How Do Solar Panels Work At Night?

The Most Comprehensive DIY Solar Panel GuideQuestion: Solar energy has piqued my interest, but I have less daylight where I live during the winter months. How do solar panels work at night?

Answer:
Solar energy systems contain an array of batteries that are charged during the day when the sun is shining, and the energy they store is used at night to power your household.

Many people have a have a limited amount of sunshine during the winter months when the sun is shining in the opposite hemisphere from where they live. As long as you calculate how much energy you need to produce your system will still be able to meet your energy needs at night.

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When the sun is down at night, your batteries will kick on to provide electricity to your household until the sun rises the next morning and its energy becomes available again.

If you look at your monthly electricity bill you will find out how many Kilowatt-hours (KWH) your household consumes. 1 KWH is the amount of energy required to produce 1000 Watts for one hour. A typical electric bill in the US uses 600 KWH per month, or 20 per day.

If you search the internet you will be able to find out how many KWH of energy per square meter the sun produces in your geographic area in a given day. A typical amount is 4 KWH for a sunny area that still has a noticeable winter.

Solar panels are not perfectly efficient (yet) and on average you can harness 20% of the sun’s energy from each 1 square meter solar panel you install. Given that efficiency, it would take around 20 - 25 solar panels to meet your needs.

With the right size battery array to charge during the day, your solar energy system will work around the clock, even at night.

Fortunately, many DIY kits are available to cut back on costs and help you determine the size your system should be (including the batteries) to meet your energy needs.

Want to know the secrets of building your own solar system?

Install your own solar panel system

Then I strongly recommend that you check out the guide from Earth4Energy.

It's the best step-by-step guide that will show you exactly how to build and install your own solar panel system. Click here to learn more

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