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Voters across the political and demographic spectrum find Trump increasingly objectionable and Millennials in particular are refusing to support the Republican nominee because of his position on climate change. While a USA Today / Rock the Vote poll just released shows that Clinton is "trouncing Trump 56 percent - 20 percent among those under 35," a Washington Post analysis of the reasons why former supporters are abandoning Trump shows that the issue of climate change plays prominently with millennials.

In a piece over the weekend, Former supporters describe their 'last straw' when it came to Trump, the Post took a look at Millennial reddit users and found trends represented by examples like the following:

"I was on the fence until he said global warming was a hoax," WubbaLubbaDubStep said.

"When he and Clinton both got the nomination for their respective parties, I was actually leaning more toward Trump," Scratch_That_Itch said. "However, his denial of climate change completely changed my mind. I'm not one to get caught up in the doom and gloom of many articles about the climate changing, but there is absolutely ZERO reason not to invest time, money and energy into renewable/cleaner power sources."

Trump doubled down on his absurd position Friday, telling the Miami Herald that he's "not a big believer in manmade climate change."

If elected, Trump would be in the ridiculous international position of being the only world leader of any nation to deny climate science and the dangers posed by the climate crisis. Just as he is alienating voters of every age and demographic due to his total ignorance on climate, he would alienate world leaders from every country, harming our alliances and relationships around the world and making America weaker.

In contrast, Secretary Hillary Clinton has proven she is a climate champion with the track record and experience to work with our allies and move climate action forward on a global scale. She wants to end the debate once and for all surrounding offshore drilling in the Arctic and the Atlantic oceans and she is pushing for much-needed reform of the antiquated, Nixon-era rules governing coal mining on public lands. She is committed to protecting our forests and public lands, while also doubling the American outdoor economy, which creates jobs and generates billions of dollars.

Millennials want a president who holds justice and equality among their top priorities. Clinton has demonstrated her commitment to progressive values time and again, from her work as an advocate at the Children's Defense Fund, to making history by holding the first hearing on environmental justice ever in the U.S. Senate.

While Trump will drag us backwards toward the dirty fuels of the past and cook the planet in the process, Clinton will build on the progress we've already achieved in moving America and the world, towards a 21st century clean energy economy under President Obama.

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Solar panels allow you to harness the sun's clean, renewable energy, potentially cutting your electric bills as well as your environmental footprint. But do solar panels work on cloudy days, or during seasons of less-than-optimal sun exposure? For homeowners who live outside of the Sun Belt, this is a critical question to consider before moving ahead with solar panel installation.

In this article, we'll go over how solar panels work on cloudy days, whether solar panels work at night, and how to ensure you always have accessible power — even when your panels aren't producing solar energy.

How Solar Panels Work on Cloudy Days

Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels can use both direct and indirect sunlight to generate electrical power. This means they can still be productive even when there is cloud coverage. With that said, solar panels are most efficient and productive when they are soaking up direct sunlight on sunny days.

While solar panels still work even when the light is reflected or partially obstructed by clouds, their energy production capacity will be diminished. On average, solar panels will generate 10 to 25% of their normal power output on days with heavy cloud coverage.

With clouds usually comes rain, and here's a fact that might surprise you: Rain actually helps solar panels work more effectively. That's because rain washes away any dirt or dust that has gathered on your panels so that they can more efficiently absorb sunlight.

Do Solar Panels Work at Night?

While solar panels can still function on cloudy days, they cannot work at night. The reason for this is simple: Solar panels work because of a scientific principle called the photovoltaic effect, wherein solar cells are activated by sunlight, generating electrical current. Without light, the photovoltaic effect cannot be triggered, and no electric power can be generated.

One way to tell if your panels are still producing energy is to look at public lights. As a general rule of thumb, if street lamps or other lights are turned off — whether on cloudy days or in the evening — your solar panels will be producing energy. If they're illuminated, it's likely too dark out for your solar panel system to work.

Storing Solar Energy to Use on Cloudy Days and at Night

During hours of peak sunlight, your solar panels may actually generate more power than you need. This surplus power can be used to provide extra electricity on cloudy days or at night.

But how do you store this energy for future use? There are a couple of options to consider:

You can store surplus energy in a solar battery.

When you add a solar battery to your residential solar installation, any excess electricity can be collected and used during hours of suboptimal sun exposure, including nighttime hours and during exceptionally cloudy weather.

Batteries may allow you to run your solar PV system all day long, though there are some drawbacks of battery storage to be aware of:

  • It's one more thing you need to install.
  • It adds to the total cost of your solar system.
  • Batteries will take up a bit of space.
  • You will likely need multiple batteries if you want electricity for more than a handful of hours. For example, Tesla solar installations require two Powerwall batteries if your system is over 13 kilowatts.

You can use a net metering program.

Net metering programs enable you to transmit any excess power your system produces into your municipal electric grid, receiving credits from your utility company. Those credits can be cashed in to offset any electrical costs you incur on overcast days or at night when you cannot power your home with solar energy alone.

Net metering can ultimately be a cost-effective option and can significantly lower your electricity bills, but there are a few drawbacks to consider, including:

  • You may not always break even.
  • In some cases, you may still owe some money to your utility provider.
  • Net metering programs are not offered in all areas and by all utility companies.

Is Residential Solar Right for You?

Now that you know solar panels can work even when the sun isn't directly shining and that there are ways to store your energy for times your panels aren't producing electricity, you may be more interested in installing your own system.

You can get started with a free, no-obligation quote from a top solar company in your area by filling out the 30-second form below.

FAQ: Do Solar Panels Work on Cloudy Days?

How efficient are solar panels on cloudy days?

It depends on the panels, but as a rule of thumb, you can expect your solar panels to work at 10 to 25% efficiency on cloudy days.

How do solar panels work when there is no sun?

If there is literally no sunlight (e.g., at night), then solar panels do not work. This is because the photovoltaic effect, which is the process through which panels convert sunlight into energy, requires there to be some light available to convert.

However, you can potentially use surplus solar power that you've stored in a battery. Also note that solar panels can work with indirect light, meaning they can function even when the sun is obscured by cloud coverage.

Do solar panels work on snowy days?

If there is cloud coverage and diminished sunlight, then solar panels will not work at their maximum efficiency level on snowy days. With that said, the snow itself is usually not a problem, particularly because a dusting of snow is easily whisked away by the wind.

Snow will only impede your solar panels if the snowfall is so extreme that the panels become completely buried, or if the weight of the snow compromises the integrity of your solar panel structures.

Will my solar panels generate electricity during cloudy, rainy or snowy days?

Cloudy days may limit your solar panel's efficiency, but you'll still be able to generate some electricity. Rainy days can actually help clean your panels, making them even more effective. And snowy days are only a problem if the snow is so extreme that the panels are totally submerged, without any part of them exposed to the sun.

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