Yes, solar panels can be used directly without batteries. In fact, many solar panel systems are designed to operate without energy storage batteries, and this is known as a "grid-tied" or "on grid solar system."
In a grid-tied solar system:
- Solar panels generate electricity from sunlight.
- An inverter converts the direct current (DC) electricity produced by the solar panels into alternating current (AC) electricity, which is compatible with the electrical grid.
- The generated AC electricity is then used to power your home or business appliances and devices.
- Any excess electricity that your solar panels produce but isn't immediately consumed by your home is fed back into the grid. This can result in a credit on your electricity bill or compensation from your utility company, depending on local regulations and policies. This process is known as net metering.
The absence of batteries in a on grid solar system means that you rely on the electrical grid to provide power during the night or when your solar panels are not producing enough electricity. This can be a cost-effective option because you don't need to invest in energy storage batteries, which can add to the overall cost of a solar installation. However, it also means that you are not completely energy independent and still rely on the grid for power when the sun is not shining.
If you want to have backup power during grid outages or be entirely self-sufficient, you would need to consider adding battery storage to your solar system. Battery storage allows you to store excess energy generated during the day for use at night or during power outages, making your solar system more resilient and self-sustaining.