Everything You Should Know About Solar Batteries
What is a solar battery?
The panels of the solar panel system convert solar energy into electricity, which is then sent through an inverter and used by our homes. A solar battery is an extra component that can let you store the energy generated by your solar panels and use it later when the solar panels are not any energy.
In case your solar PV system is connected to the power grid, your home keeps getting electricity even if your panels are not producing enough to satisfy your needs. When your system production is larger than your energy consumption, the excess energy gets transferred back to the grid. This is called net-metering.
But for those who are off-grid or who wish to save the excess energy rather than send back it to the grid, solar batteries can be a great solution.
How does a solar battery work?
Solar panels can only generate electricity when there is sunlight. Thus, when it is dark and you still need electricity for your home, this poses a clear problem. In this situation, you would normally buy electricity from the energy providers. However, you can prevent this issue if you use a battery storage solution. When your solar panels produce electricity that you do not need immediately, a battery will transform that DC energy into AC energy and store it for later use.
In short, when you do not need the electricity, your solar panels are generating, they charge the battery. Your system will extract the energy stored from the battery for usage when it is dark and your solar panels are not producing any electricity.
In case your battery gets entirely charged, you can return any extra electricity that your solar panel system produces back to the grid and receive credit for it. When your battery runs out, you will need the grid to get power. This cycle will go on for many years without your intervention if you have solar panels and a battery storage system that is operating in perfect harmony.
Benefits of solar battery
People today are buying solar batteries in addition to solar panels. Here are some of the advantages of having solar battery storage in your home. Go through them and decide if you want a solar battery for your home too.
- Power when you need it
One of the biggest concerns with solar panels is that they produce electricity only when there is the sun outside. Factors like bad weather can reduce the output of solar panels, leading your property to draw off the grid. With a solar battery system, the excess energy that your solar panels generate gets stored in a solar battery. You can use the stored energy during nighttime or on those cloudy days without having to draw off the grid.
- Cut down electricity bills
Having a solar battery will drastically reduce your energy expenditures. If you spend the day at work, you will use most of your electricity once you come home in the evening. However, since your solar panels will not be producing any electricity at night, you will need to rely on the grid to get your energy if you do not have a battery.
With battery storage, you can avoid paying a lot of money to your energy provider by charging your battery during off-peak hours and discharging it during peak hours. The lesser the dependency on the grid, the lower your electricity bill.
- Make extra money from your energy company
When power rates are high, you can make money by selling the energy stored in your solar battery back to the grid (if your energy provider allows net metering). Allowing specific businesses to utilize your battery to store any additional grid electricity could earn you some extra cash. These are two profitable choices, but before selling your electricity to any energy company, consider whether it would be better if you store and utilize it for yourself.
- Safer for the environment
So far, coal plants and other sources of fossil fuels have produced most of the electricity on the grid. Storing the energy produced in a solar battery, lets you use the available environmentally friendly power with ease and at your convenience. Using solar power instead of fossil fuels will help you lower your carbon footprint
Types of solar batteries
There are four main varieties of solar storage batteries that are in use:
- Nickel-Cadmium batteries
This battery technology has been around for more than 100 years, making it an established, tried-and-true method of storing data. Ni-Cd has a good specific energy and is less expensive compared to older battery types. They are a suitable option for generator starting applications and uninterruptible power supply. Ni-Cd batteries have become less popular due to two characteristics: they are exceedingly harmful to the environment and do not get completely depleted before being recharged.
- Lead Acid batteries
Because of their dependability, these batteries have been used and tested to store energy for longer periods of time. Lead-acid batteries are less energy dense than current rechargeable batteries. One of the earliest rechargeable battery technologies, lead-acid batteries are used in a wide range of applications, including large/grid-scale power systems storage as well as small-scale storage for things like UPS systems, lighting, and car ignitions.
- Lithium-Ion batteries
Lithium-ion batteries are more recent ones. They are well-liked and highly sought-after in today’s generation because of their tolerance for extreme temperatures and environmental safety.
- Flow Batteries
These batteries are brand-new and still in the development stage for the solar storage system. Flow batteries will undoubtedly become more common in the years to come because they are water-based and do not use any hazardous metals.
Only a portion of the day can be powered by solar energy. You can make sure you always have power even when the sun is not out by installing a solar power storage battery system. Although solar batteries are made to survive for many years, they eventually lose efficiency and stop functioning, usually before solar panels, which typically last 25 to 40 years. Whether you want to live completely off-grid, have an emergency store for outages, or lower your energy bill during peak hours, a qualified solar power system installation can help you choose a battery that fits your needs.