Everything You Need to Know About Solar Batteries

September 24 2020

Home solar system with a solar panel battery

Solar batteries store excess electricity for later use. Panels generate the most energy during the afternoon hours when no one is home. Many homeowners use solar battery storage to take advantage of panel overproduction.

While net metering offers a similar solution, not every homeowner has access to these policies. Others simply prefer to be off-grid. Either way, solar batteries offer some unique advantages.

Learn more about solar battery storage and how it works. Weigh the pros and cons of off-grid solar systems to find the perfect set-up for your home.

What Are Solar Batteries?

Solar batteries store excess AC energy as DC power. This allows homeowners to power their homes when their solar panels aren't actively generating electricity.

For example, today is a sunny day - perfect for solar power production. But, you might be at work all day. That means you aren’t using any of the electricity your panels are producing.

Luckily, a solar panel battery can store that electricity so that you can use it tonight when you get home. If you have any leftover, use it later in the week on an overcast day.

Do I Need Solar Battery Storage?

The amount of energy solar panels produce depends on the amount of sunlight they receive. Of course, it would be a huge inconvenience if you could only use electricity during production hours.

That’s why it’s important to have a system in place to power your home when your panels aren’t producing. Many homeowners use net metering, which is a type of solar incentive. Net metering allows homeowners to store excess electricity in their utility’s grid. When they need to access that electricity, they’ll pull from the grid.

At the end of the month, the utility company will send a bill showing the amount of electricity generated compared to the amount used from the utility. If the amount generated was more than the amount pulled from the grid, you’ll receive a credit. This credit will help pay for future instances when you need to use the utility’s electricity.

Net metering is a great program, but it isn’t offered in every state. That’s where solar battery storage comes in. Solar batteries can help you take advantage of excess production without a net metering system. Instead of storing electricity in the grid, you’ll store it in your solar panel battery. A solar panel battery allows you to monitor your own energy without help from the utility.

Keep in mind that not all net metering systems are created equal. States with true programs offer a credit amount equal to the cost of electricity on your bill. However, in some states, the credit amount only covers the wholesale rate, which is how much the utility would’ve paid to buy the electricity elsewhere. In these states, using solar batteries makes the most sense.

Off-grid solar systems on two homes in a residential neighborhood

Off-Grid Solar Systems

Off-grid solar systems are completely self-sufficient. These systems are not connected to the utility grid. Many homes that use solar batteries are off-grid. These homes rely on solar battery storage to provide electricity when needed.

One huge benefit of off-grid solar systems is that they are exempt from utility power outages. When utilities lose power, off-grid homeowners can use electricity stored in their batteries.

Theoretically, solar-plus-storage systems work like personal net metering systems. The difference is that homeowners store their excess electricity in a solar panel battery instead of the grid. Another difference is the amount of storage space.

A typical solar panel battery can store enough energy for nights and overcast days. However, batteries typically don’t have enough storage for seasonal preparation. This means you may not be able to store enough summer electricity to power your way through a winter storm. Because of this, many homeowners choose to keep their utility connection in addition to their battery.

Speak to a solar installer today and find the perfect system for your home. Compare quality installation companies in your area with Greenlife Solar. These installers can help you get the best deal on a solar system that’ll last a lifetime.

Get Free Quotes From Solar Installers Near You.