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It is becoming more and more common to install solar batteries on solar panels. They have significant advantages such as energy independence and emergency backup power, but it can be difficult to know exactly what to look for when buying solar batteries.
In this article, we will break down all the knowledge you need to know about solar batteries in order to choose the right battery for your house.
Solar batteries are used to store the energy produced by solar panels. Then, the stored solar energy can be used later when needed.
Solar panels generate more electricity during the time of the day than the other times of the day. The day of the day happens to be when your home uses the least energy. Therefore, your solar panels will generate a lot of electricity, and your house will not need this electricity at the time.
Solar batteries can store more energy in a day, so you can use it at other times.
Solar batteries can be a huge investment for your home, depending on what you want to remove from the battery storage system. You may want to install solar batteries for several reasons.
1.Reduced dependence on the grid
First of all, solar batteries make you less dependent on the grid. Having a high degree of energy independence also means that you have the ability to completely use clean solar energy to power your house.
2.Producing clean energy
Most of the electricity for utilities comes from dirty fossil fuels. Installing solar cells ensures that you will use the renewable energy generated on the roof to power your entire home!
3.Access to backup power
The utility grid may be unreliable. When the grid fails, the solar battery can be used as a backup power source. In places like California, where power grid outages are common during wildfire seasons, having backup battery packs is especially useful.
4.Saving on your electricity bills
Solar batteries can also save money on your electricity bills. This is especially true if your utility uses a time-of-use rate structure. This means that your utility company will charge different electricity charges based on different times of the day. If your utility company does not provide complete retail net metering, solar batteries can also save electricity bills.
When buying a solar battery, there are 4 main features to consider: power and capacity ratings, depth of discharge, efficiency ratings and warranty.
Let us take a closer look at these terms and their meanings.
1. Power and capacity ratings
When buying a solar battery, the first thing you need to check is its rated capacity and rated power. The capacity rating tells you how many kilowatt hours (kWh) the solar battery can hold.
You can install multiple batteries to increase the capacity of the solar storage system. It represents the amount (or how much) actually stored in the battery.
The capacity level itself is not very useful. You must also consider the battery power rating. The rated power tells you how much power a battery can provide, in kilowatts. This will give you an idea of the number of appliances that can be powered by household solar batteries in your home.
If the battery capacity is high but the rated power is low, it can power some important devices for a long time, such as refrigerators and electric water heaters. These types of batteries are useful if you want to use batteries as emergency backup generators.
A battery with a low capacity and a high power rating will be able to power the entire house, but only for a few hours because there are less kWh stored in the battery.
2. Depth of discharge (DoD)
The depth of discharge (DoD) of a solar battery is the percentage of the battery discharged relative to the total capacity of the battery. Most solar batteries will list a specific DoD to maintain the battery healthy.
For example, suppose you have a solar battery with a capacity of 10 kWh and the recommended DoD is 60%, then you should not use more than 6 kWh of electricity before charging. Using more than 6 kWh may damage the battery.
A higher DoD rating allows you to use more energy stored in the solar battery before you have to charge it.
3. Round-trip efficiency
The round-trip efficiency of a solar battery represents the energy you can use from the solar battery compared to the energy that can be stored in the solar battery.
Therefore, suppose your solar panel has 10 kWh of electricity that can be sent to the battery, but you can only use 8 kWh of electricity. This makes the battery’s round-trip efficiency reach 80%. The battery system uses another 2 kWh to actually store and release electricity.
High-efficiency batteries will ultimately save you more money, because more electricity you generate will be available compared to using less efficient batteries.
The solar battery warranty will let you know how long the battery should be used. When you use a solar battery, it will do something called “cycling”. Cycling means that the recommended DoD is exhausted after the battery is charged. Each time the battery cycles, the ability of the battery to hold charge or its capacity decreases.
The way the solar battery is used will affect the number of cycles it runs. Therefore, the solar battery warranty guarantees that the battery will work at a certain capacity under the specified number of years and the specified number of cycles (or cycle life).
It is believed that most household solar batteries can be used for at least 10 years after normal use.
But again, it is important to remember that the life of a solar battery depends on how it is used. You will get more out of your battery if the warranty has a long cycle life.
The cost of solar cells depends on the chemistry of the battery. Lead-acid batteries are often the cheapest solar cell choice. If the budget is limited, lead-acid batteries will be the best storage solution. However, lead-acid batteries have short lifespan, low DoD, and require a lot of space.
Installing solar batteries is a great way to get the most value from the solar panel system. They are an excellent source of backup power, which can make you less dependent on the grid, and in some cases can save you more electricity bills.
However, solar battery systems do have to pay a price. If you want to save money, installing solar cells may not be for you, especially if your utility company provides net metering. However, if you live in a place where there are frequent power outages or use time is useful, then a spare battery may be helpful.
The advantage is that the price of solar batteries continues to fall, so in the future all solar systems may be installed with them. It is important to understand all the advantages and functions of solar batteries so that you can make an informed decision about the house that suits you.
Finally, here are some key points for the choosing the best solar batteries for your home.
• Solar batteries can be used to store the excess energy generated by solar panels during the day for later use.
• The main benefits of solar batteries include energy independence, emergency backup power, and in some cases can also save energy costs.
• When purchasing solar batteries, the following factors should be considered: power and capacity ratings, depth of discharge, round-trip efficiency and warranty.
• The cost of solar batteries varies according to their chemical nature.