How solar panels work at night and additional ways they will continue producing electricity

How solar panels work at night and additional ways they will continue producing electricity

One of the most confusing questions for people thinking about investing in solar panels is this: will my solar panels work at night? Obviously, solar panels work by converting light into electricity. And equally obviously, the sun is not in the sky at night. So it would seem that no, solar panels do not work at night. However, this is not the end of the story, as there are other factors to consider.

Ambient light

There is not much light at night, but there is a bit, especially considering all the light pollution you see in a city. Your solar panels might not do much at night but they will still produce a tiny bit of electricity as long as there is any light falling on them at all. Some of the factors that increase ambient light include snowfall, since snow reflects light and therefore a snowy night is very bright, the moon, and urban lights.

Energy storage

Some solar arrays include a battery array to store excess energy as it is produced. With energy storage, you can use the energy you create during the day after the sun goes down at night. If you have an off-grid setup, this is what you want to consider doing so that you do not have to rely on candlelight when the sun goes down. In order for a battery storage array to work, you need to be sure that you produce more electricity while the sun is up than you use during a 24 hour period.

Grid tie-in

Many people have solar panels but are not off grid. This is because they are feeding electricity into the grid, and are being paid for the energy they produce. Instead of being self-sufficient in energy production, they are offsetting their electricity use with their solar array. When you see solar panels and installation packages that do not include a battery array, this is because they are intended to be used with a grid tie-in.

Obviously, with a grid tie-in, you are using the regular electric grid to power your house. So there is no need to worry at night because there is no chance of not having enough electricity to turn on the lights or run the furnace. Financially, unless you want to pay an electric bill, you still want to make sure that you are producing more energy than you are consuming.

Solar panel cleaning

Whether you have a battery array or a grid tie-in, you need to make sure your solar panels are clean. When your solar panels are dirty, they do not produce electricity at their optimal rate. This means that over time you will not store as much power in your batteries to last through the night, or you will end up having to pay more to the electric company because you will be using more power than you produce. Call Shine Up Solar at 888-560-6669 today to schedule your solar panel cleaning and discover how much more efficiency you can get when your solar panels are clean and clear.