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How Solar Battery Systems Work

December 02, 2020

Solar battery systems are an excellent way for every homeowner to become energy independent. They store the energy that solar panels produce, which homeowners can use when it is needed. Solar panels will make more energy during the day when the sun is up than they can make any other time. It coincides with the time of the day when homes consume the least energy. It means that solar panels will be producing more power than is needed and less energy when more is required. To create a balance, you need solar battery systems to store up the excess energy used when the demand is high.

Why Solar Batteries?

Solar batteries are a brilliant investment in every home. They come with a lot of benefits, which include the following:

You Depend Less on Grid

Solar energy is one way to become less dependent on the grid. With solar batteries, you become even less dependent on the grid because you will always have some energy stored to use whenever there is a need.  A person with that great independence on the grid can power their entire home with solar energy. It comes with significant financial savings, too, as solar energy is cheaper in the long run when compared to electrical energy. Again, you do not have to suffer in power outage since you always have some energy to consume.

You Consume Clean Energy

Electrical energy is not the cleanest source of power we have around. It is sad to note that utility companies produce the electrical power we consume today from dirty and polluting sources like coal, which are sadly nonrenewable. Solar energy is clean, and the fact that you have it right on your rooftop makes it even better. Solar energy is pollution-free as consumers produce it from a renewable source that is virtually inexhaustible and naturally replenished. Installing solar panels is an excellent way of making clean energy right at your home. Investing in solar batteries ensures that you are always consuming clean energy.

You Always Have Backup Power

There is nothing more frustrating than experiencing a power outage when in the middle of something important. Something could go wrong, or you may experience a costly delay. Power backups are great, as they ensure that you continue with whatever you were doing, even in the middle of an outage. Solar battery systems are a great way of storing backup power. If you live in an area affected by power outages, you need backup power that will last at least until they restore the power. Power backups do not have to be expensive. You can also produce your backup power and store it for emergencies.

Significant Saving on Electric Bills

In the United States, most electric energy is produced from fossil fuels, particularly coal, natural gas, and petroleum. It is one reason why it is costly to produce, a cost that goes down to consumers. If you are dependent on the grid, you must be paying a lot of money on electric bills. All this will change once you invest in solar battery systems. It is an excellent way of saving so much money in just one account. After the initial investment, you do not pay anything else to produce solar energy at home. Solar batteries will keep that energy stored up for the nights, to ensure that you save on energy throughout the day.

Reduced Noise Pollution

It is a great benefit, especially for those who have been using generators as their power backup.  Generators are quite noisy that may be uncomfortable for the entire household. Solar panels produce energy silently. No one even knows when energy is being stored up in solar batteries. Generators consume fuel to produce power, which is an additional cost to an already expensive endeavor. Solar panels run on nothing, and their energy is reliable.

The bottom line is that you have a lot more to gain from solar panels and solar battery systems.

How Solar Battery Systems Work

As mentioned earlier, solar battery systems are an essential part of energy independence for every home. Therefore, it is time to invest. Here is a detailed guide on how they work. Some come as standalone batteries, while others have to be connected with the entire solar system through the solar panels.

The Solar Power

Production of solar energy starts with the rising of the sun. Solar arrays must hit the roof first. Once the sunlight lands on your solar panels, the panels convert its light into an electric current. For this to work, you need first to install a solar system. The system will come with solar panels, which homeowners install mainly on their rooftops. The panels absorb sunlight with their preinstalled photovoltaic cells. The cells then generate direct current (DC), an energy type that is then converted into usable energy called alternating current (AC) by using inverter technology.

The alternating current flows through the home’s electrical panel and is distributed in the areas where it is needed. Some systems use direct current as opposed to alternating current. For these systems, the inverter technology is not required. Again, if you have a solar battery system that uses direct current, you will not need to convert to alternating energy.

How Do they Charge?

Once the solar energy is produced and is flowing in various parts of the house, you realize that not much of it is consumed, especially during the day. It means that much of what the solar panels are producing is going to waste. The power made will flow directly and feed your home’s primary electric panel. It will then power the whole house and all the stuff connected to power, including lights, air conditioning, TVs, stereos, and the chargers. Since most people are out of their homes, energy consumption is not usually high during the day.

Again, solar panels generate more power than a home can consume at that instant. More energy is going to waste while you continually pay electric bills every month. When the output is more than your home’s demand, you need to think of a way to tap the excess energy and use it when the solar panels are no longer generating power. It is where a solar battery system comes in.

Without a solar battery, the extra energy produced by your solar panels will go back to your electric grid through net metering. Homeowners can store the excess energy in the electric grid temporarily, and then you can use it in times when your solar system is not producing more energy, mostly at night. However, this is not as good as having a charged battery that you can use whenever there is a need. With a solar battery, the excess power will be flowing into the battery and charging it instead of flowing back to the electric grid.

Note that the speed at which your solar battery system will charge will depend on the quantity of excess energy your solar system is generating. The latter is dependent on your home’s energy demand and how big your solar system is. Therefore, if you want to store up more energy in solar batteries, you need to make sure you are producing more.

AC and DC Charging

Many homes in the United States run on alternating current (AC). However, all batteries, including laptop batteries, require direct current (DC) to charge. Gadgets with batteries must convert the AC power to DC power for them to charge.

However, we have some AC solar batteries, which can accept the incoming alternating current power and charge. These batteries usually have an inbuilt inverter that enables them to convert AC power to DC power, which is what they need to charge. When the solar battery is used at home, the inbuilt inverter will again transform the DC power to AC power that is consumable.

Most of the solar battery systems today are AC solar batteries. The good thing about them is that they are compatible with all types of solar systems out there. They can also be used with any solar inverter type because they can take in any AC power from any solar system. For this reason, they are straightforward to work with and flexible enough to be used on an existing solar system.

However, we still have Direct Current solar batteries, with no inbuilt inverter. These batteries must only charge directly from the output with DC power. For these, you will need a special kind of inverter, which can pass the power generated by a solar system directly to the solar battery without converting it first into AC power. Once the battery is fully charged and ready to be used to power a home, the energy in it has to be fed into an external inverter, which converts into consumable AC power.

The advantage you have in investing in a DC battery is that these batteries are more efficient than AC solar batteries. With AC batteries, you lose some power to heat every time the inbuilt converter converts it into AC or DC. Since AC batteries do this many times, you might lose even more power, which is not the case with DC batteries. Again, DC solar batteries are cheaper to buy than AC solar batteries. However, there will be an additional cost of purchasing an external converter.

How Do They Discharge Power?

The essence of solar batteries is to store up excess solar energy used up later when solar panels are no longer generating enough energy. Both AC and DC solar batteries are good at this. Once the battery is fully charged, the homeowner no longer has to worry about power outages from the grid. If you frequently experience power outages, you will have an effective backup system. The battery will be activated immediately to power all the circuits that have been linked to it. Just like the generator, you will not have to do a thing to power your home after an outage as long as the battery system has been installed and connected to everything in your home. 

Again, the batteries will help reduce your electric power consumption more so at night, which saves you a lot of money every day. In California, we have time-of-use rates that utility companies consider when charging. When you are put in this rate, the amount of power you consume from the electric grid at night is considered more. It means that even if you have a solar system, you may still be paying more on electric power at night. If you can use stored solar energy at night, your consumption rate will be low, thereby saving you money.

Types of Solar Batteries Systems

If you are ready and would like to make this worthy investment, know that there are mainly two types of solar battery systems designed for residential homes:

Lead Acid Batteries

These have been around for years. They include sealed and flooded lead-acid solar batteries. Flooded batteries will require maintenance at least every month to ensure adequate functionality. Sealed batteries, on the other hand, are usually maintenance-free

Lithium-ion Batteries

These are new entrants in the market, but they are slowly becoming popular. It may e because they are lighter and smaller than lead-acid batteries. They are great if you need a power backup system that will take les space and still provide sufficient power. They also have a long lifespan or more than ten years.

Find Solar Battery Systems Near Me

Solar battery systems are a worthy investment for every homeowner today. Besides saving you a considerable amount of money, you are assured of sufficient power even with recurrent power outages. At Sun Solar Electric, we are all about maximizing the sun’s energy for more incredible benefits at home. We could help you make the right decision regarding the right solar battery system for your home power backup. Call us at 707-658-2157 if you are in Northern California and the Bay Area and let us walk with you every step of the way.

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