March 01 2019 0Comment
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Solar Storage 101 – A Guide to Upgrading Your System with Solar Batteries

For many homeowners and business owners, getting a solar battery is one of the best upgrades they can get for their solar power systems.

But what exactly does a solar battery do and how does it work? And why have solar batteries become such sought-after upgrades?

This guide will help you get a better idea of what solar storage systems can do and how they can help you save money in the long-run.

What is a Solar Battery?

A solar battery is a unit that stores excess power generated by your solar power system. You can then use this stored power in the future, giving you an extra source of electricity when you need it.

To understand why this is so useful, it helps to know what usually happens in systems without solar batteries.

In standard solar power systems connected to the main grid, any excess power generated will be fed directly into the grid in exchange for some form of credit or compensation (depending on your metering scheme). Homeowners can then use this credit or compensation to offset the costs of their grid use.

But with a solar battery system, you can store the excess power you generate and use it instead of taking electricity from the grid. For many homeowners and property managers, this can save more money and make them less reliant on the main grid for electricity.

How Solar Batteries Work

1. Solar panels convert solar energy into power in the form of Direct Current (DC). This power is converted to alternating current (AC) by your system inverter for home use.

2. Any excess power generated is used to charge your solar battery. (Keep in mind solar batteries operate using DC. The way it is charged will depend on what type of solar battery system you have.)

3. When you want to use your solar battery, the stored power is drawn out and converted to AC for normal use at home.

The Benefits of Using Solar Batteries

  • Pay less for electricity – Whether you use net metering or gross metering for your system, a solar battery can effectively reduce your electricity bill and save you more money.
  • Use battery during peak hours – With a solar battery, you can use stored power instead of electricity from the main grid during peak hours. (Peak hour rates from the grid are more expensive than non-peak hours.)
  • Have a back-up power source – A solar storage system can act as a secondary power source, providing electricity even during power outages in the main grid.
  • Go off-grid – A solar battery allows you to go off-grid whenever you want. Depending on the size of your solar storage system and your energy requirements, it can help you go completely off-grid if you prefer or at least rely less on the main grid for most of your electricity.

The Main Types of Solar Storage Systems

  • DC Coupled Storage – The solar battery system is placed in between your solar panels and your system’s main inverter. This setup charges your solar battery directly from the excess power generated by your solar panels. When you want to use your battery, its stored DC power is converted into AC by your main inverter.
  • AC Coupled Storage – The solar battery system is placed in between your main inverter and your home connections. It uses a separate multi-mode inverter to charge the battery in DC and direct power to your home in AC. This storage system works independently of your solar power system.
  • Hybrid Inverter – This type combines DC and AC coupled storage systems into one unit while acting as your system’s main inverter. It automatically converts power from your solar panels into AC for home use, while directing any excess power to charge your solar battery in DC.

What to Consider When Choosing a Solar Storage System

If you’re considering getting a solar storage system for your home or office, you’ll need to consider a variety of factors to find the right choice:

  • Your energy requirements – Knowing how much power you use and how (and when) you use it will help you determine what type of solar storage system will work best for you.
  • Power generation – Different locations generate different levels of energy from solar power. When you know how much excess power you can realistically generate, you’ll have a better idea of what solar battery size is right for you.
  • Local tariffs and regulations – Solar energy tariffs and regulations vary between different states, so you’ll need to know the regulations in your area to determine how much you can save by using a solar storage system.
  • Energy goals – What’s your main reason for getting a solar battery? Do you simply want to reduce your electricity bill? Are you looking for a back-up power source for your home? Do you want a battery that will let you go off-grid? By defining your energy goals clearly, you can better decide what type of system you need to get the results you want.
  • Budget – Not all storage systems cost the same, so you’ll need to factor in your budget when choosing a system. Your budget can also determine what other equipment and upgrades you can get to improve your system’s performance.

Need More Help?

If you need more information about solar storage systems, contact us today to find out more. We can provide expert advice and guidance that can help you decide whether a solar battery is right for your home or office.

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