Do Solar Panels Work When It’s Dark Outside?
Considering investing in rooftop solar panels? If so, you probably wonder if solar panels continue to work in the dark. Solar-powered electricity works by getting energy from the sun. When the sun goes down - homeowners with solar panels may worry about getting their money’s worth. When it comes to whether or not solar panels work in the dark, the answer may not be as simple as you think.
Solar Panels At Night
The short answer to the question, “Do solar panels work at night?” is no. However, that does not mean you won’t have electricity. Solar systems don’t just use solar power as electricity right away. These solar panels push the extra energy to the utility grid during the day. This is a way of the solar system to “stock up” on electricity because the utility keeps track of that extra power and lets you use it at night for no charge. This process is called Net Metering. In addition to net metering, many homeowners are beginning to turn to batteries to save even more solar energy. These batteries can be used as a kind of backup generator.
Solar Panels in Rainy Weather
Did you know the sun’s rays still come through clouds even when the sky looks hidden? It’s true. Even in the thickest cloud coverage, solar panels still produce up to 10-25% of the energy they usually produce during sunny days. Though that means they don’t work as well, solar panels are still making energy even on cloudy days. Homeowners may end up “breaking even” with solar energy rather than having excess solar power in backup storage on these days.
However, that is only on full-coverage days when the sky is hidden by dark clouds. Clouds can actually help solar panels perform better. For example, on a partly-cloudy day, sunlight can reflect off the water particles in clouds, magnifying the amount of energy the solar panels absorb.
How You Can Guarantee You Have Power
Since solar panels may not function best on cloudy days and cannot convert solar energy at all at night, there are methods of getting the most out of your solar energy system. We already mentioned backup batteries. There are many batteries available for solar energy storage on the market. We at Fafco Solar can help you pick the best one for your needs.
In addition to batteries, there is also net metering. Net metering allows you to work with your community. Excess solar energy is sent back to the power grid. When this occurs, your community’s energy company adds credits to your utility bill. These credits cover the cost of powering your home on the days your rooftop solar panels cannot.
Interested in knowing more about installing a rooftop solar panel system? We at Fafco Solar can help you. Call or contact us online for a consultation. We can help you decide what products are best for you, as well as whether you would benefit from either a solar battery or net metering. Our staff is informative and will answer any questions you have.
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