Creating your individual electrical energy from the solar is a powerfully rewarding expertise. There’s numerous peace of thoughts in having the ability to chill on a weekend afternoon, look up at your photo voltaic panels, and take consolation in realizing your cocktail blender isn’t costing you a dime to make use of in the course of the day.
However, what about at night time, when the solar isn’t shining? Except you could have power storage, you’re going to be pulling electrical energy from the grid or just not utilizing any.
Storage techniques can moreover present backup energy to important dwelling masses throughout blackouts. When paired with photo voltaic panel techniques, photo voltaic battery storage options assist you to reap the advantages of renewable power and apply them to your property wants throughout energy outages.
On this article, we present you ways a photo voltaic battery works over the course of a typical day. We additionally present an summary of the gear wanted for a photo voltaic battery backup system to work and focus on variations between grid linked and off-grid techniques.
Alongside the way in which, we clarify how one can save much more with battery storage in case your utility is on a time-of-use (TOU) fee plan. Let’s get to it!
Charging and discharging your battery
Within the following examples, we’ll present you ways a typical photo voltaic battery storage system works over the course of the day.
In brief, a solar-plus-storage system retains the surplus photo voltaic power generated in the course of the center of the day by your PV system onsite, with a purpose to be utilized for later use in your house.
Within the early morning hours, you aren’t producing photo voltaic electrical energy as a result of the solar isn’t up but.
Relying on the scale of your battery and residential utilization, you is perhaps drawing electrical energy from the grid and battery on the similar time. In the event you stay in an space with lower-cost off-peak electrical charges, you possibly can program your photo voltaic battery to cost throughout this time as a manner to save cash.
Sometimes, power utilization will increase because the hours go by within the morning: Showers are taken, toasters are used, and hair will get dried. Because the solar remains to be low within the sky, you aren’t going to be producing a lot electrical energy out of your photo voltaic panels. The shortfall may be met with grid energy.
The center of the day is when your photo voltaic panels are incomes their preserve. Photo voltaic output is excessive, and residential electrical energy utilization is normally a lot decrease as individuals are typically out of their properties (so long as there isn’t a pandemic to deal with).
Throughout this time of day, your property photo voltaic battery can get all good and charged up to be used within the night. You too can keep away from sending your cash to the utility firm as energy normally will get dearer from the center of the day onward in time-of-use billing plans.
As the sun starts to drift closer to the horizon in the evening, your solar production drops off. This is just at the same time that home electricity usage starts to surge.
If your utility is on a time-of-use (TOU) billing structure, your prices paid for electricity will be highest during this time.
Having a battery backup system is so helpful here, since the solar power that you saved up at midday in your battery can be used in your home now to meet your higher evening demand. This can save you a lot of money by using your own battery power, instead of paying for expensive grid electricity.
Unless you’re a night owl, your energy needs will drop at this time. Depending on the size of your battery and usage patterns, you’ll either use power from the grid, your battery, or a combination of both sources.
If your electric rates are really low in the middle of the night, you can set your battery to charge now and have your home’s usage accounted for by battery power in the morning.
Additional equipment needed
For your home battery backup system to work, you’re going to need a few extra components.
- A charge controller
- The battery bank itself
- A hybrid inverter (also called a two-way battery inverter)
Some hybrid inverters house a charge controller inside of the unit.
Your solar panels create direct current electricity (DC). This is a different flavor of electricity that your home appliances use. They use alternating current (AC), and an inverter is needed to translate DC to AC, or vice versa.
In a home battery backup system, the first place DC electricity from your solar panels is going to go is to a special little gadget called a charge controller. The charge controller figures out how much electricity should go to your battery.
If your solar panels create too much electricity for your battery to handle, the charge controller will route the extra energy along to your inverter instead. That’s a good thing, because you can shorten the lifespan of your battery by overcharging it.
Hybrid inverters have an integrated charge controller. A hybrid inverter is smart enough to recognize when to pull electricity from your battery if it detects a power drop from the grid. It also knows when to pull electricity from your utility to charge your battery if it isn’t full, and the sun isn’t doing a good job creating electricity through your panels.
The hybrid inverter can either route power to your battery based on its programming for time-of-day conditions, or over to your main circuit panel.
When the grid is down, some models can pass power from your panels to your battery, which can be connected to a critical load’s circuit panel. This way, you can still power needed outlets in your home when the power is out.
Grid connected vs. off-grid systems
There are some differences to account for if you’re looking to roll out a solar battery backup system off-the-grid, as compared to being connected to the grid.
Well-designed off-grid systems should be able to store enough electricity for two to three days without much sun, during the coldest times of the year.
As such, you’ll need a much larger battery capacity, and more solar panels to charge them up. This makes off-grid battery backup systems much more expensive than grid-connected solar systems.
Unless you’re in a very remote area and having the ability to use stored energy is worth it to you, the added cost of battery backup can be prohibitive.
If you’re looking for even more energy independence and resilience for when the grid goes down, solar battery backup systems provide an elegant solution. Solar energy systems coupled with batteries are a match made in heaven.
These powerful systems can intelligently switch between using solar power, battery storage, and grid power. Solar batteries allow you to avoid using grid power at peak price times, which can lead to big power bill savings.
For more guidance on choosing the right battery for your home, battery types, and battery reviews (including the Tesla Powerwall), explore our following resources:
- Home energy storage units can be programmed to drive the most electricity from your solar panels to your battery at the most opportune times of day.
- In daytime hours, your solar panels will charge your battery. Any surplus electricity created after your battery is topped off will be used in your home or sent back to your power company.
- During evening and night hours, a properly sized battery system will provide you with the majority of your electricity needs.
- Home energy storage systems consist of the battery bank, charge controller, and hybrid inverter.
- When paired with solar panels, home energy storage systems can lead to huge electricity bill savings, since you’re much more in control of your energy production and usage.