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Everything Homeowners Need to Know About Solar Batteries

Jessica PirroSeptember 1, 20205130

Everything Homeowners Need to Know About Solar Batteries

When some homeowners get a solar panel installation, they want to be completely independent of the grid. The issue that has presented itself in the past is solar panels can’t generate solar power at night, due to the lack of sun, leaving homeowners without power at night. Most homeowners that install a solar power system, stay connected to the grid to be sure that when their solar panels are under-producing, or not producing solar power at all, they will still have power.

However, solar batteries are growing more and more popular, but some homeowners are still a little hesitant to install solar batteries alongside their solar panel installation. Solar batteries are an added expense to the solar power systems, and most homeowners are hesitant to add solar batteries to their solar panel installation. The truth is, most homeowners don’t know much about solar batteries, because they are a relatively new technology. Here is some information that homeowners should know about solar batteries.

The Brief History of Solar Batteries

When it comes to the technology of lithium-ion solar batteries, it was introduced back in the 1970s, however, it took close to twenty years for it to gain popularity. Lithium is the lightest of all metals and has the greatest electrochemical potential. This is going to mean that lithium provides the highest energy density per weight, much lighter, and a lot more efficient than lead-acid batteries. Lead-acid batteries can weigh a lot, which makes it a lot more difficult to transport solar batteries. Because lead-acid solar batteries are so heavy, it also makes usability a lot less convenient for residential solar panel installation.

The expedited growth of lithium-ion solar batteries is due to the advantages that come with technology. When you compare the different kinds of batteries that have been used in the past, the lithium-ion solar batteries are going to be cleaner, they are going to last longer, they are much easier to recycle, and don’t require nearly as much maintenance. The advantages aren’t going to end there. The market for solar batteries has skyrocketed thanks to the lithium-ion solar batteries being able to solve the solar power issue of not having a constant source of solar power.

How is Solar Power Stored in Solar Batteries?

When it comes to storing solar power that your solar panel installation generates, solar batteries are the answer. In certain cases, solar batteries are going to their solar inverter and will offer integrated energy conversion. The higher the capacity of the solar batteries, the more solar power it can store.

When you install solar batteries alongside your solar panel installation, you can store the excess solar power that your solar power system generates as opposed to sending that power back to the grid. If your solar panels generate excess solar power, solar power is used to charge the solar batteries. Then, when your solar panels aren’t producing any solar power, you can draw from the solar power that is stored in the solar batteries. You will only send excess solar power back to the grid when your battery is depleted.

This will means that homes that have a solar panel installation with solar batteries can store the excess solar power that the solar panels generate when the sun isn’t out. Because solar batteries store the excess solar power at their home, they are also going to offer short-term backup power in the rare event that there’s a power outage in the area.  

Are Solar Batteries Right For You?

If you are certain that you want to go completely off the grid, you will need to add solar batteries to your solar power system. But if you are unsure and want to know a little bit more about the benefits that solar batteries offer, if you can save money or not by installing solar batteries is going to depend on the way that your utility company will compensate you for solar power. The majority of homeowners are going to have utilities that offer full net metering, this means that you are going to receive a credit on your electric bill for each kilowatt-hour that your solar panels produce. This is going to mean that you aren’t going to see any additional savings on your monthly electricity bill if you install solar batteries.

There’s going to be a lot of situations where solar batteries that can improve the economics of solar panels for your home or business. But if your utility has time-of-use rates or demand charges, but this is not going to offer net metering, solar batteries can help you save more when you get a solar panel installation.

Solar Batteries and the Weather

So back in the day, lead-acid batteries did some serious struggling in hot and cold temperatures. But lithium-ion solar batteries are the answer. When it is cold, like 0 degrees Fahrenheit will only drop the solar batteries' performance down to around ten percent. This means that when solar batteries get cold, they can still store and provide your household with around nearly as much energy as it would on a normal day. Then when it is hot outside, around 86 degrees Fahrenheit, solar batteries will still work, however the performance is going to fall to around 20%. Then if your home depends on your home solar batteries for energy, the reliability is going to ideal. Despite seeing the performance fall, your solar batteries won’t go anywhere. Regardless of the weather, solar batteries are going to be reliable.

How Long Do Solar Batteries Last?

For most solar batteries, they will continue to “cycle” (charge and drain) daily. The solar batteries ability are going to hold a charge and will gradually decrease the more that you use it. Solar batteries are a lot like your cell phones battery, you are going to charge your phone every night to use it during the day, and the older your phone gets you are going to start to notice that the solar battery doesn’t hold as much of a charge as it did when it was new. The solar batteries could be warrantied for 5,000 cycles or 10 years at 70 percent of its original capacity. This is going to mean that towards the end of the warranty the solar batteries will have lost no more than 30 percent of its original ability to store solar power.

Your solar batteries are going to have a warranty that will guarantee that a certain number of cycles and years of useful life. Because the solar batteries performance will naturally degrade over time, most manufacturers are also going to guarantee that the solar batteries are going to keep a certain amount of its capacity throughout the warranty. So the answer to the question of, ‘how long will my solar batteries last?’ is going to depend on the brand of solar batteries that you buy and how much of its capacity that you lose over time.

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