J Ferg Knowledge Base
Do Solar Panels Work on Cloudy Days or at Night?
Solar Energy has many benefits. It’s cost-effective, renewable, and more environmentally clean than fossil fuels! We have access to solar power if the sun produces light. However, there is a common misconception that solar panels need constant direct sunlight without clouds or rain to work. There is also the question of nighttime energy. Will you be able to power your home with solar panels when there is no sun in the sky? To answer these concerns about solar energy, let’s first talk about how solar energy works.
The components of solar energyAlthough solar energy has been around for a long time, the technology of solar panels is constantly changing and improving. The functionality of solar panels is actually quite simple if you know a few key terms. Photovoltaic (PV) systems are electric power systems that convert energy from the sun into useable energy. They are also referred to as solar power systems and consist of one or more solar panels and an inverter, along with other types of hardware. The inverter in a PV system converts the direct current electricity a solar panel generates into alternating electricity (the electricity used by the electrical grid). Then, the electricity is conducted into your home, allowing you to do essential things like microwave a frozen burrito.
Do solar panels work when it’s raining, snowing, or cloudy?When collecting energy, solar panels use energy emitted from the sun. This means that solar panels do require some sunlight to work. However, this sunlight doesn’t have to be direct. Have you ever noticed that you can sometimes get a sunburn, even when the sky is cloudy? This is because sunlight can shine through the water droplets in clouds. Even the cloudiest sky cannot block out the sun’s rays. The same is true for rain and snow. Although it can reduce the efficiency of solar panels from around 10-20%, indirect sunlight will still provide energy. However, if it is snowing heavily, you may have to worry about snowfall settling on your panels. Just make sure to keep your panels clear and exposed to the sun, and they will continue working.
Do solar panels work at night?Since solar panels need direct or indirect sunlight, they don’t work at night. Solar panels can function under artificial light, such as street lamps, but not as efficiently. Fortunately, solar panels’ excess energy can still be used. A solar battery installed with your system will store surplus energy for use at night or in case of a power outage. With net metering, you can receive credit for unused electricity because your electric company will purchase it. You can use this credit later for electricity after the sun has set.
Residential solarWith net metering and solar batteries, a solar panel system is designed to save you money. Residential solar is more accessible and cost-effective than ever. Now that you know solar energy will last day and night, you should consider getting your own solar power system. Thinking about going solar? J Ferg Solar can provide a quality PV system that will last. Qualify and get the first 12 months on us.
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