Solar Panels at Night

Jessica PirroOctober 25, 2019 2872 0

If you are a homeowner who is thinking about getting a solar panel installation, a common question that you may have is “will the solar panels still work at night?” It’s a common question among homeowners, and a valid one as well. Homeowners need to know how reliable their solar-powered system investment is going to be.

Do Solar Panels Work at Night?

Well, technically no. Solar panels aren’t to produce any solar electricity at night. The photovoltaic cells that are in the solar panels are going to need to have sunlight to create solar electricity. So at night solar panels sort of go to a sleep mode. The solar panel installations work best during the seasons where the sun is going to be more available with longer hours, as the summertime.

The whole purpose of a solar-powered system is to absorb the sunlight, which is the solar energy that is coming from the photovoltaic cells, and then it converts it into direct current (DC) solar power. The DC solar power is then sent through the solar-powered systems solar power inverter to be converted to alternating current (AC) solar power, which the kind of power that the majority of homes use. At that point, the solar panels can feed the solar electricity into your house. If your solar-powered systems produce more solar electricity than you need, the excess solar power is then sent back to the electrical grid.

So even though your solar-powered system isn’t going to be producing solar energy at night, your house is still going to need electricity at night. Which will then beg the question, how will your house get electricity if your solar-powered system isn’t producing power? Well, there are two solutions. You will have the option of using net metering and solar-plus-storage technology that is going to allow your solar-powered system to have access to electricity at night when the solar panel installation isn’t producing solar electricity.

How Can You Store Solar Power From Panels?

Solar power batteries work by storing the solar electricity that is produced by the solar panels and storing it for later use. In certain cases, solar power batteries have their solar power inverter and offer an integrated energy conversion. The higher the solar power battery capacity, the more solar energy it can store.

When you get a solar panel installation with a solar power battery as a part of your solar-powered system, you can store the excess solar electricity at your home instead of sending it back to the grid. If your solar panels are producing more solar electricity than you need, the excess solar electricity goes towards charging the solar power battery. When your solar panel installation isn’t producing solar electricity, you will be able to draw the energy that has been previously stored in the solar power battery for night use. You will only send the electricity back to the grid when the solar power battery is fully charged, and you will only draw energy from the grid when your solar power battery is out of charge.

How Does Net Metering Work?

Solar-powered systems are typically going to hit their peak solar electricity production in the afternoon. Solar-powered systems are going to typically produce the most solar electricity in the afternoon, but most homes use the most electricity in the morning and at night. With net metering, you can account for the ups and the downs in your day-to-day solar electricity production and usage.

With net metering, the excess solar electricity is going to be fed to the utility’s grid when your solar-powered system is producing more solar electricity than you need. When this is happening the meter is running in reverse. In contrast, when your solar panel installation isn’t producing enough solar electricity, you can draw it from your utility like you did before your solar panel installation. With net metering, the excess solar electricity your home produces covers the times when you don’t produce enough solar electricity.

When your solar-powered system generates more electricity than you use over a month, your utility bill is going to receive a credit based on the net number of kilowatt-hours you gave back the grid. If you produce less solar electricity from your utility to make up the difference. In these cases, you would pay for the electricity you use, minus any excess solar electricity you sold back to the gird.

States with Net Metering or Alternative Policy


























New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota





Rhode Island

South Carolina






West Virginia



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