Solar panels are a great way to make your home more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. While they may come with the investment of an up-front cost, they can reduce your electric bill dramatically and save you money in the long run. Investing in solar panels requires some background knowledge and research to make sure that they are the right fit for you and your home.
One of the most commonly asked questions about solar panels is if they can be used to generate electricity at night. The answer is both simple and complex all at once.
The Short Answer: Not Exactly
With the way technology has advanced to date, it’s fair to question whether or not solar panels can generate electricity at nighttime, but the short answer is no. The cells within solar panels must have sunlight present to create electricity.
However, this doesn’t mean that you have no means of power or electricity during the night if you do decide to invest in solar panels. On the contrary, there are two ways that solar panels can power your home and produce energy while the sun is away.
How Solar Panels Can Power Your Home At Night
During daylight, solar panels are constantly absorbing sunlight and producing electricity. But, their work and value don’t just disappear when the sun sets. Current technology has a way to store this energy and use it when it is needed.
Net metering is one of the two ways that solar energy has the ability to power your home at night. Net metering is when your solar panel installations are connected to the electric grid. During the day, when the solar panels are absorbing sunlight, the excess energy and electricity can be deposited into the grid. When this happens, the excess energy flows out of your home to be used as a communal form of energy for others connected to the grid. You will acquire net metering credits this way and be able to use them at night to keep energy in your home at no additional charge.
Solar Battery Storage
The other form of night energy from solar panels is the battery storage option. This is very similar to net metering except it does not require a connection to a communal grid. Solar panels also have internal battery storage that can keep excess energy stored in your home (as opposed to net metering which flows out of your home). This way, you have complete access to your own energy and full control over the financial aspect.
Both of these are viable options for solar energy usage at night time, and neither is better than the other. Whichever method you choose is based on personal preference, and either choice will keep your home powered and energy-efficient through sunrise and sunset.
If you can’t decide on which method is a better fit for you and your home, no need to worry. These two stored energy methods can be used in tandem to maximize energy security at night so there is no doubt that you will have power.
Do you believe your house qualifies for the installation of solar panels? Would you like to schedule a home efficiency audit to make sure that your house is a true friend to our planet? Reach out to us today!