Do you want to transition into using renewable solar energy for your home? Have you already installed your home solar energy system but can’t decide if you want to be able to store the excess energy? The team at West Coast Solar wants to encourage you to consider a home solar battery. Being able to use stored energy adds more benefits to your green energy lifestyle. In the following post, we’ll discuss a few reasons why adding a battery to your system adds value to your life while reducing your utility costs.
Choosing a battery
If you’re choosing a home solar battery on your own, it can be tough. There’s a myriad of advice all over the Internet proclaiming which is the best solar battery. Frankly, the team at West Coast Solar believes the best battery for your solar system is the one that’s going to help you achieve your energy use goals. If you’re looking for a small amount of energy to reduce utility grid energy costs, you can probably get away with a small battery bank. If you’re attempting to go 100 percent solar, using the utility grid as backup, you may need a larger battery bank. In some cases, you can even use a solar powered generator to provide electricity to smaller appliances in the event of a power outage.
The details of your home solar design are what determine which type of battery and how many of them you will need.
Why a battery?
Our team gets a variety of questions when it comes to home solar batteries, but we get this question frequently: “Can a solar system work without a battery?” The short answer is yes. There are three types of solar power system setups:
- The solar system with utility grid tie-in and no battery
- The solar system with utility grid tie-in and battery backup
- Off-grid Solar system with battery backup and optional generator
Your renewable solar energy system can function without a battery; however, we highly suggest you remain tied into the utility grid or you invest in a battery bank for backup or continued usage in the event of a power outage. If you’re going off-grid, you will need a battery bank.
How do solar batteries work?
Your solar system converts sunlight into energy, which is then either sent to your electrical panel or to a solar battery. The battery is used to store the converted energy for later use. In most cases, if you have a solar battery bank, you can store enough energy to eventually eliminate your utility grid bill entirely. In some cases, our own customers have reported back that they’ve begun receiving credit from the utility company for producing their own energy and not using the grid, meaning the utility company is buying the customer’s excess energy and using it elsewhere.
Which solar battery is the best?
As mentioned above, it depends on your solar power system and your energy goals. Obviously you want to use a battery type which allows for renewable energy storage and use. Batteries such as deep-cycle or absorbent glass mat (AGM) are common a reliable in solar power system setups. Additionally, the deep-cycle battery cost significantly less than lithium-ion batteries.
Solar Battery installation and maintenance
You’ll want the proper housing for your battery bank. The housing needs to be enclosed, ventilated, insulated, and designed to keep the batteries safe and dry. Safety is the main concern when it comes to your battery bank housing. A lot of electricity will be stored in the bank, so ensuring the proper housing and measures to keep the batteries secure is imperative.
To keep batteries healthy, a consistent charging and discharging across the entire bank is important. If an inconsistent cycle occurs on one or a few batteries in the bank, it can cause failure, which means you’re not able to store energy on those compromised batteries.
Finally, the wiring in the bank is imperative. If you have numerous paths for the electrons to travel along, it’s important to make sure each path is about the same length. Ensure parallel paths are set up to benefit the transfer of energy. Inconsistent wiring in your battery bank can lead to issues like reduced cycle efficiency and, in some cases, battery failure.
West Coast Solar Design and Installation Services
Now that you know a little bit more about home solar batteries, consider giving us a call! West Coast Solar creates custom solar power system designs for each and every one of our customers. We strive to make the transition to renewable energy as easy as possible, so you don’t have to worry about which battery to choose or how many solar panels you need to power your home. We do all of that for you.