If you’ve installed solar panels on your home or business, it’s likely because you want cost savings and a reliable source of renewable energy. A battery storage system will help make sure you get to use all the power you cultivate from the sun.
What Is Solar Battery Storage?
Your solar panels create energy from the sunlight that beams down on them during the day. But that’s the only time energy can be made. A battery storage system will take excess energy from your solar panels and store it for later use. You’ll have a constant supply of energy available to use whenever you need it, even during a power outage.
Without battery storage, the excess energy you produce will go into your local power grid. This means you will likely get credits for that contributed energy, but you won’t have a backup if the grid goes down. Also, you’d be taking power from the grid at night or on cloudy days, when you could be using your already-produced energy and not paying a penny more on your utility bill.
Lithium-ion batteries are an emerging popular technology used for solar storage. If that term sounds familiar, it’s because lithium-ion batteries are used in most cell phones. Used on a larger scale, they can efficiently store energy harnessed from the sun.
Lithium is popular because it is lightweight and easy for electricity to pass through, according to the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. The chemical reactions in a lithium battery are reversible, which means they can absorb and discharge energy.
Lithium-ion battery storage systems tend to have a smaller capacity. Still, they are becoming less expensive to install, take up limited space, and are accessible to a wide range of users. According to a study, 89 percent of all new storage systems installed in 2015 were made from lithium.
Other storage methods include:
- Pumped hydroelectric storage
- Batteries that contain zinc or nickel
- Molten-salt thermal storage
How Battery Storage is Used
Energy is stored as either AC or DC, depending on your system. Homes are powered by AC power, but devices are charged using DC power. Each is built differently and can be retrofitted to your solar panels. Most solar batteries used today are AC batteries, but some do come in DC. It’s essential to understand which you choose for your solar system.
When you set up your battery, it will start collecting extra energy, which can be used at will. This may sound similar to a generator, but battery storage units are always rechargeable, require less maintenance, and make less noise.
When a power outage occurs, the battery will usually turn on automatically, as solar panels are shut off during a grid outage for safety reasons. It gives you peace of mind knowing a backup system is already in place using energy you’ve already earned.
How Much Storage You Get
Storage comes in many different shapes and sizes and has different technologies to do its job. Commercial space would need much more storage capacity than a typical home.
You will be able to access the full amount of storage held by your system. Once the battery is fully charged, energy will continue moving back into the public grid. Likewise, if you use all the energy stored in the battery, your system will start taking from the grid (except in the event of a power outage).
Homeowners have choices between short and long-term storage that can either provide longer periods of less power or shorter periods of more intense power.
Battery Storage Installation in Thousand Oaks & Ventura County
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