What Happens to a Solar Powered House At Night?
In today’s world, more and more people are seriously considering investing in solar power for their homes. Solar panels are an excellent way to lower electricity bills and lessen the environmental impact in our homes. However, many people wonder what happens when the sun sets, and the solar panels power down. How can a solar powered house run without the help of the need of the utility grid?
Impact of Solar Power:
A solar power system typically consists of photovoltaic (PV) panels, an inverter, and a battery. During the day, the solar panels collect energy from the sun and convert it into energy that can be used to power electronics, appliances, and lighting. The inverter is responsible for the task of converting the DC energy created by the solar panels into Alternating Current (AC) energy that can be used by your home.
Much like a cell phone, the inverter will power down every night. This is because an inverter works like a two-way converter. So while it can convert DC energy into AC energy, it also has the ability to draw energy from the grid and into your home. By choosing to power down every night, it not only helps with safety hazards but also works to prevent the inverter from drawing energy.
Connectivity to The Grid:
Many solar powered homes are connected to the utility grid. A connection to the grid ensures that even without solar panel energy, the home can still run and be powered by a reliable source of energy. A big benefit to connecting a solar powered home to the grid is that it also allows for net metering. Net metering is basically a process where the utility company will pay you for any excess energy your solar panels generate.
At night, when the solar panels power down and the inverter is not running, the utility grid will provide energy to power your home. This allows the solar power system to continue working when the sun goes down and keeps your home running.
Alternatives to Connecting to the Grid:
If your home is not connected to the utility grid, there are other options available. Battery storage solutions are one popular alternative. Battery storage systems can be used to store energy generated by the solar panels during the day. This energy can later be used during nighttime hours to help power your home and save money.
Generators are another alternative. If a battery storage system is not an option, generators are a great back-up if a home needs additional energy. Generators use liquid fuel such as gasoline, diesel, natural gas, propane, biofuel, and even solar to help power the home. However, generators work best as emergency backup power sources and should not be a primary means of powering your home.
As we’ve seen, a solar powered house has a few options when it comes to running at night. The inverter will power down and the solar panels will power down, but the home can still be powered by the utility grid or alternative energy sources, such as battery storage and generators. Those who’ve invested in a solar powered home should consider the many advantages that come with such a system, including lowered electricity bills, reduced carbon footprint and energy independence. Evaluating all of these factors can help an individual make a more informed decision about investing in solar power for their home.
Overall, solar power offers many benefits and using the utility grid or alternative energy sources can help keep your solar system running when the sun is not shining.