To understand how solar powered homes stays powered when it is raining, you must first understand the basics of how solar power works, starting with the panels and of course the sun. Photovoltaic panels are set up in the house, typically on the roof. The placement of these panels is important because they absorb solar energy throughout the day. In most cases, there is more than one panel, so that the full range light is caught and held for later use. In some areas of the country, there is typically more sunlight, even during the winter months, while in others there is less available light. In areas where there are limited amounts of sunlight, a lot of trees or buildings that can deflect the light or other obstructions, solar panels may only play a small role in energy production.
Once the panels have collected energy, it is stored for later use, typically in devices that are nothing more than batteries. Once the sun sets, for instance, or on a rainy day, the collected energy is then used for power, just like using a battery operated flashlight or other device. It is a simple concept, but one that most people fail to grasp: solar powered houses stay powered during a rainy day or overnight with solar power.
It is important that the storage system be big enough to handle a few days of rain, especially in areas where that is likely to happen. The weather patterns in the Midwest, for instance, can be remarkably unpredictable. During the winter months, there might be weeks where there is little to no sunlight at all. During the spring and summer months, there might be days on end of nothing but gray and drizzly skies, and yet there are people with solar powered homes in these very areas. Because solar panels depend on daylight hours not necessarily sunlight.
Having an adequate storage system is the key to having a solar powered home that is off the electric grid. Solar powered homes that sit in areas that do not perfectly receive sunlight may need more batteries than those homes that have direct sunlight. In addition to proper power storage, the need for a clear plan of usage is important as well. Offsetting even just some energy consumption is important and can be just as beneficial as trying to use solar power.
Before installing a solar panel in your home, it is important to know the weather patterns of the area, the exact energy needs for your home and how to best accomplish and fulfill these needs. In addition to knowing these factors, it is important to know the storage capacity that you will need to have in place. Once you know all of this information, you will be able to find and set up the right panels and storage system for your needs.