Do Solar Panels Work Without Sunlight

Solar panels work in cloudy weather?

Do Solar Panels Work Without Sunlight

Solar panels are rapidly growing in popularity, and the consumer market has yet to catch up. Many people have some basic questions about solar panels, such as "Do solar panels work at night?" "How do they produce electricity?" etc. 

But the number of solar panel installations hasn’t slowed down. In fact, as of June 2021, 2.8 million solar panels have been installed across Australia, and this number is expected to grow in the coming years. 

Therefore, we bring you answers to the most basic questions about solar panels. Keep reading till the end to know all about how solar panels work. 

How Do Solar Panels Work?

Solar panels have photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into electricity - DC, to be precise. This current is converted into AC and then released into your house’s electricity supply unit. This whole process is completed in less than a second. 

Any energy produced by your solar setup that isn’t used goes back into the battery. Solar panels work best when they are under direct sunlight. However, some solar panels can produce not maximum but enough energy to power some parts of your house during cloudy weather. 

Do Solar Panels Work in Cloudy Weather?

Yes, solar panels do work in cloudy weather, but their efficiency is reduced by 10%-20%. As a result, most of your electric appliances might not function if there isn’t any electricity stored in your solar panel battery. 

Interestingly, solar panels are synonymous with sunlight but don’t work well in hot climates. In fact, temperatures above 25 degrees celsius reduce the power output of your solar setup. Therefore, some areas might experience better results from solar panels. 

You’ll be surprised to know that solar panels are more prevalent in cities with cloudy weather. The ideal climate keeps their solar panels at the right temperature. Moreover, the thickness of the clouds determines the power output of your solar setup. So if the clouds aren’t thick, expect your solar panels to work better because the sunlight comes filtered through clouds which means it’s less warm. 

What About Night-Time? 

A short answer to this is “no,” Primarily because solar panels need a lot of light (sunlight mainly) to produce electricity. Although solar panels might produce energy from artificial light and the moon, the power output isn't strong enough. Therefore, your solar panels go into sleep mode at night because they have a hard work day as soon as the sun rises. 

How Do Homes With Solar Panels Have Power At Night?

As mentioned above, solar panels don’t work at night. But they produce enough energy to power your house 24/7. As a result, you’ll continue to have power at night. 

What Is a Solar Battery?

A solar battery isa battery that saves excess energy produced by your solar panels. Tjhis energy is used to power your hosue at night when your solar panels are in sleep mood. A solar battery is an optional component. It’s useful for times when the sun doesn’t come up and you aren’t connected to the grid. 

The size of your solar battery depends on the number of solar panels you have instead of your household needs. This is because a bigger solar battery is required to store energy produced from 10 solar panels. The scale goes up as you increase the number of solar panels in your house. 

Net Metering Provides Energy During Night 

Another method of keeping your electric appliances running at night is net metering. It’s like a savings account with the national energy grid where you transfer excess energy in exchange for energy credits or reimbursements.

When your solar panels aren't producing electricity at night and don't have reserved energy, you can switch on net metering. This allows your house to consume electricity from the grid you sent during the day. 

Should I Go Completely Off-Grid?

Going off-grid is getting popular, but many Australians still consider uncertain outcomes. Before you decide to part ways with grid energy, consult a professional solar panel company like Simple Solar. You’ll get a better idea when you talk to professional companies because you don’t know how many solar panels you’ll need to go completely off-grid. Plus, the weather conditions of your area play an integral part in solar panel setup. 

Going completely off-grid might not be the wisest decision if your area experiences hurricanes, storms, and other calamities. This is because you’ll be paying repair costs every time a natural disaster occurs. Plus, you’ll have no source of power if your solar panels go out.


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