Adding solar panels to your roof allows daylight hours to provide free, renewable power. But the experts tell us that once the sun sets each evening, electricity production shuts off – unless you have a solar battery storage system. Pairing a home battery system with solar panels lets you leverage sunlight’s immense power on nature’s schedule, not just our own.
What Are Solar Batteries and How Do They Work?
Solar panel systems thrive under bright sun exposure, generating excess direct current (DC) electricity during peak daytime hours as explained by experts at Vivint Solar. Rather than sending all spare energy back into the general power grid, battery storage preserves it for later.
Special batteries, typically lithium-ion models resembling larger computer battery packs, use advanced chemical processes to hold secure electrical charges over long periods of time. They can soak up incoming current keeping it stashed away until needed.
Then when evening sets in or sunlight fades behind clouds, reserves get pulled from the battery to continue supplying electricity through your home’s circuits uninterrupted. This on-demand power delivery prevents an energy shortage, making evenings and nights sun-powered too.
Key Perks: Maximizing Solar System Cost Savings
Integrating an energy storage battery with solar panels unlocks new dimensions of money saving, convenience and reliability running your household predominantly on free solar energy.
Solar batteries let you use your solar panel system to its full electrical production potential for bigger long-term utility savings. Without storage losing excess daytime energy, your solar equipment operates well under capacity. Batteries prevent waste, capturing it instead.
You can also avoid paying peak rate charges if your region bills more for peak-hour electricity usage. Solar energy stored from cheaper mid-day rates gets consumed during early evenings when rates spike highest for most utilities.
Plus, batteries provide backup power insulation if the grid goes down in storms or blackouts. Weather delays cannot limit solar usage.
Batteries provide nighttime and low-light solar capabilities, which make a system’s output constant regardless of intermittent sunshine. Even with the sun obscured on cloudier days, batteries keep sufficient reserves on hand.
Reliability Is Improved
Grid tied solar setups have size limitations and variable performance tied to weather patterns. Adding batteries builds reliability safeguards through on-site backup energy stores, whether days are sunny or storms leave communities powerless.
What Are the Different Battery Storage Options?
Home solar battery technologies have expanded greatly in recent years thanks to improving lithium battery designs. Today’s storage solutions range from entry-level to premium and whole-home capacities. Main options include:
Many standalone battery units are designed to supplement existing solar panel setups as part of a retrofit. They wire into the panels and electrical system in place packaging backup capacity into a matching enclosure. Retrofit batteries are add-on upgrades.
Rather than separating components, all-in-one solar systems combine panels, inverters and battery storage tightly integrated into one weatherproof outdoor cabinet. The consolidated design streamlines installation. Just mount the unit and connect it to your home’s electrical service.
Partial & Whole Home Units
Smaller solar batteries hold only several hours’ worth of average household electrical usage in reserve. This gives a sampling of off-grid functionality.
For whole home coverage through nights or grid failures, a suitably sized battery or bank of multiple batteries is ideal as it offers 20+ hours of electrical storage capacity. Though requiring ample space and budget, these robust options offer full-scale energy independence running everything in your home.
Many integrated batteries pack both storage capacity and built-in power inverters converting solar DC current to standard AC electricity used in homes. The inverter regulates precise voltage and current levels, so all your devices function properly.
Having both components unified simplifies wiring and cuts down on space requirements. Just note that if one needs to be serviced the whole unit may have downtime.
Should You Buy or Lease Batteries?
Just as buying solar panels themselves presents options between buying outright, leasing, or entering power agreements, supplementing panels with batteries opens similar paths to ownership. You need to decide which route makes the most sense for your household.
Buying Solar Batteries
Getting complete ownership of batteries through either lump-sum payment or favorable financing terms gives you full control over an asset likely to retain usefulness over a typical decade-long lifespan. Any incentives, cost savings and convenience value get maximized when retaining ownership. But buying requires substantially higher upfront capital compared to leasing programs if cash is limited.
Leasing Solar Batteries
Leasing contracts allow households to benefit from batteries without huge entry costs. Typically lasting 10 years on average, a battery lease lets you pay small monthly fees to the equipment owner instead of paying outright for the equipment. However, it is important to note that lease programs often have strict usage limits only allowing a set number of charge cycles annually to avoid quick degradation. With this system you will need to make sure to stay within these limits to avoid extra fees. You should also be aware that leased equipment doesn’t qualify for renewable energy tax credits.
DIY Battery Installs VS Professional Guidance
Attempting electrical work around lithium or lead-acid batteries with hundreds of amps of current requires meticulous understanding of DC solar circuits/components and safe handling procedures to avoid catastrophic mishaps. Unless you have prior battery bank wiring experience and electrical credentials, DIY solar battery incorporation is not advisable. Seek professional consultation instead.
Reputable solar contractors offer battery storage pairing as turnkey services taking care of all critical steps seamlessly, from inspecting your existing solar array equipment to advising ideal battery solutions to handle wiring and activation. Paying fair installer pricing grants peace of mind thanks to expert workmanship preventing array damage or dangerous code violations that may leave systems unsafe.
While sunlight’s consistency makes going solar a reliable road to energy independence, battery storage unlocks 24/7 potential from renewable sources that elevates homes to the next level of smart resilience. Power your house even when the sun sleeps.