An old joke in cartoons was a solar power system that immediately turned off during an eclipse – think of The Simpsons show with the Monorail. But this never really happens. Solar systems will comfortably power homes during the day and night.
Solar battery storage will take the power generated by solar cells during bright sunny weather and store it for later use. Collect the energy now, and use it as you need it.
Of course we don’t always have sunny weather. It Australia the bright sunny days are frequent, more so that other countries. But we do get some overcast and rainy periods. So what happens to solar power during these poor weather days?
Solar panels will still generate a certain amount of energy on cloudy days, but not nearly as much as during the optimal weather and optimal time of the day. One quarter to one Half power during overcast weather is not a bad estimate.
Oddly, solar panels work best in moderate heat, usually about 25 Celsius. This means bright sunlight and moderate temperatures are the most efficient, and that there is actually a slight loss at higher temperatures. Yet this is hardly noticeable. Hot sunny day have plenty of energy pouring into the panel, so a slight loss in efficiency is not a problem when there is energy to spare.
A decent size solar battery system with the appropriate solar panel cost between $5000.oo and 8000.oo. But this will save over $1000.oo per year in electricity costs in a sunny Australian state, and a bit less than $1000.oo per year in a lower southern state. Over the course of several years this is quite a substantial saving in money, and also a substantial benefit to the environment.
If the sun doesn’t shine for a day or two the solar batteries will comfortably power the home. At a last resort the home can always use the main power grid.
A Solar battery power system doesn’t have to cover every situation, and it does not need to. It replaces most of the energy needs we previously got from the main power grid. And the mina power grid can always fill the occasional gap.