Do Solar Panels Work At Night?

This is a question many ask when first considering the switch to solar. Technically, the answer to this question is no. Solar panels aren’t producing energy at night. However, your solar panel system can be set up to allow for surplus energy production throughout the day to indirectly provide energy at night. There are two indirect ways your solar panel system can provide energy at night: net metering and solar battery storage.

Net Metering

Upon installing your panels, you can connect your system to the electric grid to enable net metering. Net metering, also referred to as net energy metering (NEM), allows your system to store excess energy produced into the grid. As this excess energy is stored, you receive credits that your system utilizes at night when it is not producing energy. NEM is changing in November 2021, so residents without solar are encouraged to get solar before then!

Net metering helps to account for the varying amounts of energy your system will produce throughout the year. Any excess energy produced during the day will be stored in the grid and accessible at night or times of the year when the sun is less exposed. It’s an efficient process that can ideally cover the total cost of drawing energy from the grid. 

Solar Battery Storage

The other way your solar system can indirectly power your home is through solar battery storage. Solar batteries will store excess energy produced during the day and will power your home at night to ensure efficient use of your panels’ daytime production. With a solar battery, all excess energy production will be stored in the battery instead of the grid, as offered through net metering. 

Choosing to install a battery gives you more control of your energy finances and reassurance should a power outage, grid malfunction, or natural disaster occur. Solar battery storage is the best energy solution for backup energy at night. The number of recommended solar batteries varies depending on your home’s energy usage, so if you’re unsure about the number of batteries your home should have, contact A.M. Sun Solar to learn more!

Final Thoughts

While solar systems don’t produce energy at night, there are other options that can power your home during periods of time when there are fewer hours in the day for energy production. Net metering and solar battery storage are two efficient ways to ensure energy is available at night.