Solar Panel FAQ's

At Solar Us, we know solar power! We get a lot of specific questions about our solar panels, so we thought it would be a great idea to provide our customers and viewers with a place to see some commonly asked questions. We've put together a comprehensive list on various solar energy topics, and we will update with more questions as they arise. If you have a specific question that is not covered below, please reach out to us at If you are looking for solar power for your home, please be sure to check out our wide variety of solar kits. We hope you enjoy this FAQ's page!

Solar Power FAQ's

How do solar panels work?

As sunlight cascades on the solar panels, a chemical reaction takes place and Direct Current (DC) power is produced. The DC power flows to an inverter where the DC power is transformed into Alternating Current (AC) power. This AC power is what the electric grid and your home runs on. The power or energy then flows to power your home or directly to the electric grid. You can also divert the energy from solar panels to a battery to store excess energy. Batteries also operate as DC power. To learn more about solar power inverters, be sure to check out our Power Inverters FAQ page.

Does solar power work at night?

Solar Panels require direct sunlight to produce power. So do solar panels work at night? No, but there are ways to get the power you need from the solar panels at night. Batteries are a great way to cover your power when the sun is not shining.

How much do solar panels cost?

The price of solar power has dropped drastically over the past decade. Cost really depends on a lot of factors such as brand, size, type, and other things. To get a better good idea on cost, please check out some of our specific solar panels.

What are the advantages of solar panels?

Solar Power offers a magnitude of advantages. The fuel source (the sun) is free, so you don't have to buy a fuel source to generate power. Because there isn't fuel needed, solar panels do not put off any harmful emissions, which is great for combatting climate change or reducing pollution. Solar power can help you get power for an off-grid setup, so you don't have to rely on the electric grid. Additionally, Solar Energy is relatively efficient, durable, and long lasting.

What are the disadvantages of solar panels?

Solar Panels do need direct sunlight or they will not produce power. You can make up for nightime with the addition of batteries. Additionally, solar panels can get expensive, depending on your budget, if you are looking to power something large.

Do solar panels work on cloudy days?

Yes, solar panels work on cloudy days or when the sun isn't shining as bright. Power output can be slightly reduced, but the solar panels should still be able to meet your power needs.

Do solar panels work in the rain?

Yes, as above, solar panels can work in the rain, though power output might be slightly altered. Rain is actually great for cleaning dust from your panels, which also can cause a lower power output.

Do solar panels work in the snow?

Yes, solar panels work in the snow, though any accumulating snow will need to be removed from the panels to ensure they are receiving direct sunlight.

Do solar panels work in the winter?

Solar output is also slightly reduced in the winter months, but you are still able to get most of the power you normally would. The good news is people tend to use less power in winter months vs. the summer, so this plays a factor as well.

How many solar panels are needed to power a house?

This depends entirely on the amount of energy your home uses. For a better idea, please check out our individual solar panel products or complete solar panel kits. 

Can solar energy be used and stored at night?

Yes, through the addition of battery storage.

How much do solar panels cost for a 1500 square foot house?

Again, this would depend entirely on how much power the 1,500 square foot house uses.

Are solar panels worth it? 

We may be a little biased on this, but we absolutely believe the price of solar has come down enough to make it worth it. Solar is a long term investment so be sure to price them in for 20-30 years. To learn more about Solar Energy, Solar Panel Financing, and more, be sure to check out this Solar Energy Hub by our friends at Save on Energy.

Do solar panels work in the shade? 

Solar panels need direct sunlight to generate electricity, so shading will have a major impact on the power output.

Do solar panels work with moonlight?

Unfortunately this isn't a thing, yet. Maybe one of these days though. In the meantime, you'll need to add battery storage to your solar array system.

Why is solar energy good?

Solar is a great energy source because it doesn't burn fuel and is becoming extremely affordable. We love solar!

How does solar energy work to produce electricity?

Solar energy is produced from the sun of course! We covered this a little better on the first bullet point.

Can i get solar panels for free?

Unfortunately, nothing in life is free and we do not have any free solar panels offered in our store. However, there are many tax incentives that can greatly reduce the cost of your solar system on the state and federal level. To get a better idea check out your state government's solar energy standards or on the federal level at the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy page.

Does solar energy cause pollution?

Solar panels do not burn fuel, so their generation doesn't not cause pollution.

Are solar panels bad for the environment?

No. However, any panels that stop working should be recycled properly. To learn more, be sure to check out this article about eco-friendly improvements for your home that actually make a difference from our friends at Bankrate.

Is solar energy expensive?

Cost is a subjective matter. However, we believe solar energy is an incredibly affordable solution for off-grid or grid-tie energy generation in most cases.

Yes, at Solar Us we are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest in solar panel technology. Be sure to subscribe to our email, so you can receive updates on the latest technology.

Why isn't solar energy used more?

Solar Energy as we now know it, is a relatively new concept. As technology continues to improve and prices drop, solar power will be used much more.

How does solar energy work step by step?

For a step by step guide please check out our solar blog or refer to one of the top bullet point questions on this page.

What are the best months for solar production?

Solar Energy sees its' best production during the summer months, though the difference in months isn't that much.

What are the best solar panels for cloudy days?

We believe all of the solar panels we offer are as good as any for cloudy days. Please be sure to check out our solar panel collection. The link can be found at the top of the page.

Do solar panels store energy for night use?

The solar panels themselves do not store energy, but you can store the power produced from the solar panels in a battery or mutliple battery array.

Do solar panels work in a power outage?

Yes, especially if your solar system is off the grid. You will continue to have power while the rest of us suffer in the dark.

Why is solar energy good for the environment?

Solar Energy is a great solution for combating climate change. There really are a lot more advantages to solar power, so be sure to check out our solar energy blog for more details.

Do solar panels need a lot of maintenance?

No, solar panels do not require relatively any maintenence. You will, however, want to clean them occasionally, as collected dust can slightly lower power output.

Do solar panels ever wear out?

Yes, but thankfully solar panels last for 20-30+ years!

How does solar panels work for kids?

If you are using solar energy as an electricity source, then children should be kept away as electricity can be dangerous. IF we are just talking a solar powered flashlight or solar phone charger, then it should be completely fine for a child to operate it.

What is difference between polycrystalline and monocrystalline solar panels? 

In short, poly means many and mono means one. In regards to solar panels this means that each solar cell is either made with one or many crystals. In general, monocrystalline solar panels are considered to be better quality, but polycrystalline panels are much more affordable. To learn more, check out this article.

Which solar panel is best polycrystalline or monocrystalline?

Monocrystalline solar panels are more efficient, but in turn can be much more expensive compared to polycrystalline solar panels.

How does a solar cell work?

A solar cell is just a term for each "square" you see on a solar panel. Each solar cell works together with the next as a complete system of the panel.

Are free solar panels really free?

Definetely not. You should be on the lookout for any solar company that over promises and under delivers.

How solar panels work at night?

Solar Panels do not work at night. You will need to add battery storage if you are wanting the power to be used at night.

Is the production of solar panels harmful to the environment?

It is a myth that the production of solar panels is bad for the environment. In general, production processes of solar panels are becoming cleaner and cleaner everyday.

Can you run your whole house on solar power?

Absolutely, but first you will need to factor in budget and how much energy you use. You will also need to add battery storage to account for the power you would use when the sun is not shining.

Is solar energy cheaper than normal electricity?

In many cases solar power is cheaper. To get a good idea on how solar power compares to other sources in your area, check with your local power provider or electric co-op.

What do solar panels power?

Solar panels can power anything you would power with electricity. Boats, Homes, Barns, Stores, Batteries, Appliances, etc.

What are the most efficient solar panels?

Monocrystalline panels are the most efficient, but we offer a huge variety of highly efficient solar panels here at Solar Us. Be sure to check out our solar panel collection using the link at the top of the page.

Can you charge a solar panel with a light bulb?

No, a solar panel can't be charged by a light bulb. It's actually the other way around; the solar panel would charge the light bulb and make the light come on.

Is solar energy cheaper than fossil fuels?

In most cases, and especially if you factor in the environmental costs, solar energy is indeed cheaper than fossil fuels.

How do I take Advantage of the Solar ITC (Solar Tax Credit) at my Home?

To learn more about the Solar ITC and how you can take advantage of it with your home solar power installation, check out this comprehensive piece from our friends at Save On Energy.