Do Solar Panels Work at Night?
If you’re wondering whether solar panels work at night, you’re not alone. After all, if you’re getting ready to rely on solar panels to power your home, it only makes sense that you would want to know how reliable they are when no sunlight is available. The short answer is that no, solar panels do not work at night. Fortunately, thanks to solar storage, that’s not an issue.
How solar storage works
Because solar panels require sunlight to convert photovoltaic energy into electricity, they will not produce power at night. However, solar storage allows your home to still have an energy supply even when your panels are inactive. There are several forms of solar storage, the most notable in SWFL are net metering and solar-plus-storage technology.
- Net Metering
With net metering, your home maintains a connection to the local power grid even after you’ve installed solar panels. Any excess energy your solar panels produce during the day is then subsequently fed back into the grid in exchange for credits that your utility provider adds to your electric bill. At night, those credits cover the cost of the power you need from the grid. In other words, the grid itself acts as a form of solar storage.
The same process also happens over the scale of the year. You will likely produce a surplus of energy and earn credits during the Winter months and then use those credits in the Summer when bills are typically higher.
- Battery Backups Solar-plus-battery storage is simpler. During the day, excess power generated by your solar panels is stored in a battery. At night, you draw from the battery to cover your power needs. If you feel the need, you can get backup batteries to provide power in emergency situations, such as the blackout after a Hurricane.
Do solar panels work during cloudy days?
If you’re concerned about whether your solar panels at night, you’re probably also thinking about whether they work during cloudy days. At this point, you might already know the answer: yes, but not as well as on cloudless days. According to Energy Sage, solar panels will generate about 10 to 25% of their normal output on a cloudy day.
However, even if you live in an area that isn’t particularly sunny, you can still benefit from solar panels. It all depends on your local electricity rates and how quickly you can break even compared to drawing from the grid. What’s more, today’s solar panels systems are advanced and flexible enough to work for just about anyone. Just get in touch with our experts at Fafco Solar, who can analyze your situation and help you find the design that works best for your home.
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