All in One Solar Battery System
Adding solar battery backup to a solar system gives you peace of mind and adds energy security. It also helps you save money by avoiding time-of-use utility rates and moving closer to energy self-sufficiency.
Unlike noisy generators, solar batteries are silent, allowing you to sleep peacefully at night. It can also reduce local pollution from the use of fossil fuels.
Solar energy storage is a great option for homes that want to be able to use their own power during an outage instead of all in one solar battery system relying on a noisy and dirty gas generator. A solar battery system will keep the lights and appliances on during an outage for a much longer amount of time than a conventional grid-tied system.
Solar batteries come in a variety of sizes and capacities. Some have a fixed capacity while others are expandable. Generally speaking, battery storage systems are based on lithium ion technology and can store up to 18 kWh. The cost of solar batteries varies depending on the size and chemistry, but it’s not cheap. SolarSage data suggests that the median cost of a residential battery is about $1,300 per kilowatt-hour.
Choosing a storage solution is all about your specific needs and budget. For example, a lead-acid storage solution is inexpensive and has a high depth of discharge (DoD), but it also requires maintenance. A lithium ion battery is more expensive but is more efficient and lasts for decades.
Another factor is the way that your solar panel and storage are coupled together. You can choose from direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC) coupling. An AC coupled system is simpler and cheaper, but an inverter will be required. An MPPT charge controller can capture more power from the solar panels because it tracks the maximum point of power (MPP) and delivers the most electricity to the batteries.
If you’re considering an all in one solar battery system for your home, you’ll need a special inverter charger that monitors the grid connection and switches to solar + battery power if the grid goes down. These are a bit more expensive than standard inverters, but can be cost-effective if you want to backup your essential circuits for longer periods than the short time it’ll take the grid to return.
Some inverter chargers have a second AC input for a generator or the grid so that they can keep your batteries topped up after cloudy days or when you’re not at home. This is important if you live in an area that often experiences long outages.
An MPPT inverter charger tracks the maximum point of power being delivered from the PV panel and sends this to the battery bank – this means it’s able to deliver more energy than a PWM controller. Some all in one solar battery systems also incorporate an MPPT charge controller, which is a great way to get the most out of your system.
The most common battery chemistries are lithium and lead acid, although newer technologies such as nickel cobalt are becoming more popular. The type of battery you choose will depend on how much energy you need to store and how frequently you use it. It’s best to talk with an expert about what size and type of system is best for your needs, and how many kilowatt-hours of storage you will need.
When a new solar battery system is first installed, it’s exciting to watch the energy being generated. However, life gets in the way and it’s not always possible to keep a close eye on your power system. This is where accurate real-time system monitoring comes in.
There are a number of different monitoring options available for a solar energy system including online and app-based systems. Some monitors come with built-in solar inverter integration enabling you to check your solar output from one location. Others use a shunt linked to the battery, charge controller and inverter to measure current flowing into or out of your battery and then displays that information on a screen.
Some systems also offer electricity all in one solar battery system consumption monitoring which is helpful in regulating your power usage. This can be particularly useful for people who have recently switched to solar, as it is easy for them to increase their energy consumption too quickly, leading to unexpectedly high electricity bills.
The best monitoring system will depend on the overall design of your solar system and your preferences as a consumer. Inverter-based monitoring generally works well and is the most common but may not give you as much granularity on your battery performance as dedicated battery monitors. This is why it is important to discuss your preferences with your solar energy representative when choosing an all in one solar battery system.
The solar battery is a vital part of your power system. Choosing the right battery type and size for your home is a decision that will have a long-term impact on your energy independence and cost.
Batteries are generally sized in kilowatt-hours (kWh) to reflect their power rating and capacity. Your solar energy professional can help you calculate your storage needs and determine the best battery size for your home.
Deep cycle solar batteries typically have a lifespan of 5 to 15 years and will last longer if you don’t regularly discharge them below 45% of their total capacity. Battery lifespan is also dependent on the type of battery you choose and the temperature of the battery room.
Some people prefer a system with DC coupling, in which the DC electricity produced by your solar panels goes directly to the batteries. This can reduce the amount of inverter you need, but it requires specialized electrical work and runs high-voltage DC into your house.
Most people choose an AC-coupled system, in which the DC electricity produced by your sun-powered panels passes through an inverter first to convert it into AC energy for your household appliances. The inverter can also provide a backup source for your solar battery during a grid outage. AC-coupled systems are less expensive and easier to install than DC-coupled systems.