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Do Solar Panels Work at Night? How They Function Without Sun

June 18, 2022

PES Solar, your #1 source for expert solar panel installation in Tampa, receives many questions from curious homeowners. We always get the same question: “Do solar panels work at night?” Homeowners also wonder whether solar panels can provide power on cloudy days or when an object such as a tree branch blocks the sun.

The Short Answer

Yes and no. Solar power depends on the photovoltaic effect that turns sunlight into electricity. Without sunlight, solar cells cannot generate electricity. Albert Einstein won a Nobel Prize in 1921 for his discovery and exploration of the photovoltaic effect. 

If “working” means generating energy from sunlight, solar panels will not generate electricity at night or if something prevents sunlight from reaching the panels.

The Slightly Longer Answer

Do solar panels work at night? Yes, in a way. 

Your solar energy system can provide you with the power it stores during the day. A solar battery that allows you to store energy from your solar panels is crucial. A connection to your local utility company is another must and depends on the net metering process.

The Benefits of a Solar Battery

A solar battery is simply a battery that stores the power the solar panels generate. The battery supplies power to your home when necessary, whether at night or on cloudy days.

The energy from the solar panels charges the battery. You can choose between different kinds of solar batteries. Some are lead-acid batteries, like conventional car batteries. Others are lithium-ion batteries, like the batteries in laptop computers. 

Net Metering 

Florida law allows you to set up net metering with your utility company. Net metering means you can sell the excess power you generate to the power grid and receive credit on your utility bill. 

Many homeowners work during the day when the sun is out and need more power in the evenings when they are home using appliances and air conditioning. With net metering, they can use the daytime sunlight to save money and power from the grid as needed.

Let Solar Panels Work for You Financially

Solar panels are a valuable asset. They boost the value of your home for climate-conscious homebuyers and, potentially, banks if you take out a home equity loan. As the costs of parts and labor increase in a post-COVID world, the value of durable solar panels could increase substantially.

Profit From Solar Power With PES Solar

Do solar panels work at night? Only if you act now to put them to work for you. Don’t let a single sunny day go to waste. 

Take advantage of incentives and low prices. Who can say how long they will last?

If you’re ready to learn more about solar installation, call PES Solar at (800) 650-6519 to speak with our knowledgeable technicians if you have any questions. Know whether you can use solar panels without a battery and what you need to take advantage of net metering.