This may be one of the most common questions about solar systems that people are most curious about. Although solar panels work better during the day, they can still help you to save money and the planet at night. With the support of solar batteries, all energy our solar panels have captured gets stored to be used at night so there is no need to buy electricity from the grid. Are you ready to sleep all night knowing that besides saving money you can also help the planet?


How do solar panels work at night?

At night, solar panels switch to the sleep setting. The system allows two options for energy usage: stored energy in the batteries or buying electricity from the grid.


Do solar panels still work at night?

Solar panels can generate energy out of moonlight and street lighting but the energy captured is not strong enough to run a home so they switch to the sleep setting. Then, you have two options to use energy at night: you can count on a solar battery to store energy that the panels captured during the day or you can buy from the electric company.


Even though the functionality of the solar panels is limited at night, they still bring many more benefits to your pocket and to the environment than traditional energy sources.


What Is Solar Panel doing At Night?

Generating the energy to run your house on solar sunlight is always needed.

During the day when the sun shines brightest in the sky, a panels and photovoltaic cells work the best converting energy.  


Then, what happens when the sun isn’t there?


At night, the solar panel goes into sleep mode so the when the sun doesn’t shine the solar panel is inactive.

The solar panel works with the sunlight. Then, how about other types of light? Do solar panels generate energy from other sources of light?


Answer for this is technically “Yes” but not practical. Solar panels can generate energy out of moonlight and street lighting but the energy captured is not strong enough to run a home (like a small solar calculators work with an electric lamp).


Much More Electricity Cost At Night

How does the photovoltaic power generation system change during the day? The amount of power generated by solar power generation depends on the amount of solar radiation. Therefore, solar panels generate around 40% of their total electricity from 11 am to 1 pm.


At what time that you use the electricity the most?


Approximately 45% of the electricity consumed in your house is for cooling and heating and the other 55% is for the water heater, washer/dryer, lighting, refrigeration, and other appliances.


According to the US Energy Information Administration, the majority of a homes energy is consumed in the morning and from 7 pm to 9 pm, you use the most electricity so your electricity bill increase a lot during this time.


Especially in summer and winter, the amount of electricity consumed increases because of heating equipment.


Duck Curve

Electric power companies charge differently depending on the time electricity is used.


Electricity charges tend to be expensive at the time everyone consumes electricity and cheapest at midnight.


In California, we have a serious energy problem called “Duck Curve”. The net load on the grid or the amount of power demanded varies depending on the time. Demand for electricity decreases during the day because of intermittent energy sources like solar being used. When the sun sets, solar energy can no longer be used and paired with demand sharply increasing, it causes a duck shaped curve.


Demand for electricity increases sharply in the evening when solar power is no longer available. Solar generation companies have to compensate for the loss of solar generation without any form of energy storage.


You have to pay much more money for the electricity in the evening.


Battery Bank for Storing Electricity

You should think about how to store your solar power when your solar system has produced more power than you need.  


Having a solar battery attached to your solar panels is the only way to utilize photovoltaic power at night when you use electricity the most.


Why a solar battery?

Currently, the power that your solar system makes directly supplies what you needed during the day.


Unused power gets sold back to the grid and credits are placed on your power bill. When you’re not receiving enough energy from the solar system, you begin to rely on the electricity company for power. Solar panels capture energy from the sun and convert it to electricity which is the power for your home.  


However, solar panels cannot produce energy at night, on cloudy days, nor can panels store energy on their own. Storage equipment, such as solar batteries play an essential role in the system.


How do solar batteries work to help you save money?

Solar batteries are charged with power from solar panels. When the sun is out, it can provide all the power you need. Solar batteries store unused power generated by the panels for use at night or later.

When your battery is full, your solar system will send power back into the grid. It is important to have the correct sized battery for your home. This serves to use the most solar energy at night and to get credits from the energy company saving you on your bill.


By using a storage battery along with solar panels, you can store solar power generated during the day and use it in the evening. So, you can prevent the buying electricity at peak times when prices are extremely high.

Therefore, the solar batteries can make you more from your solar power investment by buying less electricity from the grid.


Does it distract your sleep?

You don’t have to worry about sleeping badly at night because of the bright light of your solar panels. Solar panels are set on your roof don’t radiate any external glow. Their only purpose is to convert light into energy (electricity) so that you could enjoy a life in comfort and help the planet.  


If you are too tired to close your curtains, there is no need to make the unnecessary effort to go to the window.


The purpose is everything. A solar panel can simply serve as an electricity provider for your house or it can serve as a lantern outside of your home.


The question is: for what purpose do you want to use solar panels in the first place?


Installing solar panels on the street lights could be a great opportunity for a community to protect the environment.  


Solar-powered lights are satisfactory illuminators. According to morning chores, garden lighting, spotlights, and motion-sensing security systems can produce energy from UV light during the day. It is only till recently that people can now go solar in a small scale. They can set a solar light in the garden and equip their security system with a solar movement detector. Technological innovation is now offering us a lot of ways to sustainable living.


Regarding the slight humming noise solar panels make during the day, it is the sound of light being recycled.  


At night, the noise dies down entirely and all you can hear is calming silence.


The sound from the battery bank is small, so it will not bother your family or neighbors.


The bottom line is that solar panels will not disturb your sleep. On the contrary, you will sleep tight knowing that your kids will have a less polluted world as well as a brighter financial tomorrow.


Final Thought

As you have just seen, solar panels do not perform or produce electricity at night but there are ways to save energy captured during the daytime helping you save money and help care for the environment. For you to move forward, research a good solar installer who can plan the best storage options for you.

Categories: Solar Panels