Things You Should Know about Solar Radiation and Solar Flux

If you’ve understood that solar energy can be an all-round solution for all your electricity requirements, you must also know how it works. 

Solar radiation, or simply put, sunlight, is an inexhaustible energy resource. So, why not benefit from the sun’s energy and put an end to the skyrocketing electricity bills?

Many devices can collect solar radiation and calculate the solar flux and transform it into usable energy, such as heat and electricity.

Wondering what solar flux is? 

We have the answer.

Solar flux is nothing but solar radiation in a given area. 

The technical viability and the cost-effectiveness of solar energy-driven systems largely depend on the area of installation or the availability of solar radiation. 

To know whether your place is suited for installing solar panels, you must continue reading this article.

What Influences Solar Radiation at a Certain Location?

The time of year, day, latitude, topography, and atmosphere affect how intense the sun’s rays are at any particular point. For instance, clouds, dust, and water vapour influence the degree of solar flux that hits your place at any particular point.

Regional shades and shadows, like the ones brought on by trees or buildings, are not taken into account when estimating solar flux. 

Types of Solar Radiation- Direct and Diffuse

Now that you know what solar radiation and solar flux are, let us discuss the types of solar radiation. 

As sunlight travels through the atmosphere, a portion of it is absorbed, dispersed, and reflected by:

  • – Clouds
  • – Air particles
  • – Water molecules
  • – Dust \Pollutants
  • – Air-pollution disasters such as forest fires and volcanoes

These disturbances reduce the amount of natural solar flux and, thus, are referred to as diffuse solar radiation. 

Direct beam solar radiation is the kind of solar radiation that directly reaches the surface of the Earth. Global solar radiation is the total of both diffuse and direct sun radiation. 

Do Solar-Powered Devices Need Direct Sunlight?

If your place does not fall under the “sunlight” zone, you might think that solar panels won’t work for you. But it’s not true.

Although solar panels operate most efficiently when exposed to direct sunlight, they are also capable of producing electricity when there’s less sunshine.

However, the efficiency of power generation will be less. That’s because solar panels need 1000 W/m2 of solar flux to operate at their peak efficiency.

Can Solar Panels be Used in the Shade?

Solar panels can operate in the shadow, but they will produce less electrical current than they would under ideal circumstances.

The following criteria will determine exactly how the shade will affect your solar power system.

  • Duration of the shading

The amount of electricity your solar panels produce will decrease the longer they are shaded. Keep in mind that owing to the sun’s rays’ ever-changing direction, sunlight and shadow levels change.

  • The solar panels’ technology 

More recent solar panels are made to be less affected by partial shadow issues using half-cut photovoltaic cell technology. 

How Much Solar Flux do Solar Panels Require to be Cost-Effective?

According to the usual rule of thumb, a solar system should receive direct sunlight between 11 AM to 2 PM as these are the peak sunshine hours. 

Ideally, solar panels churn electricity from sunlight between 9 AM to 4 PM. 

Benefits and Limitations Of Solar PV

Everything has pros and cons, and so do solar cells. Solar photovoltaic systems provide many benefits, but they also have certain limitations. Let’s explore both in terms of solar flux. 


  • – The sun’s rays are a major energy source; therefore, there is no need to worry about a shortage. 
  • – There are no CO2 emissions from solar radiation since it releases no pollutants.
  • – No matter where you are, you can produce solar energy in a decentralised manner since solar radiation is everywhere.
  • – Modular solar PV technology implementation increases the PV system’s size as the demand for power rises.

Limitations (and how they can be tackled)

  • – Solar PV is often a cost-effective option to deliver huge amounts of required power. However, still, the upfront cost can be a bit of a challenge. This is why the government is offering a subsidy to homeowners and housing societies for the installation of rooftop solar systems
  • – Weather, again, can be a limitation to some extent. The amount of solar flux reduces in the rainy season. Which means the panels will produce comparatively less power. But when figuring out the units generated from solar in terms of savings from going solar, it should be an average for a year. Hence, no matter whether the efficiency is slightly reduced during the monsoon season, the cost of installation will still break even soon. 
  • – The place may be a problem. Depending on your location, varying amounts of solar radiation may be accessible. There is much more solar radiation in certain regions than in others. But, this can also be tackled. The tilt angle of the panels is adjusted in such a way that it stays near perpendicular to the sun during peak sunshine hours. 


You can use solar energy to produce electricity using a solar panel, which uses solar radiation from the sun. There are various aspects of this technique, but overall, using solar radiation to mitigate your energy needs is a good choice.


1. How is the Earth affected by solar radiation?

The planet’s surface heats up as a result of the solar energy it receives. However, since the planet emits energy into space and the atmosphere, the average temperature remains constant.

2. Is it possible to transfer sun radiation?

On its route to the Earth or the ocean’s surface, radiant energy leaves the sun and interacts with the atmosphere. Solar radiation may be reflected, transmitted, or absorbed and reradiated after it passes through the atmosphere and reaches the planet’s surface.