Moonlight

Do Solar Panels Work on Moonlight?

Solar panel is a growing industry especially with desire to make the environment clean and also benefit us in the future. Solar panel depends only on the natural and abundant supply of solar energy to produce electricity.

Solar panel depends on raw sunlight to generate energy. Sunlight contains the most important particle, ‘photons’, which is essential for the mechanics of a solar panel.

When the solar panels are exposed to the sunlight in the morning, it receives photons, which then charges the electrons inside the panel and as a result creates energy. When the sun sets, there are no photons in the atmosphere to charge the panel.

The moon does not generate its own light. The moon lights up at night because of the sunlight reflecting on its surface. Hence, the moon cannot charge the solar panel.

However, few experts are arguing that the moonlight can be used to charge PV cells at the cost of 345:1. This means, that a panel which when exposed to sunlight produces nearly 3450W would produce only 10W of power during a full moon.

full moon

To enhance the wattage, it requires centralizing moonlight by using refractive or reflective techniques. In this scenario, the PV cells will generate electricity if the wavelength of the light is within 400-1127 nm.

However, this won’t really be a solar panel; the technology would be called the “Lunar Panel”. Moreover, this technology is yet to be proved operational and is far away in the future. If future technology can replace Silicone with a material whose band-gap is equal to the energy provided by moonlight, then it may be possible.

Hence, to answer the question, the solar panels cannot generate any electrons under the moonlight at the current time. The solar panel cannot work with moonlight. The solar panel requires sunlight to perform properly.