Solar panels are a fantastic source of renewable energy, capable of harnessing sunlight and converting it into usable electricity. However, a common misconception is that solar panels can only generate power when the sun is shining bright. In reality, solar panels can still produce electricity even at night or on cloudy days. Here’s how solar panels work during these periods and the role of energy storage and backup systems.

How do Solar Panels Work with Sunlight?

Solar panels consist of photovoltaic (PV) cells that are designed to convert sunlight into electricity. When sunlight hits the PV cells, it excites the electrons within the cells, creating an electric current. This current is then captured and converted into usable electricity to power your home or business. The efficiency of solar panels is highest when they receive direct sunlight, but they can still generate electricity even with indirect or diffused sunlight.

How’s Solar Energy Stored?

One way to ensure a continuous supply of electricity from solar panels is through energy storage. Energy storage systems, such as solar batteries, allow excess electricity generated during the day to be stored for use during the night or when the panels are not producing as much power due to clouds. These batteries store the excess energy as direct current (DC) and convert it back into alternating current (AC) when needed. This stored energy can power your home or business during periods when solar panel production is low or non-existent, providing a seamless transition between solar-generated electricity and stored energy.

Grid Connection and Net Metering

Another option for ensuring electricity availability at night or on cloudy days is a grid connection. When solar panels produce more electricity than is being consumed, the excess energy is sent back to the grid. This process is known as net metering. During times when solar production is low, or when there is no sunlight, the electricity imported from the grid can be used to power your home or business. Net metering allows you to effectively “bank” surplus energy during sunny periods and use it as a credit when needed.

Solar panels are an exceptional source of clean and renewable energy, capable of generating electricity even at night or on cloudy days. Through energy storage systems, grid connections, or hybrid systems, you can ensure a continuous supply of electricity and make the most of your solar investment.

At Summit Solar, we ensure the best materials and products on your Solar Panel installation to guarantee a great performance, even when it’s cloudy or nighttime. Contact us for a consultation if you want to transition to Solar Energy with the most experienced company in Massachusetts.