Installing solar is one of the biggest decisions to make for your home. It’s natural to want the full scoop on whether it’s really worth it, and when you’ll see a return on your investment.
By installing solar, you will take a huge step towards reducing your monthly power bills, while helping lower carbon emissions with renewable eco-friendly power. To increase self-consumption and ensure you’ll recoup costs quicker, you'll need to store the solar power you produce. And this is done with solar batteries.
In this blog, we’ll talk more about everything involved in battery storage, and how it helps increase the value of your solar system.
What is solar energy storage, and how does it work?
The most efficient way to use solar energy is while the sun is out, and your panels are actively capturing sunlight. That DC power produced by the panels are then turned into alternating current (AC) by your inverters for immediate use in your home.
If you’re like many homeowners, you might be at work when the sun is strongest. That’s where solar batteries come in.
Solar batteries are essentially a means of storing the power generated by your solar panels for later use when the sun isn’t shining.
They take in the DC power that originates at your solar panels and store it for when you need it. When you’re ready, the inverter turns it into usable AC electricity. The solar energy charges the batteries and when you use the power at night or during bad weather, you’re drawing down the charge.
How you can store power
Solar battery units are installed in a bank right at your home and integrated with your system.
You’ll save money on power bills as the system draws power from your charged batteries before drawing straight from the grid. This will be especially easier on your wallet if your utility’s electricity rates follow a variable time-of-use (TOU) scheme, fluctuating throughout the day depending on demand.
So, rather than receiving credits for excess power via net metering, you’re engaging in ‘self-consumption’, a great way to see bigger power savings.
What to look for before choosing a storage option
There are three key areas to pay attention to when choosing a solar battery:
Capacity and power
The right battery model depends on your typical power usage patterns, and the maximum power you might draw at any given time.
All solar batteries have a particular amount they can hold, measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). There’s also a limit on how much power batteries can discharge at once, namely power, measured in kilowatts (kW).
Like any rechargeable batteries, solar batteries will degrade with cycles, losing how much charge they can hold over time. Most batteries will come with a warranty that guarantees a number of cycles, or percentage of its original capacity.
Solar batteries require some amount of energy to actually store the energy itself. The round-trip efficiency is the ratio of power you withdraw to the power you feed in. For example, a round-trip efficiency of 66.6% means you’re feeding 6 kWh into the battery, but can only draw 4 kWh. Look for batteries with a higher round-trip efficiency as these will generally be more economical.
Depth of discharge (DoD)
The DoD of a battery refers to the amount of a battery’s capacity that has been used. For example, if a 10 kWh battery has a DoD of 50 percent, you shouldn’t use more than 5 kWh of the battery before recharging it. The higher the DoD, the more you can utilise the power before recharging.
It’s important to note that if you’re concerned maintaining electricity during a power outage, you’ll need an Emergency Power Supply. Solar batteries with an EPS means they can act as a backup in the event of power cuts.
SolaX Battery storage
There’s one solar battery option that comes highly recommended from World Solar: the SolaX Battery. Built by LG Chem, the SolaX Battery is based on reliable, efficient lithium-ion technology. It has some important, helpful features:
- There are 3.3 kW and 6.5 kW versions for different power needs.
- It’s built for 6,000 use cycles, making it a long-lasting addition to a solar system.
- It features a 95% depth of discharge (DoD), which translates to highly-efficient power storage.
- With online monitoring, you can check in on your battery’s state of charge at all times.
- As a solar battery from a reputable manufacturer, with a 10-year warranty, World Solar are proud to offer the SolaX Battery to our customers. Learn more about the benefits of adding the SolaX battery to your system.
In short, solar battery storage is a smart way to get more out of your solar energy system. It means you can increase self-consumption for convenience and cost-savings, while still helping you contribute to a healthier environment.