Solar Panels Work

Solar power has grown enormously in Australia over the past years. This dramatic change resulted in almost 2.2 million photovoltaic installations in most homes and industrial companies in the country. According to the Clean Energy Council in their Clean Energy Australia Report 2019, around 5.2% of this electricity was accounted out of the total energy production in Australia.

As we all know, Australia is prone to the drastic dry climate, heat, and latitude conditions, primarily because this situation occurs mainly in summer. These factors have contributed to the need for the country to rely on solar-powered energy devices, and with solar panel grants, it becomes easier to go for solar power. But do solar panels work at night? Yes! Solar batteries store energy during the day and use it during the night. How do these devices work during the day and night? To answer your questions about this topic, let’s explore and witness how it works.

Types of Solar Panel Devices 

On-Grid Systems

This device is also called a Grid Tie, and these types are the most used among businesses and homes globally. Solar power is usually connected with grid power via inverters. They do not need batteries, and the users can consume electricity at their utmost need. If there is an excess, the surplus energy will be fed to the grid via a net metering program. This excess power can still be used in the future.

Off-Grid Systems

In contrast with the Grid Tie, this solar panel device uses batteries to store electricity. These types are not connected to any grid power source. Although the off-grid system relies on battery-based power, the electricity is already enough for household or business use. Whenever there is a power outage from the primary grid source, the users are unaffected by the sudden down of the power supply.

Hybrid Solar

From the word itself, a hybrid, this device is a complex combination of the Grid Tie and off-grid systems. It works like on-grid panels, but the user can store the electricity via battery for future use. According to GEM Energy Solar Brisbane, you can use the stored energy during peak times and at night. Since sometimes, the power generated from the grid sometimes becomes expensive during harsh economic conditions and climate change.

Solar Panels at Your Home

The photovoltaic cells will use this technology to absorb the sunlight and convert the energy into DC electricity. After that, the inverter will further process and convert it into AC electricity. The latter electric current is standard and is mainly used in the unit for home appliances. As the energy flows, it supplies the home appliances with enough power. Furthermore, any surplus electricity will be absorbed by the grid, and after that, the household can still avail it for future use.

a. What is Direct Current (DC) electric current?

It is a type of electric current wherein the charge can flow in a unidirectional way. The DC electricity may flow to conductors, insulators, semiconductors, ion beams, or vacuums. The electrochemical cell is the best example of this type.

b. What is an Alternating Current (AC) electric current?

In contrast with DC, AC electricity flows in only one direction. We often use This type of electric current for home appliances, gadgets, and business devices and machines.

How do Solar Panel devices work at night?

These devices require sunlight to generate power and convert this energy into usable electricity for home and business use. Going back to the question, my answer is no. However, it has some exceptions, especially if using an off-grid or hybrid system. As mentioned in the types of solar panel devices, the off-grid and hybrid systems use batteries to store power. This concept allows users to consume electric energy even at night. However, it is limited to the extent of battery storage.

How do Solar Panels Generate Electricity?

A module consists of several layers of metal frames known as silicon cells. It's wirings and glass casing allow the electric current to flow from the frames. Since silicon is a conductor, it can absorb direct radiation and convert it into a usable energy form called electricity. As the light reaches the silicon cells, it causes the electrons to move and initiates a flow of photovoltaic effect. Related post: How do Solar Lights Work?

What is a Photovoltaic Effect?

In 1839, a scientist, who goes by the name of Edmond Becquerel, discovered the photovoltaic effect. He first experimented using wet cells and noticed that the cell voltage increased as its silver plates were exposed to direct sunlight. Using this basic concept, the photovoltaic effect was made known to the world of Science.

To briefly explain the scientific way of this process, it occurs when the photons are absorbed by the photovoltaic cells. These photons encompass small particles of energy, known as electromagnetic radiation. As the wavelength of the light passes through the solar panels, the photon will be transferred to the atom and electrons of the semiconducting material. In this step, the electrons will cause the energy state to escalate at a high point called the conduction band. In this scenario, it makes the electrons excited, agitated, and move freely, creating an electric current.

Final Thoughts

Solar panels promote savings in the long run compared to direct electricity use. As the need arises for these devices in Australia, it becomes a popular device to convert the sun’s heat into a usable form. Although these devices are not perennial as they seem, the useful life of 20 years is already worth it and guarantees you savings and cost-efficient advantages. Now you know how these devices work, which types will you install for your home?