Solar panels are a significant investment, but you may be wondering…
What about when it’s dark? Do my panels still work?
Well, the easy answer is no. Solar panels are made from a photovoltaic material that needs sunlight to produce energy, so when it is dark, the panels do not produce power. However, that doesn’t mean you will be left out in the dark! Your solar panels go into standby mode, and you draw power from the grid instead.
Here are a few ways you can still keep your home up and running during the evening hours
- Net metering: This term means that during the day while your panels are producing excess power, that extra is sent back to the grid, and you earn credits. At night, you can draw those credits back to use instead of paying for power from the grid. You will have to check with your local power company to see if net metering is available in your area, or give Semper Solaris a call. Some power companies are phasing out net metering, or they charge a higher rate for you to use those credits.
What if my company doesn’t have net metering or if I use all of my credits up?
In the evening, when your panels go into standby mode, you will draw power from the grid-like you usually would. You will receive a bill for your usage just like you do now, but it will be a smaller bill than usual because your panels provided your home with electricity during the day.
- Battery Backup System: Investing in batteries is a great way to store your own power, so you do not have to rely on net metering or the grid at all. When your panels are producing more energy than you can use during the day, the excess is channeled to a bank of batteries. At night, your system will switch to battery power, and you can use your stored solar energy to keep your home up and running free from the grid! You can also rely on your batteries during blackouts or other types of power outages.
What about cloudy or rainy days?
Well, luckily, your panels still produce some power even when there is no direct sunlight. In fact, sometimes your panels provide more energy during cloudy days because the sunlight reflects on the clouds, which can produce more power than the sun alone. Generally, on a cloudy or rainy day, though, your panels will provide 10-25% of what they usually would, so you may have to rely on the grid for power unless you have a battery backup system.
Give us a call if you would like to learn more about installing a battery backup system with your solar panels. We can evaluate your current panels to see if we can add batteries, or if you do not have solar and want to install both at the same time, we can help!