Recently I was talking with a friend of mine whom I had assumed was somewhat knowledgeable about solar energy. I was surprised when he made the assertion that “solar panels only produce power in direct sunlight”. I corrected him and informed him that even on heavily overcast days, my solar array can produce over 3 kWh. But on a typical sunny day like yesterday, September 20 you can see the power curve shows power being generated before and after sun strikes my solar array which is facing West at 270°. Sunrise on this day was at 6:25 AM and it set at 6:38 PM, and my array was producing power for every minute of this time.
Total amount of power produced on this day was 22.9 kWH and the sun first hit the solar array at around 9:20 AM and Dropped behind the trees at around 5:30 PM (17:30). As you can see my solar array was producing hundreds of Watts before and after the sun was shining directly on the panels.
Compare this with the power curve from today which was heavily overcast with the sun barely making an appearance, yet the array produced 9.71kWH.