When discussing sustainable energy options like solar panels, inquiring minds often wonder: Does solar work at night? Well, it depends. If your question is whether the solar panels are generating energy at night, the answer is no. Since solar panels absorb the energy of the sun’s rays to power your home or business, there is not a source from which they can absorb energy once the sun sets.
However, using solar energy does allow for sustainable energy solutions at night. There are several round-the-clock ways for you to utilize energy that has been produced by your system. For example, net metering through your utility company can allow you to make the most of the energy your system produces throughout the day. You can also install energy storage options like solar batteries that will store excess energy so you can use it when your system is not producing. Let’s delve into these options in more detail to illustrate how solar energy keeps working all night long.
Net metering means free energy at night
Many grid power companies use net metering to help home solar energy users make the most of their system’s output. Here’s how net metering works. During the day, your solar panels are working fast and furious to soak up free energy from the sun. They will generally reach their top potential during the brightest parts of the day, which also happen to be times when most people are at work. Because of this, your home solar system will likely be harnessing more energy than you can use.
With net metering, any surplus energy will be transferred to the grid so the power company can use it as it is available to help power other homes and businesses. But think of this as an “energy loan” because when you need it back later in the month it will be available to you at no cost. Net metering is one of the most useful ways to get the most of your solar array at night and on cloudy days, but don’t fret if your power company doesn’t offer such a program. There is another option, solar energy storage, which I’ll elaborate on in a moment.
Net metering can still be helpful for commercial solar energy users, but it may not be necessary; their solar array will be producing maximum energy during work hours when the building is being used the most, so there may not be as many concerns about overnight power.
Solar batteries provide a clear-cut path towards energy independence
The only way to achieve true energy independence and not rely on grid power is by purchasing an energy storage system to work congruently with your solar array. Combining solar panels with battery storage will allow you to save excess solar energy generated during the day, which is used to run your company or household at night.
In addition to the nighttime benefits provided by solar batteries, you can also use their stored energy if grid power goes down. You know how, a couple of times each year, the power goes out for just long enough to reset all your electronics? And you have to reprogram every digital clock in your house? Solar batteries can help you avoid that scenario. They fill in those rare gaps when your usage and your system’s output don’t match up.
There are many models of solar batteries on the market; the one thing they all have in common is that they will be most efficient when installed by an experienced, local solar panel installation company. Both new solar users and those with solar panels already installed can benefit from solar batteries.
If you’re hesitant about solar energy because you don’t know if it will work for you at night, don’t be! Solar energy is adequate for round-the-clock power on top of being a cleaner, greener energy option. To get started with a free energy audit and consultation, give Cedar Creek Energy a call at (763) 432-5261. You can also reach us via our website.