On partly cloudy days, the irradiance incident on PV generators can significantly exceed the expected clear sky irradiance. This event is cloud enhancement (CE). It is also called irradiance enhancement or over-irradiance. It states that the maximum power of the PV generator has the probability to exceed the rated power of the inverter connecting the generator to the grid.
What is the Cloud Edge Effect?
Solar panels may produce more electricity than they do on typical sunny days, according to the edge of the effect. This occurs when solar rays cross the edge of the clouds, which concentrate light into the array. Although the cloud edge effect is a common occurrence, its impacts on PV plants are not fully understood. The impact of enhancement events on utility-scale PV generators is discussed in the study paper Characteristics of the cloud enhancement phenomena and PV power plants. The study came to the conclusion that the likelihood of these occurrences is generally lower and that the maximum irradiance caused by this phenomenon is higher than the irradiance from a clear sky.
In conclusion, whether or not we should purchase solar panels is not significantly impacted by cloudy days. Cloudy days still affect the amount of electricity generated, however even on cloudy days, solar panels continue to produce more than 50% of their maximum output. Cloudy days won’t have a big impact on the power output, depending on the energy consumption and the number of installed panels.
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