How do solar panel batteries work? Should you get a battery with your system?
As you research and plan your solar panel system, you may have come across the topic of batteries and whether or not you need one for your system. This should help answer the questions around solar batteries so that you can decide if adding one to your solar panel system is right for you.
What is a solar battery?
First, let’s define what a solar panel battery is. A solar panel battery is a device that stores excess electricity generated by your solar panels for use when the panels are not producing enough electricity, such as at night or on cloudy days. The stored electricity can be used to power your home or business when the sun is not shining.
Now, let’s address the question of whether or not you actually need a battery for your solar panel system. The answer is: it depends. If you have net metering, also known as grid-tied solar, you may not need a battery. Net metering allows excess electricity generated by your solar panels to be sent back to the grid, and in return, you receive credits on your utility bill. Essentially, the grid acts as a battery for your solar panel system.
However, if you do not have net metering or if you want to be self-sufficient and not rely on the grid, a battery may be necessary for your solar panel system. A battery allows you to store excess electricity for use when the panels are not producing enough electricity, ensuring that you have a consistent power supply.
How Solar Panel Batteries Work
Now that you understand the basic concept of solar panel batteries, let’s dive into how they actually work. Solar panel batteries are typically made of lithium-ion, which is a type of rechargeable battery. When your solar panels generate electricity, the excess electricity is used to charge the battery. When the battery is fully charged, the excess electricity is either sent back to the grid (if you have net metering) or used to power your home or business. When the solar panels are not producing enough electricity, the battery discharges and powers your home.
Now that you know the basics of solar panel batteries and how they work, you can make an informed decision about whether or not you need one for your solar panel system.
How long do solar panel batteries last?
The lifespan of a solar battery depends on several factors, including the type of battery, the size of the battery, and the amount of use it gets. Batteries can last for up to 25 years with proper care.
The size of the battery plays a role in its lifespan, as larger batteries will generally last longer than smaller ones. The amount of use a solar battery gets can also affect its lifespan. If a solar battery is consistently being charged and discharged, it will wear out faster than a battery that is only used occasionally.
Depending on who you use to install your solar panel system in batteries, you can even get a warranty that is in line with the solar system warranty. Solar panel systems that we install include a 25 year comprehensive warranty. So batteries that are installed as part of the system also receive this same 25 year warranty.
How to decide if you need a solar panel battery
Here are a few questions to ask if you are on the fence about whether or not to purchase a solar panel battery.
- Do you have access to grid power? If so, the grid can act as a battery for your solar panel system.
- Is Net Metering available in your area? If not, you may not be able to take advantage of utility credits through the grid.
- Do you tend to lose power for extended periods at a time? If not, it may make more sense to simply rely on the grid.
- What is your budget for a solar panel battery? Solar panel batteries can range in price depending on the size, type, and brand. Be sure to consider your budget and determine what you can afford.
If you have net metering, a battery may not be necessary. However, if you want to be self-sufficient and not rely on the grid, a battery can provide peace of mind and ensure a consistent power supply.
In conclusion, solar panel batteries are a useful addition to a solar panel system, but they may not be necessary for everyone. If you have net metering, the grid acts as a battery for your system. However, if you want to be self-sufficient and not rely on the grid, a solar panel battery can provide a consistent power supply. Regardless of whether or not you choose to include a battery in your solar panel system, you can feel good about the positive impact you are making on the environment and your wallet by generating clean, renewable energy.