Do Solar Panels Work at Night?

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Here in the greater Phoenix area, one of the sunniest places on Earth, there’s a lot of sun to power solar panels. But what happens at night? It may seem like a simple question, but it’s one that many of our customers ask.

Here’s the answer.

Technically speaking, solar panels do not generate energy once the sun goes down. The photovoltaic cells used to construct the panels require the sun’s rays to produce electricity. However, there’s more to the solar story. While a home’s solar panels work to create electricity during the day, the system enables energy usage at night through net metering and solar battery storage.

Net Metering

Through the connection of a solar panel system to the electric grid, excess electricity produced from panels is distributed to the grid. This works kind of like a savings account that enables you to generate credits to your bill. This is referred to as net metering, and it allows you to draw back on your energy credits that you’ve collected during the daytime hours.

Net metering is typically switched once your panels stop producing energy at night. The goal for homeowners is to accumulate enough metering credits to cover the cost of drawing energy from the grid at night. This can mean little or no bill for electricity.

Solar Batteries

Another way that solar panels can provide power to your home at night is through battery storage. Solar panels can fill a solar battery with energy from the sun during the daylight hours for use at night. Homeowners also can use a solar battery as backup power during outages.

Many homeowners choose to use net metering and battery storage together to optimize their solar system’s ability to produce clean solar energy and gain consistent energy independence – day and night.

Have more questions about how solar can work for you? Call Cool Blew Solar today for a free estimate at 623-234-2836.