cloud covering the sun
October 6, 2023

Will my solar panels work at night? What about on cloudy days? How can I maximize the efficiency of my solar panels?

These are all great solar questions that we commonly get from our customers. If you've been wondering about these things, too, you are not alone. 

Do solar panels work at night?

The simple answer is no. Solar panels require sunlight to generate electricity for your home, so they do not produce electricity in the dark. For solar power to be used at night, your home will need solar backup batteries

Do solar panels work on cloudy days?

Solar panels do work on cloudy days, but they do not perform as well as they would on a clear, sunny day. You may notice some variations or spikes in energy production on your panel monitoring system on cloudy days, indicating that the clouds have reduced the efficiency of your PV system.

Solar panels will not operate at maximum production when clouds are blocking the sun, and they will not produce electricity when there is no available sunlight during nighttime hours.

Some homeowners and business owners may opt for a solar storage solution or backup battery like the Tesla Powerwall, which can store the excess energy that your system produces instead of sending that power back to the grid. This is a great alternative for those who want to self-generate most of their power and don’t want to rely on the utility for power at night or during an outage. 

What are my options for backup power?

Installing a solar battery, like the Tesla Powerwall, allows you to harness and store surplus energy generated by your solar panels during daylight hours, which you can tap into after the sun sets or when the power grid is down. To determine the number of solar batteries you need to meet your power needs, reach out to the solar battery experts here at Solar Impact. 

Is a solar panel system with backup batteries worth the investment?

If you want to gain energy independence, lower your electric bills, and have protection against power outages, then solar batteries are definitely worth the investment. Plus, with the Federal Solar Tax Credit, you reduce your federal tax liability by 30% of your battery installation costs. 

Are there other ways to power my home at night with solar?

One of the biggest reasons home solar panel systems are a good investment in Florida is net metering. The purpose of a solar panel system is to absorb sunlight and convert the direct current (DC) power to alternating current (AC) power, which is the kind of power your house runs on. If the solar energy system is producing more electricity than you need to power your home, the excess is fed back into the electric grid. The utility company compensates you for producing that energy by adding credits to your utility bill. Then, when you need to utilize the grid for power—like at night—you can use those credits instead of paying out of pocket for the energy you consume.

While net metering doesn’t allow you to directly power your home at night with solar, it can help you defray some of the costs associated with powering your home through the electric grid.

Thinking about going solar? Call (352) 338-8221 or contact us to learn more.

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