How To Store Energy From A Solar Power Battery

June 10, 2024

Most solar-equipped households deal with a similar problem. Solar panels’ efficiency goes down when the sun sets. However, evening hours are the time of the day when a typical user consumes most electricity. Is there a way to store solar energy effectively?

Solar batteries can provide the desired help, alleviating solar power supply fluctuations. In addition, the household becomes more independent from a local grid.

This post will highlight the peculiarities of solar battery storage and how you can benefit from it.

Solar Energy Storage Components

Solar energy storage units consist of several components.

Solar PanelsPV panels absorb and convert sunlight into electricity.
Charge ControllersA communication point between solar panels and solar batteries that limits the amount of current transported to batteries.
InvertersInverting devices convert direct current from PV panels into alternating current, which later powers the household.
Solar Power BatteriesThe batteries store solar power generated during peak hours of sun exposure and supply you with electricity when energy production levels drop.

Now, let’s discuss in detail how batteries for solar panels function.

How Does a Solar Battery Work?

Solar batteries allow you to fulfill the potential of installed solar panel systems. Solar power batteries capture and store any excessive solar energy PV panels generate during sunny periods. You can efficiently utilize stored energy in the future and ensure a stable power supply throughout the year.

So, what happens inside the solar battery? Numerous chemical reactions occur for you to store the extra solar-generated electricity.

Suppose you need to use solar power when it’s dark or cloudy; solar batteries convert the energy they store back into electricity. Later, you can use it to meet your household energy demands.

Let’s look at what happens when you install solar batteries to improve your solar systems.

DC-coupled solar storage batteryAC-coupled solar storage battery
1. Solar panels generate DC electricity out of sunlight.1. Solar panels absorb the sunlight and transform it into DC electricity.
2. Solar batteries preserve generated electricity.2. Inverters convert solar energy into AC electricity, which a homeowner can use.
3. DC electricity leaves the storage and enters the inverter, transforming it into AC energy.3. If there is any surplus electricity, it goes back to solar power storage.
 4. The electricity flows back to the inverter if you require more solar energy for your daily needs.
How Does a Solar Battery Work?

Source: Clean Energy Reviews

If you equip your battery storage with a hybrid inverter, you will use a single device that converts AC energy into DC energy and vice versa. As a result, you won’t need two devices to transport electricity directly from solar panels and a solar battery.

Solar Battery Storage Types

Solar battery manufacturers produce four main types of battery storage. Solar batteries commonly used are:

  • Lead-acid batteries
  • Lithium-ion batteries
  • Nickel-cadmium batteries
  • Flow batteries

Let’s discuss the peculiarities of each battery type.

Lead-Acid Batteries

Solar power batteries using lead-acid technology are one of the most common solutions for storing solar power. Automotive and industrial industries rely most on them. Their cost-efficiency and reliability make this storage type an excellent choice for home solar panel systems.

With their recent improvement in lifespan, lead-acid solar batteries remain a viable energy-saving option for many PV system owners. They come in flooded and sealed versions with different safe discharge depths.

Lithium-Ion Batteries

A lithium-ion batteries demonstrate a higher energy density and improved efficiency. They are also light and convenient to use. These solar batteries allow users to easily access stored energy without recharging the device.

Unfortunately, this solar energy storage is a pricy and potentially flammable solution.

Nickel-Cadmium Batteries

Popular in industrial fields, nickel-cadmium solar batteries are highly durable and can function under extreme thermal conditions. They also do not require high maintenance compared with other solar storage options.

The only disadvantage of such a battery type is high cadmium toxicity, making recycling difficult.

Flow Batteries

Such types of solar batteries store electricity using chemical reactions. They consist of two chambers and liquid-contained electrolytes flowing inside. Flow batteries are extensive and practical options for large spaces and industrial applications.

Solar Battery Storage Types

Source: ScienceDirect

Why Should You Use Solar Battery Storage?

Installing solar battery backup for PV systems maximizes solar panel potential. We review the benefits of solar power storage.

You Can Accumulate Excess Electricity

Long sunny days are ideal for solar energy production. If you generate extra electricity with your PV panels, you can utilize them in two ways. First, you can send it back to the grid for remuneration, especially if participating in a net metering program.

Solar battery storage can help you accumulate energy and use it in the future. As a result, your dependence on local electricity suppliers will decrease.

Solar Batteries Reduce Carbon Footprint

Traditional energy sources use fossil fuels to operate. However, solar panels contribute to green energy solutions. By storing clean solar energy, solar power batteries reduce carbon footprint.

The positive environmental impact of producing and storing solar energy is essential for many homeowners.

Solar Batteries Improve Energy Resilience

Solar energy generation depends on outside weather conditions. Thus, PV panels stop producing electricity after sunset. If you don’t install solar battery storage, you must supplement it with energy from a local grid.

Solar panels equipped with batteries change the game. By installing storage devices, you can rely solely on your home-generated electricity at night and reduce electricity bills.

Solar Battery Devices Are Quiet

Solar battery storage systems don’t produce any noise. So, you can benefit from clean energy, low maintenance, and a quiet environment. These are the advantages a gas-powered generator can’t compete with.

Solar Battery Devices Are Quiet

Source: Green Match

How To Define Solar Battery System Size

To understand how significant your solar storage system should be, start by defining how much electricity your household consumes. For example, the average US home requires around 10kWh of electricity daily. Newer lithium-ion models offer from 1kWh to 16kWh.

A battery with solar panels can cover your house’s electricity needs if the battery size corresponds to your energy usage. A well-chosen solar battery should be enough to supply you with electricity almost all year. However, be ready still to contact a local grid during longer winter nights.

How To Save Money With Solar Batteries?

Equipping your household with a solar battery storage system can bring long-term financial benefits, such as reduced electricity bills. However, multiple factors influence whether solar panel battery systems will be feasible.

Here are some of the factors influencing the money-saving capacity of solar batteries:

  • How expensive the solar installation is
  • Solar battery system type (DC/AC, battery chemistry, and connections)
  • How effective the control algorithm is
  • Solar battery’s lifespan
  • Electricity prices

Several batteries typically last up to 10 years and are low-maintenance. It means your initial cost of batteries for solar panels will come from installation expenses. On the other hand, PV panels’ lifespan is up to 25 years. So, you must add up the cost for at least one solar power battery replacement.

Despite the initial investment associated with solar power energy usage, the ever-growing electricity prices make the expenses pay back over time. In addition, some battery manufacturers offer extra incentives, such as discounted tariffs for transferring spare electricity back to the grid. For example, users who apply for a Feed-in Tariff can export a certain amount of solar power energy produced to the local provider.

Households using solar battery storage have export payments of around 50% of the electricity they generate. This limitation occurs because the export meter cannot accurately determine whether exported electricity comes from a solar battery or the local grid.

Solar Power Batteries: Financing Options

Despite the decrease in solar battery prices, purchasing them remains expensive. Those homeowners who can afford solar batteries upfront will benefit the most. However, you can also apply for a solar loan. This option will include extra expenses in the form of interest rates.

Review some of the most popular investment options for solar battery owners.

Solar Battery LeaseStorage LoansUpfront Cash Purchase
Solar leases can extend to leasing solar panels and solar power storage devices. The idea is the same. You must pay monthly to use a battery, but it doesn’t belong to you. You do not perform maintenance works, but you do not own the equipment.

This financing option works best when combined with a regular solar lease.

Solar-specific entities provide storage loans through specialized lenders, credit unions, and banks. You can check the available financiers in your area and schedule a call or meeting to learn more about existing financing opportunities.Paying upfront remains the most popular way to invest in solar technology. This method qualifies you for various solar incentives, rebates, and tax credits.

Buying solar batteries via upfront payment maximizes your savings.

Should You Invest in Solar Batteries?

Solar battery storage requires a hefty initial investment. However, they can help during power outages and outcast weather in the long run and reduce overall electricity expenses. Additionally, solar batteries simplify the transition to clean and renewable solar power sources. Many households can apply for solar incentives and rebate programs, decreasing the total cost of solar power adoption.

All in all, the decision is yours. Consider your household energy demands and the need for energy resilience. If you opt for solar panel installation, adding solar batteries to your PV system will be the right choice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of energy is stored in a battery?

A solar power battery stores chemical energy and transforms it into electrical energy. This transition is possible due to chemical cells, where a reaction occurs, creating a flow of electrons.

How do batteries store solar energy?

Solar power storage is difficult because electricity levels constantly fluctuate. Solar energy is commonly stored in batteries (electrochemical storage systems) and fluids (thermal storage systems).

Which is the best solar panel battery?

Lithium-ion solar batteries are the optimal choice for home-based solar panel systems. They have a large daily cycle and long lifespan. In addition, they are less expensive than other solutions and easy to integrate into the installed solar power set.

How do I choose a good solar panel battery?

When choosing a solar battery storage system, consider factors such as battery capacity, estimated lifespan, peak energy production, and warranty offered.

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Andy Worford
Andy Worford

Andy is a Founder, Chief Content Officer, regular contributor, and idea generator behind Solar Power Systems. He is well-versed in various aspects of solar energy, including photovoltaic systems, solar policy trends, and green technology innovations.

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