Solar Batteries 101: Everything You Need to Know

Did you know the first solar cell was invented In 1954? Solar energy has come a long way since then. Solar technology has been redesigned to be much more efficient and is now used all over the world. In the United States, solar energy was responsible for over $154 billion in economic activity in 2016 and it has been growing since.

Most people have heard of solar panels, however, there are many other forms of solar technology that are beneficial. Solar panels, solar cell systems, solar water heating systems, and solar lights are the most popular. However, the lesser-known solar batteries can be extremely beneficial for those who live in or are working in a remote area that is not connected to the grid. Solar batteries can provide an affordable, reusable source of energy that couldn't have otherwise been provided. Most people understand that the word ‘solar’ means these batteries are powered by the sun, but beyond that, it can be a mystery. Find out more on how solar batteries work, and the benefits that they can provide:

Storing Energy vs. Selling it Back

Many homes and businesses are beginning to place solar panels on top of their buildings. Most homes that have solar panels are also connected to local energy grids in order to have a source of energy during winter seasons, nighttime, or periods of time when there isn't an adequate supply of sunlight. The energy that these panels produce can be used immediately, but if they produce more energy than you are consuming, the excess energy will be sent back to the grid. If you produce excess electricity, the utility company has a method to compensate you. However, if you use solar batteries, they can help to store the excess energy, so it doesn't have to get sent back to the grid. Solar batteries are a system used to store energy that has been harvested by solar sources, including from solar panels. They can be helpful because you can enable your home to be less reliant on other energy sources.

Solar Batteries and Your Solar Power Source

A solar battery could be used as a standalone solar product, but can also be connected to solar panels or another collector of solar energy. These batteries can be beneficial not only for residential homes but also for large commercial areas. Many solar batteries today include smart technology which can electronically communicate to its power source and maximize solar storage. Your solar power source and solar battery can communicate in an instant to determine where to pull energy to power your home or business. This cost-effective solution can easily monitor stored solar power and use just the right amount of energy needed. Battery storage can always be increased depending on your usage and land size.

Choosing a Solar Battery

If you are trying to determine what type of solar battery would be best fitted for your system, there are a number of factors to consider. Of the first factors to consider is the capacity and power rating of the solar battery. The capacity determines how much energy the battery can store at once, while the power rating impacts how much energy the battery can put out at once. Another factor to consider is the depth of discharge (DoD). The DoD is usually a percentage, and the higher the percent, the better. It refers to the amount of energy a battery can use before needing to be recharged; solar batteries must always retain some energy, or it could damage the battery. Another important factor is the round-trip efficiency. The round-trip efficiency is the amount of electricity that it took to charge the battery, compared to the amount of that energy it is able to use. Two other items that you should consider if you are thinking about solar batteries are the warranty and manufacturer.

Types of Solar Batteries

When choosing a solar battery for your home, remember that you have options. Regardless of your choice, solar batteries can help lower your monthly energy costs dramatically. Some batteries are larger in size, but much more powerful. Other, smaller batteries aren’t as powerful and don’t hold quite as much solar power. The type of solar battery you choose should be influenced by the solar power source you are using. Residential and commercial properties or even automobiles all have different needs and therefore different solar batteries may be best for them.

The battery that we recommend above the rest is the Tesla Powerwall. You might recognize the Tesla name from the cars that the company manufactures. Their cars have recently grown in popularity due to their power source. Tesla cars rely solely on electricity as opposed to gasoline, which is why the transition into solar batteries made sense for the company.

The Tesla Powerwall is a type of lithium ion battery, which we explain below:

Lithium Ion

These types of batteries are the most commonly used type of solar battery and often come the most highly-recommended from vendors. Lithium Ion batteries are reliable and have a long lifetime. They have a quick recharge rate and can discharge energy quickly and efficiently. These batteries are more efficient than nickel cadmium batteries and generate more power than flow solar batteries.

Benefits of Solar Batteries

One of the major benefits of solar batteries is the ability to have energy at any time. For example, if you are connected to the grid and there is a power outage, the energy that is stored in your battery can provide the energy for your home. On a similar note, a solar battery can help to store power in an area that may not have access to the grid. If your solar panels produce excess energy that can't be sent anywhere it would otherwise go to waste if you didn’t own a solar battery.

Another benefit of solar batteries is that they may be able to save your home some money. If your utility company doesn't offer full net metering, solar batteries could help you save money. While it isn't as common, some utilities charge using a time-of-use rate. The solar battery would reduce the amount of time that your home uses energy from the utility company, therefore saving money.

In recent years, the use of solar panels has increased exponentially. The use of solar batteries is soon to follow. Depending on your home, the amount of energy you use, where you live, and how your utility operates, a solar battery could be something to consider.

Do you have more questions regarding solar batteries or your other solar options? We offer no-risk assessments and free quotes! Give us a call today at (619) 350-0032 or contact us for more information.

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