Solar Energy With Battery Storage

Solar Energy With Battery Storage

Solar batteries are becoming more practical and affordable as the industry continues to grow and flourish. Are solar batteries worth the cost? Find out all you need to know in this article to see if storing the excess energy your solar panels produce is the right decision for you.

How Do Solar Batteries Work?

First, let’s start out by explaining how solar energy is produced and stored into these solar batteries. Solar energy is produced and stored into solar batteries through a process that involves three components: (1) the sun, (2) photovoltaic cells , also known as solar panels or modules , and (3) solar batteries . Solar panels generate electricity and are made up of one or more photovoltaic cells. Inside each cell are layers of semiconductor, which is a material that can conduct electricity. The layers of semiconductor are exposed to sunlight, and the energy from this light knocks electrons loose from their atoms, allowing them to flow freely across the conductor. These “free electrons” are then captured as direct current (DC) power , which can be used immediately or stored in battery systems for future use. Installing a solar battery to attach to a PV system that has become increasing popular as technologies advance.

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Most Popular Solar Batteries

When it comes to choosing a solar battery, the type you choose is just as important as the brand. Not all are created equal and they work slightly different to best fulfill their purpose. Check out the 3 main types of solar battery, and later in this article we’ll discuss some brand names.

Lithium-Ion Battery

The most common type of solar battery is the lithium-ion battery . These solar batteries work by using lithium ions to transfer energy between electrodes. The amount of energy transferred is determined by the movement of these ions in, out, and through the two electrodes with which they interact. Lithium-ion batteries have very high power density, which means they are very good at giving out a lot of power in a short amount of time. Unlike most batteries, this type of solar battery requires no maintenance and can last up to 10+ years before it needs replaced! Lithium-ion batteries are perfect for home energy systems.

Lead-Acid Battery

One of the first types of solar battery which is also commonly used today is a lead-acid battery. These use an inter-mixture of water and sulfuric acid to help transfer and store energy. These batteries often come with a “float charge” that will ensure the battery stays at full power, but only for a limited time. After this time, lead-acid batteries require maintenance in order to continue producing energy. They are less expensive than lithium-ion, but you do see a drop in quality.

Flow Batteries

If you are looking for a large commercial solar installation for your business, then you will likely hear about flow batteries. Flow batteries get their name because the electrolyte solution is stored in separate tanks and then is pumped and flows through an electrochemical cell. These are best suited for large scale solar systems as they are much bigger in size than the others and have a lot of storage capacity and can discharge for 10 hours straight. This means they are perfect for long-term use. They are not designed to be recharged often, but can handle several hundred charging cycles before needing to be replaced. In fact, flow batteries can last up to 30 years!

Nickel-Cadmium Battery

Last, but certainly not least is nickel-cadmium batteries. These batteries are based on nickel and cadmium, both of which are elements that are mined from the Earth. This means they are very cheap to produce, but require more maintenance than lead-acid or lithium-ion. Nickel-cadmium batteries are great for places that face extreme weather as they can work optimally through very hot or cold conditions.

Why Do I Need A Solar Battery?

Solar batteries are most often used to store excess energy produced during the day for use later when sunlight is not available or to power homes/buildings when there is no sunlight. These batteries make it possible for people to have electricity even if their homes are not connected to the electrical grid. Energy storage systems are becoming increasingly popular in places where there have been a shifting demand for clean energy like Florida. Most of us are familiar with appliances that are plugged into the wall when they need electricity to run, but solar batteries allow you to power these same appliances directly by using stored energy rather than electrical cords. With the use of an inverter, it is possible for homeowners and businesses to use solar batteries to run AC appliances directly . This is true of both the lead-acid and flow battery types.

Solar batteries are more efficient than fossil fuel options. They are also far cheaper in the long term. Not only do they use free energy, but they require no maintenance while fossil fuels will need their filters replaced and so on over time. Solar batteries not only provide backup power, they reduce harmful emissions.

Are Solar Energy Storage Systems Expensive To Maintain?

Solar power systems with battery storage have very low operational costs when compared to other sources of electricity. The only costs associated with a solar battery are the initial installation and the replacement batteries, so if you have these systems installed for several decades there won’t be any additional costs.

Is Solar Sustainable?

Solar power systems have been used successfully all around the world especially in places where it is difficult to get access to conventional electricity or where fossil fuels can not easily be accessed. Solar batteries reduce the need for an electric grid to be built in remote areas. There’s no risk that we’ll run out of lithium like there is with oil or coal. Despite what some oil companies will try to portray, lithium is one of the most abundant elements on planet earth. Not only that, it is recyclable and studies have shown that nearly 100,000 tons of lithium-ion batteries were recycled in the year 2018.

How Much Do Solar Batteries Cost?

Solar batteries are more expensive then relying on fossil fuels in the beginning, but they can come out to be much cheaper in the long run. The initial investment is higher, but solar batteries require no maintenance and there’s no risk that you will have to pay for their extraction someday. On average, a small solar battery system costs between $1500-2000 , while a larger one can run from $10,000-$15,000. For the most part, these batteries have a lifespan of around 10-15 years so there is no need to replace them for a very long time. Also, for the rest of 2021, the 26% rebate from Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) will apply to all solar battery installations as long as they are connected to a solar system! As residential batteries become more popular, prices continue to decrease!

These numbers will vary depending on where you live and what type of battery you choose. Solar batteries are quite different from one model to another. The most expensive systems are those that have been designed with maximum power in mind. It’s always important to talk to a local solar expert to consult what your solar energy needs are. You don’t want to overspend on a system that is not necessary to meet your needs.

How Much Money Does A Solar Battery Save?

As previously mentioned, solar batteries are an investment, but they have proven time and time again to be a worthwhile one. Keep in mind that we are strictly talking about savings from the addition of a solar battery to your system and not the savings from the entire solar system itself. The average savings homeowners see with a solar battery is an additional $600-$700 pear year on top of the savings from your solar energy system. Not to mention, the prices of solar batteries and the capability to produce solar energy is steadily decreasing as technology advances, while the cost of grid electricity is constantly on the rise. With increasing energy needs, a solar panel system with battery storage could help significantly reduce the cost of your electric bill while reducing the need for greenhouse emissions at the same time.

Maintain Power During Blackouts

One other fantastic advantage of a solar battery installation is the capability to become more energy independent. You will know longer have to constantly rely on the grid with the right set up, as you will have enough electricity produced and stored to last you through anything. No more worrying about power outages and blackouts. These solar batteries will provide you with enough electricity to stay off the grid during the night time or brutal storms, when no sunlight is present.

How Much Storage Do I Need?

hen choosing a solar battery it is important to consider the size of the battery, the amount of batteries you will need, and the energy storage capacity you require. When looking at batteries that use amp-hours of Ah, this will tell you how long the battery can last when it is fully charged. If you see a battery that is sized by its watt-hour or Wh, this shows the amount of energy the battery will expend for a given time period. Kilowatt hours kWh measures the amount of energy you’re using. It can be a bit confusing, but just remember that kilo means 1,000, and a kWh is equal to the amount of energy used to power a 1,000 watt appliance for one hour. Finally, the coulomb (C) rating will show how long it takes to fully charge your battery. All these variables should be considered carefully when choosing a solar battery.

Take into account that you can’t run your entire household off of just one or two solar batteries alone. To truly go off-grid, you need an entire array (or bank) consisting of multiple batteries and solar panels to charge them. While batteries work great to store energy, if you were to provide backup power to an entire home with a single one, you would run out of power in 20 hours or less.

How Many Solar Panels To Charge A Battery?

This of course depends on the size of the battery and the weather conditions in your area. You technically only need one solar panel to provide enough electrical power for a battery storage system, but of course this isn’t optimal. With the warm climate in Pensacola, solar panels produce plenty of electricity from the sun’s rays during peak hours practically year round. For an average home set up, we would recommend around 20 [solar panels(how many solar panels power a house)] which is a standard 6 kW solar energy system.

How Long To Charge A Solar Battery?

Again, this is going to depend on the same given factors above. If a solar battery is completely drained, you can expect it to be recharged in approximately 5 to 8 hours.

What Is Net Metering?

There are some instances where a solar battery may not be your best option. While storage is great as a whole home backup and providing power when the sun isn’t shining, it will take away from net metering. This takes place when the solar power produced is more than your home needs, so you are able to sell the excess electricity back to the grid. In some instances there becomes an energy arbitrage in which excess electricity can be sold for more than it is priced on the grid.

What Is A Critical Load Panel?

When looking into installing an energy storage system, a critical load panel is always a great compliment to a solar battery. When installed correctly, a battery will usually run power to these panels. This will allow for your most important appliances to keep running, even when the grid is down. These help to determine the size of battery you require for your home energy needs, and will ensure you are getting the most out of your battery system.

The Most Popular Solar Batteries

The Tesla Powerwall is one of the most well known and asked about on the market today. Other great options include the Discover 48V Lithium, Delta BX6.3, LG RESU, or Sungrow SBP4K8. Of course, every battery offers different advantages and are better or worse for certain situations. Some battery storage systems are best suited for residential customers, while others are best suited for commercial buildings, RVs, etc.

Who Should Install My Storage System?

You can do it yourself, but we always advise calling out a local solar installer to take on this project. Installing an energy storage system correctly can be tricky, especially if you are not experienced. A solar panel system is not a cheap investment, so you want to be sure it is set up correctly to guarantee you will save money like you are supposed to.

Are Solar Batteries Worth It?

At the end of the day, investing in battery storage systems for this form of renewable energy is definitely a worthwhile investment to help you save money, lower your carbon footprint, gain energy independence and keep the lights on when there is a power outage. With any solar system you will save money on your electric bill. Part of the question is will utilizing battery cells to store electrical energy and provide backup power more of a need, or is the financial implications of net-metering what you need. If you have any questions in regards battery systems, solar energy storage, or the power grid, feel free to give us a call and we would be more than happy to assist you. We install solar panels and energy storage systems, and have years of experience in the solar industry.