As solar energy rapidly makes advances, more and more people are installing solar panel systems in their homes. Solar panels come with many advantages, including clean power, lower energy bills, and tax incentives. However, they can also come with a lot of questions, like how do solar-powered homes receive electricity after the sun sets? Or, How do solar panels work?
Here is more information about how homes get electricity at night with solar panels:
How Do Solar Panels Work?
Solar panels are made from small photovoltaic (PV) cells, which are composed of silicon and other materials that generate an electric field. When light hits the atoms in the PV cells, it knocks the electrons free. These electrons are then converted to usable electricity that is sent to your home through wires.
While solar panels do not technically produce energy at night, there are still ways they can power your home after the sun has set. This can be done through both net metering and solar battery storage.
There are three types of solar panel systems: on-grid, off-grid, and hybrid systems, which are a combination of both. An on-grid system is the most popular of the three. It is a solar power generation structure that is connected to a utility grid. The energy supply flows from the grid to the house it is powering and back to the grid.
Frequently, more energy is produced than is needed to power the home. Any excess electricity that is produced is deposited into the grid through a process called net metering. Net metering is a billing mechanism that calculates the amount of electricity that is added to the grid.
When this mechanism is used, your electric company will reimburse you for the deposited power. This means that the cost to power your home at night is offset by any credits for excess production during the day. Net metering is beneficial because it ensures that your home will receive electricity regardless of how much your solar panels vary in production.
Solar Battery Storage
Like an on-grid system, other solar panel systems are designed to intentionally produce more power than is needed to fuel your home, and that power needs somewhere to go. With solar batteries, this energy surplus can be stored for later use.
When you install a battery with your solar panel system, energy is stored and charged inside of it throughout the day. This stored energy can be used when your system is not producing new electricity, such as at night when your system is in “sleep mode.” It can also help your system during times when your panels aren’t working at their maximum efficiency, like stormy or cloudy days.
Another perk of installing a solar battery is you can save money by using it when utility rates are higher. This occurs during peak hours of the day, like the morning and evening. Pulling energy from your battery during these times of day can reduce your electricity bill each month.
Go Solar with Solar Pros
At Solar Pros, we use the best solar panels available so that you can enjoy all of the benefits they have to offer. We are passionate about saving you money while also taking steps to help the planet with clean solar energy.