrystalline, amorphous, and thin-film are available. Monocrystalline silicon cells have higher heat tolerance and efficiency and are more compact than amorphous cell types while still giving equal wattage and taking up less space.
6. Energy Storage Mechanism
In regions with unpredictable sunlight, using the best solar panels for cloudy days ensures consistent energy capture. This energy is then efficiently stored in batteries. The ideal solution for this stored energy is a portable power station. With these top-performing panels and efficient storage, you can remain powered even after sunset, ensuring uninterrupted energy throughout the night.
7. Brand Credibility
When it comes to technology, the reputation of the brand is crucial. You want to know that your money is being spent wisely and responsibly.
8. Warranty on Performance
The majority of top solar panel manufacturers provide warranties ensuring energy efficiency for 20 to 25 years. Longer performance warranties ensure that your solar system will keep producing at near-peak efficiency. As a result, property owners in overcast climates benefit from this.
9. Dimensions of a Solar Power System
The efficiency and degradation of your panels, among other factors, will decide the size of the system needed to offset your energy bills. If you use inefficient panels, you’ll need more panels and a larger system to provide the necessary electricity.
10. Property Considerations
Consider the sun exposure of your panels. Trees or buildings can further limit sunlight in cloudy areas, necessitating more efficient panels. East or west-facing roofs in such areas might demand peak-efficiency panels, but they’ll produce and save less energy. For off-grid systems in low-light regions, adjusting panels, inverters, and batteries is vital to prevent power outages.
11. Financial Considerations
Finally, your budget influences your options. While you don’t need the most expensive model, understanding your individual needs will help you find a balance between cost and performance. Although it is an investment, it is important to connect your expenditure with actual necessities.
Also Read: How to Check Solar Panel Polarity
What are Some Ways to Increase the Efficiency of your Solar Panels on a Cloudy Day?
In the search of finding the best solar panels for cloudy days, here are some ways to increase the efficiency of your solar panels on such cloudy weather:
1. Best Tilt Angle and Direction: Arrange your solar panels at an appropriate tilt angle and direction so that they get adequate sunshine. If you reside in an area with a high cloud cover, changing the panels to a steeper angle may be useful.
2. Cleaning Regularly for Maximum Efficiency: Over time, dust, dirt, or debris can drastically limit their ability to absorb sunlight. To effectively clean them, use a soft material or sponge, along with light soap and water.
3. Power Optimizers and Micro-Inverters: Cloud shadowing affects solar panel efficiency. Using micro-inverters or power optimizers can mitigate this by optimizing energy production during cloudy periods.
For a better understanding, take a look at these 16 Ways to Increase Solar Panel Efficiency.
After learning about the best portable solar panels for cloudy days, you can choose the ideal product to optimize power generation in unfavorable weather. However, there are some factors to consider before purchasing a solar system that will suit your energy needs and budgetary constraints. For more information on solar energy, keep exploring our blog posts.