Author Options:

solar question Answered

do solar panels have to be in direct sunlight? I'm looking to make a "Sun Jar" and was wondering if it would work on my balcony. The only thing is our balcony doesn't get direct sunlight to it as it's inset into the building and covered by the above apartment's balcony.



No they don't need direct sunlight to output power. But you won't get vary good performance without direct sun light. If the panel is rated for say 5V output then indirect sun may only give you about 1.5V to 2V. If even that much. The drop in efficiency is rather drastic without dirrect sun light.

Agreed, many of the needed components of the sunlight will not be "reflected" and so there will be a serious drop in efficiency

. You need direct sunlight for best performance. You may get some power out of the cell, but it will be MUCH less.