Do Solar Panels Work at Night?
The sun is an excellent source of renewable energy, and there is an abundance of it. The benefits of solar energy are as clear as day. According to research conducted by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), solar power generated in the United States offsets more than 70 million metric tons of carbon monoxide each year. For the sake of comparison, that is the equivalent of planting over a billion trees. Slowly but surely, people are waking up to the affordability, flexibility and ease of solar paneling.
When the topic of solar power comes up, one of the most commonly asked questions is, “Do solar panels work at night?” The short answer is “no”, but that question may be over-simplified. As strange as this may sound, solar panels actually reveal their true worth at night.
In the daytime hours solar panels are workhorses, silently converting photons into electricity. When the sun sets, all of the energy they so diligently collected during the day gets put to good use. While your solar panels may not be producing energy at night, that doesn’t mean that other components aren’t hard at work. Your solar batteries work the graveyard shift, powering your home when your solar panels are taking a break. The same is true for overcast or stormy days.
Solar Battery Storage Offers Energy Independence
When your solar panels are resting, your solar battery storage unit is doing the heavy lifting. Solar panels juice up your batteries during the day so you have an abundance of electricity stored for those ‘rainy days’. Battery storage gives affords you direct access to your own electricity when solar panels are dormant. Solar battery storage is the best energy solution to power your home at night.
Solar battery storage gives you total control over your energy and provides peace of mind in the event of a power outage. Homeowners have a couple of choices. You can rely solely on their solar battery backup storage, or you can opt to connect your home solar panel system to the grid and take advantage of net metering. Net metering allows you to get the benefits of extra energy storage and receive credits from the utility company for any additional energy you put back into the electrical grid.
Net Metering (NEM 2.0)
Some homeowners decide to have their home solar panels and solar batteries work in tandem with net metering to get the best of both worlds. This can help maximize your energy resources so you can get the most out of your solar panels.
Traditionally, your meter moves forward to keep stock of the electricity your home uses. With net metering, your meter would actually move in reverse as you deliver excess energy back into the grid. When you need to use energy from the grid, your utility would simply use the credits added to your meter.
While net metering is an efficient process in theory, it isn’t offered everywhere and some electric companies are discontinuing it in an attempt to discourage homeowners from transitioning to solar power.
There also is something called Net Surplus Compensation, or NSC. NSC is when excess electricity made by a solar power customer gets reconciled at the end of the customer’s 12-month billing period with the utility company. The rate for NSC is based on the average rate of energy over the same 12-month period. Check with your utility company about their NSC policies.
Having a solar friendly home is growing in popularity, and with that, electric companies and utilities are trying to find innovative ways to stay in harmony with the technology, while still turning a profit. It is advised that you check out the status of your area’s net metering policies to see how it would benefit your household and energy requirements.
Solar is becoming more and more affordable for Hawaiians. There are federal and state tax incentives to drastically offset the initial investment. With almost 40 years experience, Haleakala Solar and PetersenDean have revolutionized the way people utilize solar energy. With over fourteen thousand solar energy systems installed all over the state of Hawaii, Haleakala Solar is leading the charge in green energy expansion and solar panel technology.