It’s impossible not to love solar energy—it’s clean, it’s renewable, and it’s reliable. We’d soak up the sun’s rays 24 hours a day if we could, but we can’t. During one hour of daylight, the sun gives us enough energy to power the people of earth for a year. What happens to our beloved clean energy when the sun goes down?
Energy is most in demand during the nighttime hours. We get home from our jobs, cook dinner, turn on the TV, use all the lights in the house, start the laundry. Unfortunately, we need power the most when it is least available. There is, thankfully, some solutions to this dilemma.
Utilizing The Sun’s Heat
Light is not an easy thing to store, but heat is. (Well, easier at least.) The big solar energy plants utilize a salt-based approach to harness the heat that the sun gives because it is extremely cost effective, melts at very high temperatures, and conducts electricity. While this strategy certainly works, it isn’t ideal because although it is clean, it isn’t as cost effective as burning natural gases or fossil fuels.
Other plants use the solar energy and heat to power turbines that generate power that way.
Staying Connected To The Grid
When you provide your own energy via solar panels at home or at the office, staying connected to the grid actually has some stellar benefits. Your panels are likely to make more energy during the day than you will need. This energy gets pumped back into the system and then the power company provides you with that energy at night when you aren’t getting any from your system. If you end up using less energy than your system is making and you take back at night to power your home, the local power company usually pays for the extra energy you contribute to the system.
Get A Battery Back-Up
The extra power your panels absorb during the day can be stored into a battery pack which you can draw energy from at night when you don’t have an active energy source. This is a particularly good option when a home or office doesn’t have a reliable grid nearby to draw from. Agricultural systems in particular tend to use battery-powered back up systems.
Solar Power For The Future
The bad news about solar energy is that we can’t get it at night so proper storage is necessary if we are going to continue to utilize a clean, renewable energy source when the sun goes down. Scientists are constantly working on finding new ways to make solar power more efficient and that includes coming up with ways to extract power at night. For now, we have some pretty great solutions to use until those solutions evolve and get even better.
Are you ready to go solar? KMAC Electrical can help. Contact us today to learn how our certified professionals can get you headed down the path to a cleaner, more affordable energy solution. We have just the expertise you need to get started on the path toward success.