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What To Do With Excess Solar Power? [How To Use It?]

Tim Carter
Written by Tim Carter Last Updated: June 12, 2022

When installing solar panels, people may overestimate or underestimate their energy needs and produce excess solar energy. What to do with excess solar power? If you have extra solar power, there are a few things you can do with it.

There are other choices, such as selling extra solar electricity to the grid (through a process called net metering), storing it for future use (in batteries), or even moving loads.

You can also use extra solar power to heat water. This can be done with a solar thermal system or a solar PV system.

What do these possibilities imply? Let’s see.

Table of Contents

Why Are Solar Panel Systems Beneficial?

Solar panels provide us with clean, environmentally friendly electricity by converting solar radiation.

Technology has advanced and many homes and companies can afford it.

Solar energy has shown tremendous potential and the ability to reduce energy expenditures for both homes and businesses.

The amount of power produced is determined by various parameters, including climate, sunshine exposure, solar panel efficiency, panel tilt angle, system size, and others.

There are many choices for making the greatest use of your excess solar power.

Some are as straightforward as earning solar credits for future electricity bills or installing batteries to achieve solar self-consumption.

If you do not wish to inject power into the grid or enhance solar self-consumption, you can move your load demand from night to morning or increase your loads to cover the difference.

In this manner, you will not waste any kWh while maximizing your solar energy use.

Once you have installed the solar panel array, you will be on your way to lowering your electricity bill.

You come closer to this aim if you have a system that generates excess solar energy. The more energy you produce, the easier it is to eliminate your power expense.

To sum it up, there are many reasons a solar system can be beneficial.

  1. Solar energy is a clean and renewable resource, so it can help reduce your carbon footprint.
  2. Solar systems can also save you money on your energy bills, as you’ll be using less power from the grid.
  3. Additionally, solar systems can provide backup power in case of an outage.
  4. And finally, solar energy can help increase the value of your home.

What To Do With Extra Solar Power?

Solar energy is a key source of renewable energy. Calculate your home’s electricity consumption before adding PV modules (solar panel systems).

When building solar systems, you may choose a system that is smaller than the load, nearly equivalent to it, or significantly bigger.

Home and business owners who have solar panels that generate more power than they consume may be at a loss on what to do.

When a PV system generates more electricity than the load consumes, there are many options for utilizing the excess power.

The following are the most popular solutions:

1. Add Excess Solar Power to the Grid

Here, the technology feeds excess energy back into the grid.

When this occurs, the installed meter operates in reverse.

If your solar energy system generates more energy than you need in a month, you will receive a credit on your electricity account based on the net Kilowatt-hours you contributed to the grid.

If you use more electricity from the grid, you buy more to make up the difference.

2. Conserve Electricity

One of the greatest methods to use excess solar electricity is to use a solar energy storage system, especially if you plan to install an off-grid solar system.

A residence can boost solar self-consumption by generating solar power during the day and storing extra energy to be used at night.

When installing a deep cycle battery or a smart home battery system, one of the most significant factors to consider is how the peak demand of the load corresponds to the C-rate of the battery.

Charging a battery at a higher current reduces the total effective capacity and hence the discharge time, as seen in the figure below.

A solar system connected to the grid doesn’t have to worry about autonomy because it can draw electricity from the grid if the batteries are drained.

We typically use batteries in such a solar system to achieve solar self-consumption or to prepare for power disruptions.

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3. Increase the Load

If your PV system produces a lot of extra power and you are not sure what to do with it, you may always increase the load.

Most homeowners avoid using heating systems and high-consumption equipment to avoid rising energy bills, but if you generate a considerable quantity of power, you can choose to increase your home’s load.

Solar panels can produce excess solar power and also provide enough power for heavy-duty appliances like refrigerators and even air conditioners.

4. Load Shifting

Most businesses have huge loads that are turned on at night when the panels are not generating, requiring electricity from the grid or batteries.

Shifting the consumption time for specific night loads allows you to use the excess generated power during the day instead of relying on the grid (which is more expensive) or batteries.

Homes can benefit from this as well, particularly for large loads that can be shifted, such as washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, etc.

Shifting loads may require rearrangements, but in doing so, you can properly make use of your solar power.

How Many Solar Panels Do I Need?

The response to the question of how many solar panels you need depends on many factors such as the area in which you live, the position of your home, solar panel system installation, your energy consumption, etc.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2020, the average household in the United States consumed 10,715 kilowatt-hours (kWh) (on an average of 893 kWh per month, which is about 30 kWh per day or 1.30 kWh per hour).

On average, a solar panel can generate between 170 and 350 watts per hour (0.17 kWh to 0.35 kWh per solar panel), which depends on the region and weather. A 5kW system is a fantastic solution for homes and small businesses.

A 5kW solar panel can generate enough power to cover most of your home’s energy needs because, on a sunny day, a 5kW solar panel system can generate about 20 kWh.

While you won’t be producing excess energy¬†with a 5kW solar panel system, it is a good choice for most home applications.

Last Thoughts

Solar energy is one of the most effective renewable energy sources. And, while solar technology continues to advance, we still don’t have a solution to storing excess solar production.

When linked to the grid, producing excess solar energy is beneficial. The surplus solar energy output allows you to use the grid as storage while leveraging it for credits, minimizing your power cost.

A solar battery can also be installed to store excess energy. If this is not a possibility, you can schedule your heavy chores for a time when your electricity production is higher.

Author

Tim Carter
Tim Carter

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