Once, those with solar power systems had to switch back to the grid to continue using electricity in their home when the sun goes down. However there's an intuitive technology taking the renewable energy market by storm: solar batteries.
Whereas normal systems send back any excess electricity to the grid, batteries allow you to store that energy yourself for use when the sun isn't out. Solar batteries used to be too expensive to be truly viable, but have now come down in price, making them a great option for any home wanting to invest in renewable energy.
If most of your energy needs are in the evening when the sun goes down, adding battery storage to your solar power system is the way to go.
In this article we look at the benefits of solar batteries and how to choose the best one for your solar energy system.
Cost advantages of a solar battery
When you send electricity back to the grid, your electricity provider will normally give you credits that you can then use when you need more energy than your system can produce. However, many providers charge time-of-use (TOU) rates. This will mean the energy you use costs more during peak hours such as the evening, just when solar panels are at their least productive.
If you have a solar battery, any solar energy that you didn't need during the day can stored for use during the evening, meaning you'll be able to forgo your utility provider's peak charges.
Some energy providers also charge demand fees, whereby they charge extra the more electricity you use - something a solar battery will also help you to avoid.
Even though you won’t be able to go off grid completely with solar batteries, investing in a hybrid inverter will offer you the backup you need in the event of a power cut. This will prove invaluable in the few hours or so before the power comes back on, making the inverter a great option (on top of the batteries) a great option in rural areas where power outages occur more commonly.
Getting your system battery-ready
Even though they've come down in price, solar batteries are still fairly expensive. But luckily, you don't have to install a battery straight away. Instead, it's worth investing in a battery-ready system, such as those sold by World Solar. Then, once you've started to see the cost benefit of your solar power system in reduced utilities bills, you can think about installing the battery and saving even more money.
Choosing a solar battery
There are several considerations you should watch out for when you're purchasing a solar battery:
- Capacity- This is the amount of electricity that a battery can store measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Many batteries can be stackable, so you can add more and get more capacity.
- Power - If capacity is how much electricity the battery can store, power is how much it can give you at any moment. This is measured in kilowatts.
- Round-trip efficiency - This is the amount of energy that can be used as a percentage of the amount of energy it takes to store it. For example, if you feed six KWh of electricity into your battery but can only get four back, you'll have a round-trip efficiency of 66.6 per cent.
- Battery life - All batteries' abilities to hold a charge will slowly decrease over time, so look into how long your battery is expected to last.
Manufacturer is also important. Safety and quality is of paramount importance to us, which is why World Solar has global relationships with industry leaders, such as SolaX, SolarEdge, Enphase Energy, Fronius, and LG Chem RESU.
Whether you've already got a solar energy system, or thinking about making the switch to solar energy, talk to us today about your battery storage options and let us recommend the best system for you.
Call 0800 8 SOLAR or click the button below and we'll be in touch.