Batteries are an increasingly more common topic when talking solar systems.
People look at batteries for three main reasons:
- Total Energy Independence – If the grid went down they’ll still be able to charge their cell phone
- Storing and Using More of Their Own Power – As opposed to the typical energy exchange with the utility grid
- Avoid Expensive TOU(Time of use) Utility Rates – Avoid expensive periods where utility companies charge a premium for kWh (kilowatt hours)
One thing that is very important to understand about traditional solar systems is the fact that they are required to power down in the event of a utility outage. Most assume that just because they have solar they will have power in the event of an outage and unfortunately that most often is not the case. Solar systems back feed in many instances lethal voltages back into the grid which potential could harm one working to repair a downed grid. It is because of this risk traditional systems go into a “Safe Mode” when the utility grid is down.
Having a battery is the only way to remain powered up in a utility outage.
There are multiple kinds of batteries and choosing the right battery is imperative. If you’re application is “Off-grid” your system will require a very different battery from the person who’s objective is to avoid using energy during certain times when the utility company is charging a premium for usage.
There are many different battery options but most batteries fall into to two different categories; Traditional batteries which are “banked” and their sole purpose is to hold and discharge energy and then hybrid intuitive batteries that have the ability to sense grid state and can discharge and recharge during times that maximize the economic savings of the home owner.
“Your system is going to power your home and hopefully charge your batteries with enough energy to run your home through the night.”
For those seeking total energy independence either of the above could be excellent solutions. Understanding your usage and designing your system with the appropriate storage capacity is an often pitfall of under-educated homeowner and/or solar providers. Your system is going to power your home and hopefully charge your batteries with enough energy to run your home through the night. Proper calculations will not only ensure you have the correct power requirements but are not overspending on infrastructure.
Time of Use also know as TOU Rate Structures are an emerging phenomenon in utility rate plans. These rate structures create unique challenges for home owners often leading to increased costs during the times we use and need energy the most. Certain batteries can be programed to discharge during these premium periods and then charge either from your solar system or from the grid when the cost of energy is at lower costs.
“We encourage you to do thorough research and when ready call a qualified solar provider like Solstice Energy…”
There’s allot to keep in mind when looking at batteries. We encourage you to do thorough research and when ready call a qualified solar provider like Solstice Energy who can offer additional guidance so your investment accomplishes your objectives.
Also learn about the tax credits tied to batteries. Depending on when the battery is installed you may be able to claim the Federal Tax Credit on your battery which is currently worth 30% of the battery and/or systems cost. This Tax Credit greatly offsets your costs and accelerates return on investment.
Should you have any additional questions about available battery options and the appropriate options for your objectives, we welcome your contact anytime and would love to help you understand this incredible component to an amazing solar system.