How Do Solar Panels Work at Night?

Everyone wants to be a star. Unfortunately, only a few people get to be one. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have some star power of your own. 

The United States had.34 gigawatts of solar power in 2008. America now has 97.2 gigawatts. You can join this exciting and affordable trend once you understand how solar panels work. 

How do they create electricity? How do solar panels work at night? How can a family receive electricity when their panels are inactive? 

Answer these questions and you can tap into the power of the biggest star there is, the sun. Here is your quick guide.

Solar Panels

How Solar Panels Work 

Solar panels contain substances called semiconductors. These materials contain a lot of electrons, some of which can get struck by particles of light. 

Panels combine semiconductors with other materials like phosphorous. This creates opposite charges within the panel. 

Photons from the sun travel down and strike the electrons within the semiconductors. The electrons travel loose and become repelled by the opposite charges in the panel. This creates a flow of electricity. 

This electricity is direct current, but residences use alternating current. As such, the electricity must pass through an inverter before flowing into a home. The residents can then use the electricity as they please. 

How Do Solar Panels Work at Night? 

Solar panels require light in order to work. If it’s dark out, they cannot generate power. 

There are some light sources at night, namely street lights. The particles that come from these sources are similar to the sun. As such, the panels can generate a small amount of electricity. 

But they cannot produce power at their full capacity. Many solar providers add sleep systems to panels. This causes them to become inactive, preventing stress on the systems. 

How Do Homes Get Power at Night? 

Yet homes with solar panels can get electricity. There are two main reasons for this. 

The first is solar storage. Solar systems create an excess amount of power. They can send this power into a battery, which the residents can use at night. 

The second means is net metering. Some systems produce more excess power than their batteries can store. They can sell this power to the grid. 

Utility providers then give credits to the homeowner. When they use electricity at night, they can pay for it using their credits. Between solar storage and net metering, a family can eliminate their utility bills. 

How Solar Panels at Night Work 

It seems like every house has a solar panel now. This leads people to ask some questions about the technology. 

How do solar panels work? They contain semi-conductive substances that react to sunlight. They create an electric current that a house can use for power. 

How do solar panels work at night? They don’t. Panels require high amounts of light to operate. 

So how do homes get power? They rely on battery storage and net metering. Despite using power from the grid, their costs are minimal. 

Empower yourself by reading about solar power. Follow our coverage for more quick guides. 


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