How the Weather Impacts Your Solar Panel Performance

solar panels performance

The weather conditions directly influence solar panel performance. Solar panels produce electricity by converting sunlight into usable energy through the photovoltaic cells the panels are made of. Therefore, any changes in sunlight intensity or exposure can affect their efficiency and output. Here are some key weather factors that impact solar panel performance you need to be aware of:

Weather Conditions and Their Impact On Solar Panels Performance

Sunlight Intensity

The most critical weather factor that impacts solar panels’ energy production is the intensity of sunlight. Solar panels produce electricity at full capacity with direct and intense sunlight. Cloudy or overcast days reduce the sunlight reaching the panels, leading to lower energy production. 

But don’t worry; this doesn’t mean your home won’t have electricity on cloudy days. Modern solar panels can work at more than 50% of their maximum output, which is usually more than enough.


High temperatures can negatively impact solar panel efficiency. Solar panels work more efficiently in colder climates, but excessive heat can cause them to operate less effectively. As the temperature increases, the solar cells’ voltage decreases, reducing their overall efficiency.

This is why Albertan weather is so optimal for solar panels: while our summer days are generally warm, the temperatures are rarely high enough to compromise solar panels’ performance.

Rain and Snow

Rain can have a short-term cleaning effect on solar panels, which may improve their performance by washing away some dust and debris. During heavy rain or snow, the panels can become covered or obscured, leading to a slight decrease in efficiency, as sunlight can still reach the panels through snow, and the rain will slide through them due to the inclination of the solar array.


Severe weather events like hail storms have the potential to physically damage solar panels, so manufacturers ensure they test panels for durability against such impacts. In extreme cases, damage could potentially occur but we should note that in the massive Calgary hailstorm of June 2020, none of our customers had panel damage. If your panels get damaged by hail, your warranty or your home insurance will cover the costs.


Obstacles such as buildings, trees, or other structures that cast shadows on solar panels can significantly impact their performance. Even partial shading of just a small area of a panel can result in a disproportionate drop in overall energy production.

Installers always ensure the solar system is placed in an area free of shading in the first place, but if something changes and gets in the panels’ way, like an overgrown tree, you should prune it as soon as possible to reestablish your system’s performance.

Power Regardless Of the Forecast

Overall, solar panels can still generate electricity in all weather conditions. Advances in technology and improved panel designs continue to address weather-related challenges, making solar a viable and attractive renewable energy option.

A professional installation is essential if you are ready to go solar and want to ensure your panels work despite the weather forecast. Professional installers will consider local weather conditions, panel orientation, and potential shading issues during installation to maximize the panels’ performance. Contact us for a free consultation and start your journey towards energy independence.