How Solar Power Works From Morning to Night
There are many hours of the day when the sun does not shine. So what happens after the sunsets with a solar power system? Are there any automatic shutdowns?
Today we examine solar power systems’ operation in terms of the three phases that occur throughout the day. With technological advances in building these complex systems, they can “intelligently” utilise electrical energy, no matter where it comes from.
The photovoltaic (PV) cells begin producing electricity when the sun rises. As a result, the overall power system is alerted to the availability of electricity from the panels.
There is almost always a preference for solar-produced electricity over electricity from the grid.
A grid connection will be used if additional power is required above and beyond what can be generated by the solar panel system. Please be aware that these are only applicable to grid-connected solar systems, not off-grid ones.
During the afternoon
It is usual for electricity use to fluctuate throughout the day, regardless of the home or business. There is a presence of more electricity generated by the solar power system than is needed at the moment as people leave their homes for work or other destinations.
This excess energy can be stored in capacitors or returned to the utility company so that other customers connected to the power grid can use it.
‘Upstream’ electricity serves the purpose of generating credits that equipment owners can use to offset the cost of grid-supplied electric power later on.
After-hours and nighttime operations
After sunset, PV cells do not produce any energy. Despite this, solar-generated energy does not go away.
It’s useful to use stored energy during the evening and nighttime hours as evenings are typically ‘primetime’ times for energy use. Electricity stored in capacitors can be used during the evening and nighttime hours.
In the end, the system will rely on grid power to do its work once all the capacitors have exhausted their stored power.
In summary, the PV systems of today are uniquely designed to make the most of both solar-generated electricity and grid-sourced electricity.
Low energy bills and increased energy independence are the results for home and business owners.