Many people wonder if solar panels can generate electrical energy at night. This is an interesting question that can perplex many people. To sometimes private sector residents can hear stories from their neighbors about how they receive electricity at night.

Unfortunately, this is nonsense since any panel is dependent on direct sunlight. If you block access to direct light entering the photocell, you will not get a reaction of energy storage. Another thing is that whoever owns electric solar panels can accumulate energy in batteries and use it at night.

This process is more plausible since the battery supply is large enough to support the operation of many electrical appliances. Let’s take a closer look at how the solar panel generates electricity and transfers it to the battery.

The Generating Process

To better understand the nature of the accumulation of solar energy let’s check the design of solar panels. These devices consist of a semiconductor material covered with a protective glass with various layers of protection. All this is framed by a special frame and which holds the layer in a certain position. The base particle of each panel is silicon.

This material is an excellent conductor of electricity. In combination with bar and phosphorus, the conductivity effect can be greatly enhanced, thereby generating an electric charge. Sunlight consists of the smallest units of photons. They penetrate the battery and accumulate as an electric charge in special lithium-ion batteries.

The larger the area of ​​the solar panel, the more electricity you can accumulate. All batteries have special wires that stretch to the battery. When sunlight hits the panel, it generates Electricity and collects it in one place.

Thanks to the smallest particles of photons you can accumulate solar energy in your batteries. In this way, when the morning comes, your solar panels can generate electricity. Night mode is not possible because there is no direct contact with the sun.


But My Friend’s House is powered at Night

Well, to answer this question let’s check the Gaussian Curve.

solar power self-consumption

The process of generating electricity begins with the first rays of the sun. As soon as photons reach the solar panel, they begin to generate electricity. That is why in the afternoon and the afternoon the solar panels operate at maximum power.

By the evening, this figure decreases. At night, the battery is in standby mode since there is no sunlight. It is also worth noting that the model of electricity consumption by many households involves the increased use of all household appliances in the evening. This is because all family members finish work or study and gather in one place.

Washing, cooking processes using home appliances load the network. Unfortunately, at the moment it is impossible to combine at peak times the consumption of electricity and the most active use of household appliances. In the US, there are two options for solving this problem. This is Net Metering and Energy Storage.

The Net Metering

This term refers to the integration of the public grid and your solar panels. In the daytime, solar panels generate excess energy. It cannot be used in ordinary needs, so you can give it to the state. Thanks to a special connection to the public network, you will give away excess electricity and in return, you will receive the so-called credit.

Thanks to this credit, you can significantly reduce the payment of utility bills for electricity in the evening. Unfortunately, only 38 states currently support Net Metering. Electricity prices may vary by season or state. It is worth noting that you in some territories have their laws and the nuances of using such a settlement processor. However, you can see the detailed map below.

state net metering policies

Some states have special laws that allow you to earn electricity income. You can sell surplus energy to the state or receive significant discounts for evening use. in any case, this tariff has already been in force for two decades.

The Energy Storage

The second option is to install special lithium-ion batteries that collect too much power for evening use. It is worth noting that this option will allow you to be fully energy efficient throughout the day. Modern batteries can last much longer than lead-acid batteries.

Many companies popularize this approach because it allows you to use the electricity that has accumulated over the whole day. There is also the option of using an AC battery. It allows you to control the flow of electricity supplied to the common network and save a certain amount of electricity for evening use.

At the moment, the cost of batteries for fully autonomous use is impractical in financial terms. For many US citizens, it’s much easier and more profitable to send excess electricity to the public network to profit from the green tariff. This is one of the most cost-effective options to date.

So, there’s no Energy Producing during Nighttime?

Yes, it’s impossible for now. The modern technology of solar cells does not allow the generation of electricity at night. If you see the light in the window of your neighbor, then most likely he has batteries in the basement or the power line from the Central Transformer in the city. At the moment, scientists are working on several technologies, such as nanoantennas that generate electricity from the heat accumulated by its earth during the day. Unfortunately, this technology is at a certain stage of development and is unlikely to be implemented in the next 20-30 years.

The second option is called STPV and uses solar technology Solar Thermophotovoltaics. Unfortunately, both options are still far from final in the specimen and are more in the format of test drawings than a working prototype. At the moment, you can use only rechargeable batteries and standard panels for a la solar energy storage during the day.